Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-99-0320-2791, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Tubbs RL; Seitz TA
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 99-0320-2791, 2000 May; :1-15
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request from an authorized representative of employees at the Salt Lake City, Utah, office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) concerning communication problems in the work area. The office configuration made the information officers raise their voices to be heard and understood by the public. One INS employee had been seen by a physician and told that the office conditions led to this person's voice loss. Other employees felt there was an increased illness rate related to poor ventilation in the building. NIOSH representatives visited the INS office on September 29, 1999, to conduct a health hazard evaluation (HHE). During the evaluation, the area of concern was investigated by measuring the area noise levels and the ventilation parameters as well as interviewing employees who worked in this location. The noise levels in the public reception area were found to be incompatible with good communication guidelines. The INS information officers were not being heard clearly by the public. Poor acoustic conditions in the public area and a plexiglass barrier between the officers and public contributed to the poor communication environment. The indoor environmental quality measurements made by NIOSH investigators revealed that the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system was not supplying proper amounts of outdoor air to the waiting area and that temperature and relative humidity levels were outside of recommended ranges for indoor office environments.
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