NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2000-0316-2811, Material Sciences Corporation Pinole Point Steel, Richmond, California.

Habes DJ
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 2000-0316-2811, 2000 Oct; :1-12
On June 7, 2000, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request for a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) from the Director of Environmental Safety and Health at Material Sciences Corporation, Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The request stated that workers at the company's Pinole Point Steel facility, located in Richmond, California, were experiencing strain to the lower back and arms while performing a zinc pot skimming operation. The request also stated that over the years there had been two confirmed cases of carpal tunnel syndrome among workers performing the job. A NIOSH ergonomist evaluated one worker performing the pot skimming operation on June 27 and 28, 2000. A biomechanical and lifting analysis indicated that the forces and moments at the joints on the left side of the body, particularly at the shoulder, and at the low back from lifting a long-handled spoon of dross weighing 40 pounds, were high and beyond the capabilities of all but the strongest of workers. One worker had recently injured his left wrist while performing the pot skimming task, and historically there have been many complaints by workers of strain to the arms and lower back. The results of the NIOSH investigation indicate that the unassisted lifting of dross while skimming the zinc pot is beyond the capability of most workers. Heat and awkward postures of the shoulder and trunk while skimming and performing other essential job activities increase the biomechanical and physical load on the worker. Recommendations for reducing the physical demands of the pot skimming task are included in this report.
Hazard Confirmed; Region 9; Musculoskeletal system disorders; Ergonomics; Manual lifting; Manual materials handling; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Repetitive work; Foundry workers; Foundries; Author Keywords: Galvanizing of iron and steel and end formed products, for the trade; ergonomics; carpal tunnel syndrome; pot skimming; lifting dross
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: July 23, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division