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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2002-0218-2881, Jergens Road Adult Services Center, Dayton, Ohio.

Lenhart SW; Trout DB
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 2002-0218-2881, 2002 Oct; :1-13
NIOSH received a confidential request for a health hazard evaluation (HHE) from an employee of the Jergens Road Adult Services Center in Dayton, Ohio. The facility is a developmental center where 200 people with developmental disabilities (consumers) receive habilitation services (e.g., feeding, personal care and hygiene, and communication and prevocational training). The Montgomery County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (Montgomery County MRDD) operates the Jergens Center. NIOSH investigators evaluated five issues in response to the HHE request-job stress, infectious diseases, disposable gloves, indoor environmental quality, and cancer. The challenging behaviors (e.g., biting and scratching) of some consumers were reported to be job stressors. Montgomery County MRDD's policies concerning employee exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials were the basis of the infectious diseases concern. Associated with this issue was a concern that the disposable gloves provided to protect staff members from contacting potentially infectious materials seemed to tear too frequently. Another concern was whether heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems were operating correctly. The cancer concern was from unconfirmed reports that people who had worked in the building have cancer. The activities of the NIOSH investigators included touring the Jergens Center, interviewing employees, reviewing Montgomery County MRDD's written communicable diseases procedures, and assessing the building's indoor environmental quality by measuring temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide throughout the building. Recommendations provided for improving working conditions at the Jergens Center included the following: 1. Management should hire a consultant to evaluate the extent to which employees view job stress as a problem. 2. Employees should be trained by a consultant experienced in the use of adaptive coping strategies to reduce stress associated with providing services to people with developmental disabilities. 3. Montgomery County MRDD should revise its policy regarding the job classifications deemed to have risks of exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials. 4. Management should seek feedback from employees concerning the frequency with which gloves tear. 5. The performance of the HVAC system serving rooms 103 and 107 should be further evaluated.
Hazard Unconfirmed; Region 5; Indoor air pollution; Bloodborne pathogens; Infectious diseases; Infection control; Gloves; Personal protective equipment; Protective clothing; Protective equipment; Psychological stress; Indoor environmental quality; Author Keywords: Job Training and Vocational Rehabilitation Services; Bites; bloodborne pathogens; cancer; developmental disabilities; disposable gloves; habilitation services; indoor environmental quality; infectious diseases; job stress; mental retardation
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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NIOSH Division
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Work Environment And Workforce: Special Populations
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: March 3, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division