Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2003-0311-3052, evaluation of heat stress at a glass bottle manufacturer, Owens-Illinois, Lapel, Indiana.
In August 2003, NIOSH received a confidential employee request for an HHE at Owens-Illinois in Lapel, Indiana. The requestors were concerned about heat-related illnesses among employees exposed to the hot conditions in the forming department. In response to this request, NIOSH investigators visited the facility in September 2006. We conducted an opening conference with management and union representatives, a walk-through survey of the forming department, confidential medical interviews, a review of the Logs of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA's Form 300), and heat stress measurements in the forming department. At the time of this NIOSH evaluation we found that workers in the forming department were not exposed to heat stress in excess of the NIOSH and ACGIH screening criteria. However, environmental temperatures may be warmer than those on the days of our evaluation, making it more likely that NIOSH and ACGIH heat stress screening criteria would be exceeded and that employees would be at increased risk for heat stress. Interviews with forming department employees and a review of the Logs of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA's Form 300) found that some workers reported that they had developed heat strain symptoms during their shifts on hot summer days. This report includes recommendations to help identify potential heat stress and strain risks and how to limit heat-related illnesses in hot end workers. These recommendations include creating a formal heat stress management program regarding heat acclimatization, continuing education for heat stress prevention, heat-related illness surveillance, environmental heat exposure monitoring, criteria for heat alerts, and preventive maintenance of man coolers and swamp coolers. Environmental temperature measurements and work load assessments during this evaluation showed that workers in the forming department were not exposed to heat stress in excess of the occupational screening criteria. However, some employees reported developing heat strain symptoms during their shifts on hot summer days. We recommend the company create a formal heat stress management program.
Region-5; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Hot-environments; Heat-stress; Heat-stroke; Heat-exposure; Heat-exhaustion; Heat-acclimatization; Glass-manufacturing-industry; Glass-products; Glass-workers;
Author Keywords: Beverage containers; glass; manufacturing; heat stress; heat strain; hot work environment; glass; glass bottles