Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2007-0038-3057, ergonomic evaluation of workers at a cabinet mill and assembly plant, Yorktowne Cabinets, Mifflinburg and Red Lion, Pennsylvania.
On October 24, 2006, NIOSH received an HHE request from management at Yorktowne Cabinets, Inc. to evaluate potential ergonomic hazards at the Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania mill and the Red Lion, Pennsylvania assembly plant. Continued workers' compensation claims for MSDs despite attempts by management to control injuries prompted the request. On December 4-8, 2006, NIOSH investigators conducted site visits. On December 4, 2006, NIOSH investigators held an opening conference with management, employee, and union representatives. NIOSH ergonomists performed walk-through surveys of the work areas at both facilities to observe the typical job tasks. The NIOSH physician conducted confidential medical interviews and reviewed OSHA's Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses and workers' compensation data. NIOSH investigators held closing conferences at each facility and provided preliminary recommendations to those who attended. NIOSH investigators found that workers are exposed to a combination of risk factors for MSDs involving the upper extremities and low back. Work tasks requiring highly repetitive motions, extreme and awkward postures, and forceful exertions for upper extremities; and heavy lifting, bending, and twisting for low back were observed. Workstation and tool designs that place workers at risk for MSDs include low work heights, nonadjustable workstations, heavy tools, and excess vibration exposure. The OSHA Log review indicated that most entries were MSDs involving the upper extremities. Thirty of the 33 interviewed workers reported work-related musculoskeletal pain or discomfort. Of these 30 injuries, 26 involved the upper extremity. Recommendations for reducing the risk of injury are contained in this report. The use of adjustable tables and carts and improved workplace and tool design would eliminate or significantly reduce the physical stresses associated with the observed job tasks. Most workers are exposed to a combination of risk factors for developing musculoskeletal disorders. Risk factors include high forces, awkward postures, and repetitive motions. The use of adjustable tables and carts, as well as improved workplace and tool design would reduce physical stresses and the risk of musculoskeletal injury.
Region-9; Hazard-Confirmed; Repetitive-work; Cumulative-trauma; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Muscular-disorders; Ergonomics; Woodworking; Woodworking-industry; Back-injuries; Arm-injuries; Hand-injuries; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Materials-handling; Manual-materials-handling; Manual-lifting;
Author Keywords: Wood Kitchen Cabinet and Countertop Manufacturing; repetitive motions; work-related musculoskeletal disorders; ergonomics; bending and reach