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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2009-0098-3103, evaluation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cases among employees at a workholding manufacturing facility, Positrol Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio.

Gibbins-J; Niemeier-T
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 2009-0098-3103, 2010 Mar; :1-19
In February 2009, NIOSH received an HHE request from management at Positrol Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company was concerned because several workers had previously reported MRSA skin infections, and management wanted to determine if these infections were related to workplace exposures. In March 2009, we visited Positrol and observed work processes. During the visit we held an opening conference, interviewed employees, and reviewed records. In May 2009, we collected bulk MWF samples and swab samples from machines and bathroom surfaces to test for the presence of MRSA bacteria. Our investigation determined that three employees had previously been diagnosed with MRSA; however, these infections did not appear to be related to each other or to workplace exposures. The analysis of the bulk MWF and surface samples did not show the presence of MRSA. Our analysis of microbiological and pH tests conducted by a third party from April 2005 to March 2009 found that total bacterial levels in the MWF were highly variable and poorly controlled. Many of the machines at the facility were not fitted with engineering controls or enclosures to prevent splashing or misting of MWF. We recommend that management evaluate employee exposures to MWF and, based on guidance outlined in this report, evaluate the need for engineering controls and enclosures to reduce exposure. We also recommend implementing a comprehensive MWF maintenance program to control bacteria, and encouraging employees to use appropriate PPE and practice good hygiene and wound management.
Region-5; Skin-diseases; Skin-disorders; Skin-infections; Infection-control; Infectious-diseases; Machine-shop-workers; Machinists; Metalworking-fluids; Microorganisms; Bacteria; Bacterial-disease; Bacterial-infections; Engineering-controls; Control-technology; Author Keywords: Cutting Tool and Machine Tool Accessory Manufacturing; metalworking fluid; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; machine shop; MRSA
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division