Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2010-0008-3148, ergonomic and safety climate evaluation at a brewery - Colorado.
Ramsey JG; Tapp L; Wiegand D
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 2010-0008-3148, 2011 Dec; :1-20
On October 16, 2009, NIOSH received an HHE request from a union representative at a brewery in Colorado. The request concerned MSDs possibly caused by repetitive motions including lifting, pulling, pushing, and reaching in the can line and bottle depalletization (depal) areas. During January 20-21, 2010, we visited the brewery. We observed workplace conditions and work processes and practices. We videotaped tasks on the can line and bottle depal. We also measured workstation heights and reach distances. We talked with employees privately to discuss their health and workplace concerns. We reviewed medical records of work injuries, and surveyed employees about their health and safety reporting behavior and perceptions of health and safety within the organization (i.e., safety climate). We found that employees were exposed to a combination of risk factors for developing upper extremity WMSDs, including awkward postures, forceful exertions, and repetitive motions. Personal factors such as age, sex, smoking, physical activity, and strength can also influence the occurrence of MSDs. The employee interviews and review of OSHA Form 300 Logs of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses confirmed that the most common WMSDs were to the upper extremity (shoulder and wrist). Twelve employees indicated they were injured on the job in the past 12 months; only half reported their injury(ies) to the employer. Recommendations for reducing the risk of WMSDs include designing all work surfaces to be within a height range of 27 inches - 62 inches and providing rotating platforms. The safety survey indicated that half of the employees feel that the safety training they receive is not adequate, and that the safety procedures and practices in place do not work. Recommendations for improving safety communication and involvement are also included in this report.
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