Motor vehicle manufacturing industry - 289 entries found
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Lui Y., et al.
Respiratory protection from isocyanate exposure in the autobody repair and refinishing industry
This study evaluated the effectiveness of respiratory protection against exposure to aliphatic polyisocyanates in automobile body repair shops. A total of 36 shops were assessed for respiratory protection programme completeness. 142 workers were measured for respirator fit factor. In addition, 22 painters from 21 shops were sampled to determine the protection factors of negative pressure, air purifying half-facepiece respirators equipped with organic vapour cartridges and paint pre-filters during spray-painting and priming activities. Findings are discussed. It is concluded half-facepiece respirators equipped with organic vapour cartridges and paint prefilters provide effective protection against isocyanate exposure in spray and priming operations if workers are properly trained and fitted.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, May 2006, Vol.3, No.5, p.234-249. Illus. 58 ref.
Luo J.C.J., Hsu K.H., Shen W.S.
Pulmonary function abnormalities and airway irritation symptoms of metal fumes exposure on automobile spot welders
This study investigated the pulmonary function of automobile welders exposed to metal fumes in Taiwan. The all-male cohort consisted of 41 spot welders, 76 arc welders, 71 office workers and 59 assemblers without welding exposure. Inductivity-coupled plasma mass spectrophotometry (ICP-MS) was used to detect zinc, copper and nickel levels in the post-shift urine samples. Demographic data, work history, smoking status and respiratory tract irritation symptoms were gathered by a standard self-administered questionnaire. Pulmonary function tests were also performed. Compared to non-exposed workers, there were significantly higher instances of abnormal forced vital capacity, abnormal peak expiratory flow and restrictive airway abnormalities among spot welders. There was also a significant dose-response relationship of airway irritation symptoms (cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis) among the spot welders.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2006, Vol.49, p.407-416. 38 ref.
Isocyanate exposure in an autobody repair and collision center
This inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports on an overexposure to methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MDI) during the spray application of a protective coating for truck beds. The inspection was conducted at an automobile body repair shop that also operated a spray-on truck bed coating operation. The investigation was initiated as a complaint inspection and was limited to the complaint allegation. The employee alleged that workers were exposed to harmful vapours during application of the truck bed liner. Site visits and sampling confirmed exposures to MDI in excess of the threshold limit value of 0.20mg/m3. A number of recommendations aimed at lowering the level of exposure were made and successfully implemented by the employer.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Mar. 2006, Vol.3, No.3, p.D24-D27. 3 ref.
Occupational safety and health actions: Automobile repair shops
La prévention en action. Maintenance de véhicules automobiles: mécanique et carrosserie [in French]
The purpose of this booklet is to offer guidance for the evaluation and prevention of occupational hazards in automobile repair shops. It is aimed at the heads of establishments as well as at workers and their representatives. It addresses the five steps of the prevention approach: preparation; hazard evaluation; definition of the action plan; implementation of the action plan; evaluation of the approach. Appendices include the main French laws and regulations, together with examples of a hazard evaluation checklist and a preventive action programme.
Agence Nationale pour l'Amélioration des Conditions de Travail, 4, quai des Etroits, 69321 Lyon Cedex 05, France, Sep. 2006. 40p. Illus. 18 ref.
http://www.anact.fr/pls/portal/docs/1/19105.PDF [in French]
Boutin M., Ostiguy C., Dufresne A., Charette M., Lesage J.
Determination of the airborne concentration of isocyanates during the thermal degradation of automobile paint in body repair shops
Détermination de la concentration d'isocyanates aéroportés pendant la dégradation thermique de peinture automobile dans les ateliers de réparation de carrosserie [in French]
Earlier studies showed that the thermal degradation of polyurethane-based car body paints could generate isocyanates, which are potentially harmful substances. An in situ sampling system was devised for the air sampling of isocyanates produced during the thermal degradation process. However under field conditions, various factors can affect the sampling efficiency. The purpose of this study was to validate the sampling technique under actual working conditions and to establish an indicator for evaluating the overall exposure of workers to the isocyanates generated by the thermal degradation of paints. Measurements carried out in three car body repair shops confirmed the reliability of the method.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2006. 24p. Illus. 26 ref. Price: CAD 5.30. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-456.pdf [in French]
Hearing protection at Ford in Genk
Protection auditive sur mesure chez Ford Genk [in French]
A Belgian automobile plant has adopted a new type of custom-made hearing protector, after testing and evaluating its cost-effectiveness. While the initial purchase of the otoplastic hearing protectors is relatively costly compared to single-use hearing protectors, they are considered to be economical in the long run. They are designed to prevent allergic reaction and they also offer excellent noise protection. Results of surveys among users of these devices show that they are well tolerated.
Prevent Focus, Dec. 2005, No.10. p.14-17. Illus.
Bardin J.A., Gore R.J., Wegman D.H., Kriebel D., Woskie S.R., Eisen E.A.
Registry-based case-control studies of liver cancer and cancers of the biliary tract nested in a cohort of autoworkers exposed to metalworking fluids
This study on hepatobiliary cancer (liver and biliary tract) was conducted in the form of a registry-based case-control study nested in a cohort of workers from three automobile manufacturing plants with potential exposure to metalworking fluids. 63 cases of hepatobiliary cancer were identified from the cohort by the Michigan cancer registries. Each case was matched to 10 controls. Odds ratios were estimated in conditional logistic regression models for lifetime exposure to straight mineral oils, and to soluble and synthetic metalworking fluids and fluid components. Overall, hepatobiliary cancer was not associated with exposure to metalworking fluids. However, there is limited evidence that exposure to straight metalworking fluids is associated with biliary tract cancer. Findings need to be examined further in other exposed populations.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, June 2005, Vol.31, No.3, p.205-211. 34 ref.
Sundin A., Christmansson M., Larsson M.
A different perspective in participatory ergonomics in product development improves assembly work in the automotive industry
This paper describes a product development process in a bus manufacturing company. A participatory ergonomics approach was used that gathered a group of designers and production engineers from different plants, including also ergonomics researchers. The group used different methods to improve chassis design with respect to the productivity and ergonomics of the assembly process. Besides analyses of running chassis production, simulations were made by experienced workers using prototypes of the new chassis and were complemented with computer mannequin analyses. The participatory ergonomics approach used resulted in new chassis designs that improved the efficiency and ergonomics of the assembly operations.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Jan. 2004, Vol.33, No.1, p.1-14. Illus. 24 ref.
Li G.J., Zhang L.L., Lu L., Wu P., Zheng W.
Occupational exposure to welding fume among welders: Alterations of manganese, iron, zinc, copper, and lead in body fluids and the oxidative stress status
Welders in this study were selected from a vehicle manufacturing plant; control subjects were from a nearby food factory. Airborne manganese levels in the breathing zones of welders and controls were 1.45±1.08mg/m3 and 0.11±0.07 mg/m3 respectively. Serum levels of manganese and iron in welders were 4.3 fold and 1.9 fold respectively higher than those of controls. Blood lead concentrations in welders increased 2.5 fold, whereas serum zinc levels decreased 1.2 fold, in comparison with controls. Linear regression revealed the lack of associations between blood levels of five metals and welder's age. Furthermore, welders had erythrocytic superoxide dismutase activity and serum malondialdehyde levels 24% less and 78% higher, respectively, than those of controls. These findings suggest that occupational exposure to welding fumes among welders disturbs the homeostasis of trace elements in systemic circulation and induces oxidative stress.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2004, Vol.46, No.3, p.241-248. Illus. 52 ref.
Punnett L., Gold J., Katz J.N., Gore R., Wegman D.H.
Ergonomic stressors and upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders in automobile manufacturing: A one year follow up study
The objective of this study was to estimate the one-year cumulative incidence and persistence of upper extremity (UE) soft tissue disorders in a cohort of 820 automotive industry manufacturing workers, and to quantify their associations with ergonomic risk factors. Cases of UE musculoskeletal disorders were determined by interviewer-administered questionnaire and standardized physical examination of the upper extremities. Among subjects without symptoms at baseline, the cumulative incidence of UE disorders was 14% by symptoms and 12% by symptoms plus examination findings. These rates increased with index of physical exposures primarily among subjects who had the same jobs at follow up as at baseline. Increased exposure during follow up increased the risk of incidence. The persistence of UE disorders from baseline to follow-up examination was nearly 60% and associated with baseline exposure index.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2004, Vol.61, No.8, p.668-674. Illus. 38 ref.
TLD-Europe - A paint spray booth that combines safety and flexibility
TLD-Europe - Une cabine de peinture qui allie sécurité et flexibilité [in French]
This article describes a newly-installed paint spray booth in an enterprise manufacturing large aircraft tractors. It consists of a vertically-ventilated closed booth. Because occupational asthma is particularly frequent among spray painters exposed to isocyanate-containing polyurethane paints, the importance of having adequate ventilation and wearing respirators is stressed.
Travail et sécurité, Feb. 2004, No.637, p.39-43. Illus. 3 ref.
Chang T.Y., Jain R.M., Wang C.S., Chan C.C.
Effects of occupational noise exposure on blood pressure
In a study of 20 workers in an automobile manufacturing company, 24-hour blood pressure and 16-hour noise exposure were measured continuously. Occupational noise levels ranged from 85±8dBA for high-exposure workers to 59±4dBA for low-exposure workers. The systolic blood pressure of the high-exposure workers was significantly higher than that of the low-exposure workers during the working period and the sleep period. Diastolic blood pressure was higher in the high-exposure workers over 24 hours and over the working period. Results indicate that occupational noise exposure has both transient and sustained effects on workers' systolic blood pressure.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2003, Vol.45, No.12, p.1289-1296. Illus. 29 ref.
Van-Wendel-de-Joode B., Brouwer D.H., Vermeulen R., Van Hemmen J.J., Heederik D., Kromhout H.
DREAM: A method for semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment
This paper describes a new method of structured, semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment for chemical or biological agents (DREAM). Two examples of dermal exposure of workers of a truck manufacturer show how the method allows a characterization of the tasks and provides insight into exposure mechanisms. It supplies estimates for exposure levels on the external clothing layer and on the skin, as well as for the distribution of dermal exposure over the body. Together with the ranking of tasks and persons, it provides information for sampling strategies and helps to determine who, where and what to measure. In addition to dermal exposure assessment, the systematic description of dermal exposure pathways helps to prioritize and determine most adequate measurement strategies and methods.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Jan. 2003, Vol.47, No.1, p.71-87. Illus. 42 ref.
Bunn W.B., Pikelny D.B., Paralkar S., Slavin T., Borden S., Allen H.M.
The burden of allergies - and the capacity of medications to reduce this burden - in a heavy manufacturing setting
This article presents the findings of a systematic study undertaken by a manufacturer to address the impact of allergies and use of allergy medications on health, safety and productivity. Data on 10,714 employees were obtained from employee surveys and administrative databases of the enterprise concerning absenteeism, workers compensation, short-term disability and group health measures. Results show that health and productivity decline, and absenteeism, workplace injuries and workers' compensation claims register consistent increases as allergy severity levels increase. This pattern is less pronounced for the short-term disability and group health measures. Among the 16 parameters registering a significant allergy burden, six posted significant advantages for the use of non-sedating antihistamines relative to other medication regimens that included sedative antihistamines. These results document the burden of allergies and the capacity of effective medication programmes to reduce this burden.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2003, Vol.45, No.9, p.941-955. Illus. 12 ref.
Allen H.M., Bunn W.B.
Validating self-reported measures of productivity at work: A case for their credibility in a heavy manufacturing setting
The validity of employee productivity surveys is an important issue for employers. However, the scepticism of business decision-makers who are unfamiliar with survey techniques needs to be addressed. This article examines the widespreadly-held view that administrative measures of adverse events have become more important as indicators of productivity loss. Analyses of adverse event measures and productivity self-reports by employees of a truck manufacturing company were conducted in order to test two types of criterion validity: firstly, concurrent validity ("do adverse events associate with self-reports according to logic and common sense?") and secondly, predictive validity ("do self-reports distinguish the risk of subsequent adverse events?"). Self-reports were found to perform well in both sets of tests.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2003, Vol.45, No.9, p.926-940. Illus. 22 ref.
Vézina N., St-Vincent M., Dufour B., St-Jacques Y., Cloutier E.
Practice of job rotation in an automobile assembly plant - Exploratory study
La pratique de la rotation des postes dans une usine d'assemblage automobile - Etude exploratoire [in French]
This survey on job rotation was carried out in an automobile assembly plant where the management was in favour of extending the degree of job rotation, but where the union was reticent. Two ergonomics experts inspected four assembly units, and observed and interviewed 250 workers. Results of the survey show that only 10.8% of the workers, essentially the younger workers, currently practiced job rotation. The perceived advantages of rotation were lower levels of monotony and physical constraints, as well as improved promotion prospects. The main reasons for reluctance were the fear of changing for more demanding work and training difficulties. The importance of training is confirmed by the job studies.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, Aug. 2003. vi, 88p. Illus. 42 ref. Price: CAD 13.00.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/htmfr/pdf_txt/R-343.pdf [in French]
Klotz A., zur Mühlen A., Veeger M.
New skin protection formulations
Nuevos preparados de protección cutánea [in Spanish]
The protective properties of a new multiphase water/oil/water emulsion system were studied, together with its effect on skin irritated with a test solution consisting of 0.5% sodium lauryl sulfate in water. 15 persons were subjected to a repeated irritation patch test under occlusive dressing, with the irritation being then treated either with the new product, with vaseline or with a water/oil emulsion, or not treated at all. The new product showed the best results in terms of protection. Furthermore, it had a positive influence on the regeneration of skin irritated with sodium lauryl sulfate. The product was also tested among 180 employees of three production units of a large engine component manufacturer, who responded to a questionnaire on their use of skincare products. 67% declared regularly using such products, 29% rarely and 4% never. Only 8% of the persons questioned stated that the product they had used previously offered superior protection. The absorptive properties and the propensity for repair were judged very good by 72% of the respondents and good by 90%. 88% expressed the wish to use this novel product again once all the testing would be completed.
Prevención, July-Sep. 2003, No.165, p.29-34. Illus.
Gruvberger B., Isaksson M., Frick M., Pontén A.N.N., Bruze M.
Occupational dermatoses in a metalworking plant
Among workers of a plant producing components for engines and drivelines, a survey of occupational dermatoses was conducted using questionnaires, clinical examinations and patch testing with standard series and a series of samples from the working environment. The questionnaire was given to all employees, of whom 382 responded. A total of 214 reported having had or having suspected work-related skin manifestations. Of the workers, 183 (164 metal workers, 19 office staff) participated in the clinical investigation and skin tests. Occupational dermatoses were diagnosed in 23 metal workers (14.1%) and one office worker (5.3%). Irritant contact dermatitis was diagnosed in 12 metal workers, occupational allergic contact dermatitis in 11 (10 metal workers and 1 office clerk) and folliculitis in one metal worker. Among the 11 workers, four cases were due to neat oils, three were due to a water-based cutting and four were due to various biocides.
Contact Dermatitis, Feb. 2003, Vol.48, No.2, p.80-86. 17 ref.
Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute
Development of a musculoskeletal disorder prevention and management programme at the workplace
Sa up jang gun kol kyuk kye jil hwan ye bang kwan ri program kae bal [in Korean]
The programme described in this report was developed to prevent musculoskeletal disorders in the Republic of Korea. It contains a series of detailed guidelines to the points to be considered in workplaces, current trends in the management of musculoskeletal disorders and relevant experience in several foreign countries. The results of applying this prevention programme in automotive industry plants are presented, and the rate of complaints at each stage of progress in the implementation of the programme is commented on. Contents: background and purpose of the research programme; research methods; current management of musculoskeletal disorders; development of guidelines for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders; example of application of the prevention programme; OSH training and training materials.
Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, 34-4 Gu-san dong, Bupyung gu, Inchon 403-711, Republic of Korea, 2002. 280p. Illus. 72 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Fume emissions from resistance welding through adhesives and sealants
Modern manufacturing practices, especially in the automotive industry, often involve resistance welding through adhesives and sealants. During welding, fumes that are possibly harmful to health may be inhaled by workers. Little is known about the concentration or composition of the fumes emitted, making it difficult to assess the risks to health arising from welding activities. In this study, fume composition data were generated for resistance welding through a representative range of epoxy-based adhesives and polybutadiene-based sealants for the purpose of enabling a comprehensive risk assessment. Benzene, 1,3-butadiene and acrylonitrile were the most harmful compounds identified. However, concentrations were low. Concentrations of carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons were also low, less than 1µg/m3.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, May 2002. vi, 26p. Illus. 8 ref. Price: GBP 10.00.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_pdf/2001/crr01388.pdf [in English]
Daftarian H.S., Lushniak B.D., Reh C.M., Lewis D.M.
Evaluation of self-reported skin problems among workers exposed to toluene diisocyanate (TDI) at a foam manufacturing facility
To investigate the dermal effects of toluene diisocyanate (TDI), a cross-sectional study was carried out at a polyurethane foam manufacturing plant. A totla of 114 workers completed a medical questionnaire and provided blood for antibody testing to TDI and other allergens. A subset of participants reporting skin symptoms underwent skin patch testing to a standard diisocyanate panel. Production line workers were more likely to report skin problems than those working in non-production areas (OR 2.66). Age, sex and duration of employment at the plant were comparable among participants working in production and non-production areas. Specific IgG antibody to TDI was detected in two individuals, while none of the samples demonstrated specific IgE antibody to TDI. Of the 26 workers who underwent skin patch testing, none developed reactions to the diisocyanate allergens. These results suggest that skin symptoms represent an irritant rather than an immunological reaction to TDI, or to an unidentified allergen present in the foam.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2002, Vol.44, No.12, p.1197-1202. 30 ref.
Albracht G., Baumert P.
Proceedings of the European Conference on Health and Safety in the Automobile Industry
Proceedings of a conference on occupational safety and health in the automobile industry held in Kassel, Germany, 7-8 March 2002. Participants included representatives from the automobile industry, trade unions, government and occupational safety and health institutions. Main topics covered during the workshop sessions: integration of safety and health in modern occupational safety and health management systems; participation of enterprise councils in corporate health and safety activity; hazards in end-of-life vehicle processing.
Hessisches Sozialministerium, Dostojewskistr. 4, 65187 Wiesbaden, Germany, 2002. 71p. Illus.
Brink L.L., Talbott E.O., Burks J.A., Palmer C.V.
Changes over time in audiometric thresholds in a group of automobile stamping and assembly workers with a hearing conservation program
Noise-induced hearing loss afflicts millions of persons who work in noise above 85dBA. In this study of 301 workers at an automobile assembly plant, measurements were used to construct average lifetime noise exposure and hearing protection compliance estimates for use in modelling to predict total hearing loss and the onset of hearing loss. 16 subjects were found to have hearing loss at the speech frequencies (defined as an average hearing level ≥25dB at 500, 1000 and 2000Hz). In cross-sectional multivariate analyses, years of employment, male sex and proportion of time wearing hearing protection were the factors most associated with hearing loss at the average of 2000, 3000 and 4000Hz. The most consistent predictor of hearing loss in both univariate and multivariate analyses was percentage of time having used hearing protection during the workers' tenure.
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, July-Aug. 2002, Vol.63, No.4, p.482-487. Illus. 27 ref.
Ergonomic evaluation of assembly tasks in the automobile industry
Zur ergonomischen Beurteilung von Montagetätigkeiten in der Automobilindustrie [in German]
Musculoskeletal diseases are responsible for approximately 30% of sickness absenteeism. In industrial enterprises, they are often caused by strenuous work postures which could be improved by better workstation layout, thereby allowing savings in the costs related to these diseases. This publication describes an approach aimed at evaluating work postures in the automobile industry, based on the evaluation of both whole-body postures and postures of the hand-arm system, carried out by independent experts as well as by the workers themselves.
Ergon GmbH, Bruno-Jacobi-Weg 11, 70597 Stuttgart, Germany, 2001. xii,197p. Illus. 169 ref.
Ergonomic evaluation of the work demands during cable ducting work at an automotive component manufacturer
Ergonomische Bewertung der Arbeitsbelastungen in der Kabelbaummontage eines Automobilzuliefererbetriebes [in German]
This report presents the results of an ergonomic evaluation of the physical workload during cable ducting work at an automotive components manufacturer. Work organization and the physical workload demands of various workstations were examined, work postures were recorded and the working environment (climatic conditions and lighting) was evaluated. Organizational and ergonomic measures are proposed for improving working conditions, in particular by designing the layout of workstations so that the elements to be handled are within the reach of workers and limit the demands on the arms, shoulders, neck and back, and by systematically shifting workers between workstations so as to limit monolateral movements.
Sächsisches Landesinstitut für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, Reichsstrasse 39, 09112 Chemnitz, Germany, 2001. 17p. Illus. 15 ref.
http://www.arbeitsschutz-sachsen.de/publications/projektberichte/kabelbaum/kabelbaum.pdf [in German]
Häkkänen M., Viikari-Juntura E., Martikainen R.
Incidence of musculoskeletal disorders among newly employed manufacturing workers
The incidence of low-back, upper-limb and neck-shoulder disorders, as well as their induction times were investigated among 364 new workers of a trailer assembly plant in tasks with various physical workloads who were followed for 45 months. The incidence of first sick leave due to such disorders was recorded for groups having different workloads. The highest annual incidences were observed for strenuous tasks, the incidence rate for men being 16.8 per 100 person-years for upper-limb disorders in strenuous tasks and 6.1 in non-strenuous tasks, the rates for women being 32.0 and 9.9 respectively. For men, there was an approximately threefold risk of contracting an upper-limb or neck-shoulder disorder in strenuous tasks (3.2 for upper-limb disorders and 2.7 for neck-shoulder disorders) compared to non-strenuous tasks, whereas workload seemed not to affect low-back disorders. The workers first sought medical advice for their disorders typically some months after the start of employment.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Dec. 2001, Vol.27, No.6, p.381-387. Illus. 15 ref.
Eisen E.A., Bardin J., Gore R., Woskie S.R., Hallock M.F., Monson R.R.
Exposure-response models based on extended follow-up of a cohort mortality study in the automobile industry
This report describes the extended follow-up of a cohort of 46,399 automobile manufacturing workers with potential exposure to metalworking fluids (MWF). The outcomes of cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, larynx, skin, prostate and brain, as well as leukaemia, were recorded. Standardized mortality ratios were computed for the most recent ten years of follow-up, as well as for the entire study period. Adjusted relative risks were estimated in Poisson regression models. Associations were found between: straight MWF exposure and oesophageal, laryngeal and rectal cancer; soluble MWF exposure and cancer of the oesophagus, larynx, skin and brain; synthetic MWF exposure and cancer of the oesophagus, liver and prostate. These results provide further evidence that exposure to metalworking fluids causes cancer among workers in automobile manufacturing, and that risks of several digestive cancers, prostate cancer and leukaemia, may persist at current levels of exposure to water-based metalworking fluids.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Aug. 2001, Vol.27, No.4, p.240-249. Illus. 29 ref.
Wójcik A., Brzeski Z., Sieklucka-Dziuba M.
Lead levels in body fluids of workers of an automobile factory with clinically diagnosed arterial hypertension
The aim of the study was to evaluate lead levels in body fluids of workers diagnosed with various stages of arterial hypertension who had been subjected to long-term lead exposure at different workplaces. The examination of the patients included medical history, physical examination and biochemical tests of blood and urine in order to assess medical condition in terms of sub-clinical symptoms of lead exposure. No significant differences in mean values of lead in the blood and urine of the studied population compared to the control group. The results do not allow to conclude the existence of an effect of occupational exposure to lead in sub-threshold doses on the development of arterial hypertension, and were within recommended hygiene standards.
AAEM - Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, 2001, Vol.8, No.2, p.285-287. 12 ref.
http://www.aaem.pl/pdf/aaem0140.pdf [in English]
Fredriksson K., Bildt C., Hägg G., Kilbom Å.
The impact on musculoskeletal disorders of changing physical and psychological work environment conditions in the automobile industry
A reorganization of work was performed in the car-body-sealing department at an automobile assembly plant in Sweden. The aim of the present investigation was to study the influence of these changes in working conditions on musculoskeletal disorders. Strenuous postures and movements were assessed by questionnaires, direct measurement recordings and by computer-assisted observations. Psychosocial conditions were assessed by questionnaires and group discussions. The musculoskeletal disorders of the workers were studied by reports from the occupational health care centre and by self-reported musculoskeletal symptoms. A decrease in the time spent in strenuous positions was found, but the work cycle time decreased considerably and the workers felt "robotized". There was a marked decrease in the perception of opportunities to influence the work, as well as the stimulation at work. The amount of musculoskeletal disorders increased, possibly due to an increase in perceived physical exertion and a decrease in occupational pride.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, July 2001, Vol.28, No.1, p.31-45. Illus. 70 ref.
Neumann W.P., Wells R.P., Norman R.W., Frank J., Shannon H., Kerr M.S.
OUBPS Working Group (Ontario Universities Back Pain Study)
A posture and load sampling approach to determining low-back pain risk in occupational settings
Physiological risk factors for low-back pain were studied in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry in Canada sampling specific workloads and postures (involving spinal compressions, hands flexions) associated with reported back-ache. The approach appears useful in providing information in order to reduce the risk of injury musculoskeletal injury.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Feb. 2001, Vol.27, No.2, p.65-77. Illus. 27 ref.
Medical insurance claims and surveillance for occupational disease: Analysis of respiratory, cardiac, and cancer outcomes in auto industry tool grinding operations
To evaluate medical insurance claims for chronic disease investigation, claims from eight automotive machining plants (1984 to 1993) were linked with work histories (1967 to 1993), and associations with respiratory, cardiac, and cancer conditions were investigated in a case-control study. The primary focus was tool grinding, but metalworking, welding, forging, heat treating, engine testing, and diverse-skilled trades work were also investigated. Asthma incidence increased in tool grinding (at mean cumulative duration: odds ratio (OR), 3.0), as did non-ischaemic heart disease (OR 3.1). These trends appeared in models with deficits (OR <1.0) for those ever exposed to tool grinding because of exposure-response miss-specification, demographic confounding, or removal of high-risk workers from the exposed group. The apparent cancer rates identified from claims greatly exceeded the expected rates from a cancer registry, suggesting that diagnostic, "rule-out," and surveillance functions were contributing.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2001, Vol.43, No.4, p.335-346. 41 ref.
Funke U., Faratsch M., Diepgen T.L.
Incidence of work-related hand eczema during apprenticeship: First results of a prospective cohort study in the car industry
A total of 2078 apprentices in the Audi automobile company in Germany were investigated at the start of their apprenticeship and systematically followed up over a 3-year period for occupational contact dermatitis. The 1-year cumulative incidence of hand eczema was 9.2% in metalworkers, 8.8% in other blue-collar workers, and 4.6% in white-collar apprentices, while the 3-year cumulative incidence was 15.3%, 14.1% and 6.9% respectively. Among women, the cumulative incidence was higher than in men (1-year incidence 10.1% versus 8.3%; 3-year incidence 16.1% versus 13.6%). In some occupations, such as in cooks, tool mechanics, milling cutters and painters, the incidence was significantly higher than expected. Within the first six months of apprenticeship, there was a particularly high rate of hand eczema, which then declined and remained steady at a lower rate over the 2nd and the 3rd years. Suggested preventive measures include reducing exposures and offering special medical advice to high-risk groups.
Contact Dermatitis, Mar. 2001, Vol.44, No.3, p.166-172. Illus. 12 ref.
Redlich C.A., Stowe M.H., Wisnewski A.V., Eisen E.A., Karol M.H., Lemus R., Holm C.T., Chung J.S., Sparer J., Liu Y., Woskie S.R., Appiah-Pippim J., Gore R., Cullen M.R.
Subclinical immunologic and physiologic responses in hexamethylene diisocyanate-exposed auto body shop workers
Diisocyanates are potent sensitizing agents and a frequently identified cause of occupational asthma. A cross-sectional field epidemiologic study was conducted to characterize the effects of hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) exposures on auto body shop workers. Data on the 75 subjects enrolled in the study were collected by questionnaire and physiological testing. No overt cases of clinically apparent diisocyanate asthma were identified based on spirometry, methacholine challenge, peak flows, and symptoms. HDI-specific lymphocyte proliferation was present in 30% of HDI-exposed workers and HDI-specific IgG in 34% of HDI-exposed workers, but they were not associated. HDI-specific IgE was detected in two workers. HDI-specific lymphocyte proliferation, increased methacholine responsiveness, and symptoms of chest tightness and shortness of breath were more common in the most heavily HDI-exposed workers, the painters. These findings demonstrate the presence of HDI-specific immune responses in a large proportion of healthy HDI-exposed workers.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, June 2001, Vol.39, No.6, p.587-597. Illus. 31 ref.
Prevention of MSDs: From the unthinkable to the possible - Enterprise approaches
Prévenir les TMS: de l'impensable au possible - Démarches d'entreprises [in French]
After a general overview of the characteristics of musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs), this report presents the results of ergonomic interventions in two enterprises, a pork abattoir and a manufacturer of automotive components. It recounts the history of MDSs occurring in each of the enterprises, together with the preventive actions that were implemented over the years. Finally, it describes the "rapid diagnosis" interventions that were carried out in both enterprises, together with the resulting recommendations for improvements in ergonomic and working conditions.
Agence Nationale pour l'Amélioration des Conditions de Travail, 4, quai des Etroits, 69321 Lyon Cedex 05, France, Mar. 2000. 69p. Illus. 13 ref. Price: EUR 11.43.
Brühl P., Grenner J.
Impact noise exposure from sheet-metal presses: Manual versus automated production
Noise exposure was measured in a sheet-metal pressing plant in Sweden with large punch-presses, using individual dosimetry in ten workers during sixteen workdays. A comparison was made between noise doses for workers on a manual production line and on an automated line, with five workers on each line. Although automation increased noise emission, it was found that noise exposures by the workers were significantly reduced on the automated production line. The weighted equivalent noise level was 91.2dB for six hours in the manual production line and 90.0dB in the automated line. However, the most important factor in noise reduction was that the number of noise-exposed workers was reduced from thirteen to six as a consequence of automation.
Acustica, 2000, Vol.86, p.378-380. Illus. 8 ref.
Punnett L., Fine L.J., Keyserling W.M., Herrin G.D., Chaffin D.B.
Shoulder disorders and postural stress in automobile assembly work
A case-control study was conducted in an automobile assembly plant. The cases were 79 workers who reported shoulder pain and met symptom criteria in an interview. More than one-half also had positive findings in a physical examination. The 124 controls were randomly selected workers free of shoulder disorders. For each participant, the job was analysed for postural and biomechanical demands by an analyst blinded to case-referent status. 41% of the subjects flexed or abducted the right arm "severely" (above 90°) during the job cycle, and 35% did so with the left arm. Shoulder disorders were associated with severe flexion or abduction of the left (odds ratio (OR) 3.2) and the right (OR 2.3) shoulder. The risk increased as the proportion of the work cycle exposed increased. The findings support the conclusion that severe shoulder flexion or abduction, especially for 10% or more of the work cycle, is predictive of chronic or recurrent shoulder disorders.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, Aug. 2000, Vol.26, No.4, p.283-291. Illus. 42 ref.
Fernandez J.A., Daltuva J.A., Robins T.G.
Industrial emergency response training: An assessment of long-term impact of a union-based program
The long-term impact of the United Automobile Workers' (UAW) Industrial Emergency Response Training on health and safety conditions and practices in plants is described. Two strategies are combined in this 24-hour training: the use of peer (worker) trainers and a participant-centred approach, the Small Group Activity Method (SGAM). Impact was assessed through a telephone survey of 67 trainees conducted on average 16.8 months post-training. 74% of trainees reported using at least one of the provided written training manuals. Of those reporting an accident in their facility after training, 88% said it was handled differently because of training. Participants report that peer trainers are more knowledgeable and communicate better than do other types of trainers; they also reported that SGAM made training more applicable to their workplace and 98.5% liked the methods used.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Nov. 2000, Vol.38, No.5, p.598-605. Illus. 6 ref.
Neale A.V., Demers R.Y., Severson R.K.
Consistency of occupational exposure history from pattern and model markers
This study investigates the consistency of occupational histories reported by the same men in 1985 and again in 1988. Detroit-area pattern and model makers participating in a colorectal cancer screening programme completed a career length occupational exposure questionnaire at each screening. Analysis of the data from the 243 men who participated in both screening programmes provided the opportunity to examine the consistency with which these workers reported the extent of their exposure to 13 substances commonly found in their work environment. Workers were asked to provide a work history, and for each different pattern or model maker job they had held, to estimate the percentage of time they were exposed to the 13 substances. The data indicated a high consistency over the 3-year study period for substances to which they had been exposed and the exposure time. These findings suggest that skilled tradesman can provide useful occupational exposure information for occupational physicians.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2000, Vol.42, No.1, p.76-82. 13 ref.
Rosenman K.D., Gardiner J.C., Wang J., Biddle J., Hogan A., Reilly M.J., Roberts K., Welch E.
Why most workers with occupational repetitive trauma do not file for workers' compensation
Despite the availability of no-fault insurance for wage replacement and medical care costs, the majority of workers diagnosed with an occupational disease do not apply for workers' compensation. The objective of the study was to determine the reasons why workers diagnosed with work-related musculoskeletal disease did not apply for workers' compensation benefits. A cross-sectional study of 1,598 individuals diagnosed with neck, upper extremity, and low back work-related musculoskeletal disease in the state of Michigan (USA) was performed. The study showed that that only 25% of these workers filed for workers' compensation and refutes the common perception that an individual with a work-related problem is likely to file for a workers' compensation claim. The strongest predictors of who would file were associated with the severity of the condition. Other factors were increasing length of employment, lower annual income, and worker dissatisfaction with coworkers. The study population consisted mainly of unionized autoworkers, and the findings may not be generalizable to the total workforce.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2000, Vol.42, No.1, p.25-34. 16 ref.
Kazerouni N., Thomas T.L., Petralia S.A., Hayes R.B.
Mortality among workers exposed to cutting oil mist: Update of previous reports
Earlier reports of the mortality of this cohort of automotive workers exposed to cutting oil mist followed from 1938 to 1967 noted an excess of gastrointestinal cancer. This report describes the mortality of the same workers until 1980. Cause-specific standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated by comparing the observed number of deaths to the expected numbers based on rates for the U.S. male population. The SMRs for cancers of the liver and biliary tract, as well as for testicular cancers, were significantly elevated. Among the subset of workers with heavy oil mist exposure, SMRs were significantly elevated for cancers of the lung and testis, and for Hodgkin's disease. The risk of death due to lung cancer was greatest among workers with heavy exposure to oil mist and employed for 15 or more years. Mortality due to stomach cancer was in excess among workers with heavy exposure to oil mist who were employed for 5 or more years. There were also significant excesses of deaths due to asthma and emphysema.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2000, Vol.38, No.4, p.410-416. 38 ref.
Conditions for maintaining ageing operators at work - A case study conducted at an automobile manufacturing plant
The relationship between mental workload and ageing in an automobile manufacturing company was investigated. Demographic trends and work organization determine the conditions under which older workers can work in repetitive tasks under tight time constraints. The methodology is based on comparing workers of different ages at their regular workstations and during the training process for conducting new tasks. The older workers appear to develop health-preserving approaches to work while achieving production goals. The possibility of setting up such strategies depends on the task characteristics. More generally, this study allows a better understanding of why some older workers are excluded from certain tasks, and thus why "polyvalency" or job rotation decreases with age.
Applied Ergonomics, Oct. 2000, Vol.31, No.5, p.453-462. Illus. 15 ref.
Giraud Loyo A., González Rodríguez F., Alcalde Lapiedra V.
Investigation carried out on the assembly line of an automobile factory in order to determine possible risk factors for cumulative trauma disorders
Estudio realizado en una cadena de montaje de automóviles para determinar los posibles factores de risego asociados a las lesiones por microtraumatismos repetitivos [in Spanish]
Topics: elbow; ergonomic evaluation; hand; intensity of work; job study; length of exposure; lumbar column; motor vehicle industry; repetitive strain injury; risk factors; shoulder; work posture; wrist.
Mapfre seguridad, 3rd Quarter 1999, Vol.19, No.75, p.23-31. Illus. 33 ref.
Engström T., Hanse J.J., Kadefors R.
Musculoskeletal symptoms due to technical preconditions in long cycle time work in an automobile assembly plant: A study of prevalence and relation to psychosocial factors and physical exposure
The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevailing ergonomic conditions in a parallelized flow, long-cycle time assembly system. The evaluation focussed on physical exposure, psychosocial factors and work-related musculoskeletal symptoms. A random sample of 67 assembly operators was included in a cross-sectional study mainly based on questionnaires. Hand/wrist symptoms were common and related to work exposure with hand-held powered tools. In general, the self-reported physical exposure showed only a few significant associations with musculoskeletal symptoms. This may in part be explained by the ergonomic conditions generally being good, with a relatively low duration of "combined" extreme work postures. Significant associations were found between the psychosocial work environment and musculoskeletal symptoms.
Applied Ergonomics, Oct. 1999, Vol.30, No.5, p.443-453. Illus. 42 ref.
Hermans V., Hautekiet M., Spaepen A., Cobbaut L., De Clerq J.
Influence of material handling devices on the physical load during the end assembly of cars
The effect of using a mechanical device on physical load was analysed during the end assembly of cars. Five tasks, further sub-divided into lifting and positioning, were performed by someone experienced in working with and without the mechanical tool. A practical methodology was used: the subjective walk and talk through method, the NIOSH equation (1991), a three-dimensional goniometer (Back Tracker) and surface electromyography (EMG) of the relevant muscle groups. According to the NIOSH equation, 8 out of 10 of the tasks should only be performed by trained workers and preferably with tools. The Back Tracker revealed that the mechanical tools reduced posture angles significantly (p≤0.05) for installing the windows, but not for left lateroflexion during pre-assembly of windows. It was clear from the EMG analysis that using tools did not always decrease muscular activity significantly. In general, the appropriateness of each tool needs to be evaluated separately taking subjective criteria into account.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Oct. 1999, Vol.24, No.6, p.657-664. Illus. 15 ref.
Forsman M., Sandsjö L., Kadefors R.
Synchronized exposure and image presentation: Analysis of digital EMG and video recordings of work sequences
To relate ergonomic assessment of work to specific situations or tasks performed in the course of work, it may be important to identify particularly strenuous tasks and to analyse the mix of high and low load periods. Ergonomic analysis methods include observation methods as well as physiological measurements, such as electromyography (EMG). This paper describes SEIP (Synchronized Exposure and Image Presentation), which integrates video recordings with simultaneously recorded exposure signals on a regular PC display. An example includes a sequence from a car assembly plant where EMG was recorded from the trapezius and the wrist extensor muscles of a worker, while he was video recorded while performing his regular work. It was concluded that SEIP is easy to use and is pedagogic when comparing different work methods. It unites observational methods and direct physiological measurements, thus offering the practicing ergonomist a more complete picture of the work being studied.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, June 1999, Vol.24, No.3, p.261-272. Illus. 19 ref.
Collins J.W., Smith G.S., Baker S.P., Landsittel D.P., Warner M.
A case-control study of forklift and other powered industrial vehicle incidents
A study was conducted to examine powered industrial vehicle (PIV) incidents at eight automotive manufacturing plants. 171 incidents where a PIV was involved in a collision were identified. Site visits were conducted to collect data regarding the collision site, the PIVs involved in the incidents, and driver characteristics, which were compared with information from a sample of worksites, PIVs, and PIV drivers who had not been involved in a PIV-related incident in the previous three years. In half of the cases, a pedestrian was struck by a PIV or an object being carried by the PIV. Obstructions that restricted the aisle width increased the odds of a collision incident 1.89 times. Overhead mirrors at intersections and blind corners with limited visibility reduced the odds of a PIV collision incident by a third. When carrying a load, the odds of a PIV being involved in a collision was 1.58 times greater than an unloaded one. Changes in the factory environment, vehicle safety features and driver and pedestrian training are suggested to reduce the risk of PIV incidents.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Nov. 1999, Vol.36, No.5, p.522-531. Illus. 20 ref.
Collins J.W., Smith G.S., Baker S.P., Warner M.
Injuries related to forklifts and other powered industrial vehicles in automobile manufacturing
In the United States, approximately 100 workers are fatally injured each year in forklift and other powered industrial vehicle (PIV) incidents, and an estimated 34,000 work-related injuries involving forklifts are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year. 916 incidents involving forklifts and other PIVs that occurred in 54 plants operated by a major U.S. automobile manufacturer over a 3-year period were analysed. The incidents resulted in 3 fatalities and 913 nonfatal injuries. The most common incident involved pedestrians (35%) who were struck by a PIV, the load being carried by a PIV or a rack or bin that had been struck by a PIV. Of the 913 nonfatal injuries, 41% resulted in an employee missing work, incurring 22,730 lost workdays, an average of 61 days per lost workday incident. Recommendations to reduce the risk of injury include separating PIVs and pedestrian traffic, restricting the use of forklifts in an area where a large number of pedestrians travel and improving the training of all personnel who drive.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Nov. 1999, Vol.36, No.5, p.513-521. 7 ref.
The automobile industry faced with an ageing workforce
L'industrie automobile face au vieillissement [in French]
Topics: age; backache; ergonomic evaluation; ergonomics; job study; motor vehicle industry; musculoskeletal diseases; physical workload; upper extremity disorders; work organization; work posture; workplace design.
Travail et sécurité, June 1999, No.585, p.22-28. Illus.
Zetterberg C., Öfverholm T.
Carpal tunnel syndrome and other wrist/hand symptoms and signs in male and female car assembly workers
This study of 564 car assembly workers, 440 men 124 women doing the same work, focussed on subjective symptoms and physical examination signs concerning the wrist/hand. Attempts to find specific exposure factors of importance were also made. Women had more subjective wrist/hand symptoms and physical signs from joints, tendons and nerves than had men. Anthropometric measures such as wrist diameters, height, weight or body mass index did not explain the signs. There were correlations between female sex, smoking and signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. In a subset of 15 workers, there were no cases with lowered nerve conduction velocity, but four with decreased thermotest threshold among those with numbness, Phalen's or Tinel's signs. Topics: assembly-line work; body mechanics; carpal-tunnel syndrome; epidemiologic study; hand; median nerve; motor vehicle industry; nervous conduction; Raynaud's phenomenon; repetitive work; risk factors; sensation thresholds; sex-linked differences; smoking; upper extremity disorders; wrist.
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Mar. 1999, Vol.23, No.3, p.193-204. 65 ref.
Fox J., Anderson H., Moen T., Gruetzmacher G., Hanrahan L., Fink J.
Metal working fluid-associated hypersensivity pneumonitis: An outbreak investigation and case-control study
Occupational exposure to bacterial or fungal antigens has been associated with hypersensivity pneumonitis (HP), an immunologically-mediated pulmonary disease. 34 employees working in machining and assembly areas of an engine manufacturing plant were clinically diagnosed with HP. Of these, 20 employees met an epidemiologic case definition. In a case-control study, no exposure variables, including duration and intensity of metal working fluid (MWF) exposure, were statistically associated with an increased risk of disease. Neither cases nor controls demonstrated precipitin reactivity against unused samples of the seven MWF and two biocides used in the plant. HP cases had a significantly higher prevalence of positive precipitin reactions to used oil-soluble and synthetic MWFs. Reactivity to used but not unused MWF suggests a biocontaminant, probably bacteria or fungi, is the causative antigen in the development of HP in this setting. Topics: allergens; antigens; bacteria; biocides; case-control study; cutting fluids; extrinsic allergic alveolitis; fungi; motor vehicle industry; pulmonary function; serological reactions; serum precipitins; used oils.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Jan. 1999, Vol.35, No.1, p.58-67. Illus. 32 ref.
Vehicle repair and servicing
Réparation et entretien des véhicules automobiles [in French]
Replaces CIS 95-93. In France, the frequency rate of occupational accidents occurring in vehicle repair shops if far above the national average. This type of work is generally carried out by small enterprises where hazards are of many different kinds. This guide, intended for employers, reviews preventive measures to be applied. Topics: brake linings; check lists; dangerous substances; electrical safety; explosion hazards; fire hazards; France; garages; hand tools; high-pressure jet cleaning; housekeeping; legislation; materials handling; motor vehicle industry; noise; paint spraying; personal protective equipment; safety engineering; safety guides; small enterprises; storage batteries; toxic substances; training material; tyre mounting and inflation; vehicle inspection pits; vehicle repair and servicing; welding and cutting.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité (INRS), 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, 2nd ed., Dec. 1998. 72p. Illus. Bibl.ref.
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