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Health Physics Technician Injury Reduction.

Bump, Stephen; Whitten, Dianne; Caballero, Marta; Banaszynski, Judy; Keelean, Kathy; Miller, John

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Abstract

As part of a safety swnmit sponsored by Fluor Harrford Occupational Health and safety, it was noted that Health Physics Technicians (HPTs) have one of the highest injury rates at Hunford. A multi-disciplined team made up of HPTs, health physics professionals, health physics management, industrial hygienists, and medical personnel was established to determine causes and corrective actions. Committee activities included reviewing and characterizing occupational injuries and illnesses, assessing areas affecting the health of HPTs, soliciting field input, performing field evaluations of tasks, and making recommendations for improvements to senior management. Five areas showed a interface (human factors and ergonomics), work environment, procedures, people, and communications. A key area of risk identified is the lack of ergonomic design consideration of the survey instruments currently used. There are several case of cumulative trauma disorder requiring surgery. These cases are directly related to use of health physics instrumentation and/or survey techniques. The commit has mad ergonomics and instrument redesign/modification its key initiative for 2001. The committee is encouraging vendor support and is seeking feedback from other health physics organizations regarding their experience and any recommendations they would like to make. Some success has already been achieved through an ergonomics-training program aimed at all HPTs and their supervisors. In addition, there have been several changes made to the way surveys are conducted, survey frequencies have been reduced, and the way modifications have been made to existing instrumentation. This is a long-tern initiative with broad support within the Hanford HPT community. This document reports the progress made thus far on the initiative.

(C)2002Health Physics Society

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