On June 28, 2006, a Task Force conducted an intervention at a street-side debris removal site in East Orleans. Two Ineligible Waste Inspectors employed by EE&G, a subcontractor to Phillips and Jordan, were segregating waste to remove high-hazardous waste. A bobcat operator, employed by D&A Contractors was loading the high-hazardous waste-free debris into trucks for removal. The pace of the work was dictated by the speed with which the bobcat operator was removing debris. The Ineligible Waste Inspectors, who were working at a light to moderate work rate to stay ahead of the bobcat operator, were wearing Tyvek suits, half-mask respirators, reflective vests, gloves, hard hats, and heavy clothing. During the intervention, the Task Force noticed that one of the Ineligible Waste Inspectors was sweating profusely, appeared to be fatigued, and had a glazed look on her face. The Task Force asked the Ineligible Waste Inspectors to be seated in the shade of a tree, and recommended they obtain water from the contractor, which they did. Heat stress monitoring conducted during the intervention indicated that a 50% work-50% rest regimen was recommended for this activity. The symptoms and effects of heat stress, and the results of the monitoring, were discussed with the Ineligible Waste Inspectors and the bobcat operator. The bobcat operator stated he was not aware of the heat load to which the Ineligible Waste Inspectors were subject, and immediately stopped work to allow the entire crew to rest and hydrate. He also agreed to use the 50% work-50% rest regimen for future work under these conditions. When representatives of Philips and Jordan and USACE, who had been informed of OSHA’s intervention, arrived on-site, the Task Force briefed them on the results of the intervention. The Phillips and Jordan and USACE representatives thanked the Task Force for their intervention and stated that the intervention and heat stress would be topics of their morning safety meeting scheduled for June 29th.
Task Force members:
Justin Rogers Safety Specialist Verona, VA
Warren Rice Industrial Hygienist Richmond, VA