CRANE, Ind. - Crane Army Ammunition Activity improved its industrial hygiene office this summer in an effort to strengthen its safety conditions and improve the quality of the workplace for its employees.

The industrial hygiene program, which monitors the workplace environment to ensure that employees are kept safe from a wide-array of hazards, previously was handled by Crane Navy. Following a review by the Voluntary Protection program, Crane Army decided it needed to increase this program.

"CAAA has a very diverse workforce. We have personnel that work with hazardous chemicals, explosives, machining operations, maintenance and other activities. It is very important that these operations are reviewed by an industrial hygienist," Crane Army Safety Officer Walt Shearin said. "The IH will sample the work site for noise, chemicals, lighting, temperature and ergonomic related issues. They recommend engineering controls, substitution and/or personal protective equipment needed to protect the workers."

Shearin stated the industrial hygiene team conducts noise sampling, lighting surveys, sampling for worker exposures to hazardous chemicals, ergonomic reviews, heat stress monitoring, responding to worker complaints, documenting surveys through survey reports, ensuring employees exposed to noise or hazardous chemicals receive proper medical monitoring, working with engineers and technicians on work site design, reviewing SOPs, conducting line checks and pre-ops, training etc. etc.

According to Brian Dowell, Crane Army Industrial Hygienist tasked in December 2008 to help build an industrial hygiene program for CAAA, the goal of the team is geared toward improving the industrial hygiene program while maintaining a strong focus and commitment to worker safety and health.

Dowell is joined by Crane Navy Industrial Hygienist John Somuk, Concurrent Technologies Corporation industrial hygienist Tyson Crews, and summer interns Genevieve Viduya and Juhwon Peoples.

Viduya, a senior at Purdue University with a double major in Occupational Health
Science and Environmental Health Science, being on the new team enabled her to hone new skills that she has been learning at college.

"I've had some IH lab experience with respirator fit testing, noise dosimetry, noise mapping, air particulates and organic vapor sampling. Being able to work with the different types of instruments in class has allowed me to become more comfortable with
working with them in the actual work field."

Peoples, who had interned with Crane Army the previous winter, stated his previous experience at the activity helped him with adjusting onto the new team. He added that one of the biggest challenges facing the new team was in the workload.

"Being understaffed and engaging in heavy workloads provides a challenge to get the interns trained in all the possible areas," Peoples said. That concern did not seem to faze him though, as he added, "Our main concern is the safety of the workers. We are dedicated to insure safe work practices, and prevent accidents from occurring."

CAAA was established in Oct. 1977 and is a tenant of the Navy Region Midwest, Naval Support Activity Crane. The Army activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components.

Page last updated Thu August 13th, 2009 at 11:48