Anthrax Exposure

When letters containing anthrax were found in a mailroom, Dimensions helped protect employees from exposure.

the issues

In 2001 Dimensions was working with a company that made and serviced high-speed mail processing equipment. They oversaw the mailroom in the Washington Senate Bldg. and had service employees on site full time. The site received and processed a number of letters containing anthrax in what was thought to be terrorist activity. As a result the employees working on site ran the risk of anthrax exposure in mail processing, a virtually unheard of occupational exposure.

the goals

Dimensions was called by the company to help protect the service employees from possible anthrax exposure.

the process

Dimensions first interviewed management and workers regarding current work practices. Dimensions then researched bacillus anthracis to develop a protection plan. Finally Dimensions delivered a program that incorporated employee training and the use of PPE including respirators. At the time there was virtually no information regarding anthrax exposure in mail room workers. Anthrax had very low occupational incidence and was limited to agriculture exposures.

the outcome

Our research, development and implementation of worker protective programs was implemented at this private company and was ultimately adopted by the United States Postal Service as a standard of practice.

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