[Medical aspects of the environmental sanitation of workplaces in compressed air work in Japan]

Sangyo Igaku. 1987 Jan;29(1):74-81. doi: 10.1539/joh1959.29.74.
[Article in Japanese]


Actual follow-up investigations were made for a period of 5 yr and 10 months since February 1980 on 55 places of caisson and shield work. The maximum bottom pressure in caisson work was 3.6 kg/cm2 (4.6 ATA) and that of shield work was 1.6 kg/cm2. The number of exposures of workers was 23,737 in caisson work and 75,244 in shield work. The items of geomedical measurements were temperature (degrees C), humidity, dust, illumination, noise, oxygen, carbonic acid gas and others. In compressed air work, it is most important to prevent decompression sickness (bends) from the view of occupational health. The incidence of bends has decreased in recent years because of strict control by regulations. Environmental hygiene, however, has seldom been discussed in this field and little geomedical control has been made on compressed air work. In view of this situation, we have, therefore, studied, observed, and measured the hygienic factors of this work during the past five years. This investigation is without doubt the first of its kind in Japan and the areas covered most of the regions where compressed air works have been made in the past. From these results, it can be concluded as follows: The working temperature was controlled, but humidity was too high (nearly 90%). Illumination was insufficient. Dust was a problem, but high humidity played an important role in decreasing the volume. The environment was noisy. It is therefore natural that environmental studies should be continued and hygienic consideration be further emphasized in compressed air work.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Atmospheric Pressure*
  • Dust
  • Engineering*
  • Environmental Health
  • Humans
  • Lighting
  • Noise
  • Temperature


  • Dust