Manual Occupational Hazards

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Note: Many hazards can be identified using common knowledge and available tools. For example, you can easily identify and correct hazards associated with broken stair rails and frayed electrical cords. Workers can be a very useful internal resource, especially if they are trained in how to identify and assess risks. Identifying workers' exposure to health hazards is typically more complex than identifying physical safety hazards. For example, gases and vapors may be invisible, often have no odor, and may not have an immediately noticeable harmful health effect.

Health hazards include chemical hazards solvents, adhesives, paints, toxic dusts, etc. Note: Identifying and assessing health hazards may require specialized knowledge.

Small businesses can obtain free and confidential occupational safety and health advice services, including help identifying and assessing workplace hazards, through OSHA's On-site Consultation Program. By thoroughly investigating incidents and reports, you will identify hazards that are likely to cause future harm. The purpose of an investigation must always be to identify the root causes and there is often more than one of the incident or concern, in order to prevent future occurrences.

Effective incident investigations do not stop at identifying a single factor that triggered an incident. They ask the questions "Why? It asks such questions as: "Was the worker provided with appropriate tools and time to do the work? OSHA must be notified within 8 hours of a work-related fatality, and within 24 hours of an amputation, loss of an eye, or inpatient hospitalization. Emergencies present hazards that need to be recognized and understood.

Plans and procedures need to be developed for responding appropriately and safely to hazards associated with foreseeable emergency scenarios and nonroutine situations. The next step is to assess and understand the hazards identified and the types of incidents that could result from worker exposure to those hazards. This information can be used to develop interim controls and to prioritize hazards for permanent control. Note: "Risk" is the product of hazard and exposure.

Thus, risk can be reduced by controlling or eliminating the hazard or by reducing workers' exposure to hazards. An assessment of risk helps employers understand hazards in the context of their own workplace and prioritize hazards for permanent control. The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server.

The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs.

Hazard Identification and Assessment One of the "root causes" of workplace injuries, illnesses, and incidents is the failure to identify or recognize hazards that are present, or that could have been anticipated.


To identify and assess hazards, employers and workers: Collect and review information about the hazards present or likely to be present in the workplace. Conduct initial and periodic workplace inspections of the workplace to identify new or recurring hazards. Group similar incidents and identify trends in injuries, illnesses, and hazards reported.

Consider hazards associated with emergency or nonroutine situations. Determine the severity and likelihood of incidents that could result for each hazard identified, and use this information to prioritize corrective actions. How to accomplish it Collect, organize, and review information with workers to determine what types of hazards may be present and which workers may be exposed or potentially exposed. Information available in the workplace may include: Equipment and machinery operating manuals. Self-inspection reports and inspection reports from insurance carriers, government agencies, and consultants.

Records of previous injuries and illnesses, such as OSHA and logs and reports of incident investigations. Workers' compensation records and reports. Patterns of frequently-occurring injuries and illnesses. Input from workers, including surveys or minutes from safety and health committee meetings. Results of job hazard analyses, also known as job safety analyses. Trade associations.

Safety and health consultants. Action item 2: Inspect the workplace for safety hazards Hazards can be introduced over time as workstations and processes change, equipment or tools become worn, maintenance is neglected, or housekeeping practices decline. A total of randomly selected paint factory workers were involved in the study. A well-structured World Health Organization standard questionnaire was designed and distributed to the workers to elicit information on awareness to occupational hazards, use of personal protective devices, and commonly experienced adverse symptoms. Urine samples were obtained from 50 workers randomly selected from these participants, and the concentrations of the heavy metals lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium were determined using atomic absorption spectroscopy.

Occupational hazards

The results show that The need to develop effective frameworks that will initiate the integration and ensure implementation of safety regulations in paint factories is evident. Where these exist, there is a need to promote adherence to these practice guidelines. Work has its positive health-promoting effects, as the financial dividend provides the worker with the basic necessities of life [1]. The aforementioned translates into healthy well-being, job satisfaction, and ultimately, higher productivity.

There is, however, a reciprocal and interactive relationship between the workers and the work environment [2]. The knowledge of these interactions between work and health is fundamental in understanding and practicing occupational health and safety [3] , but the importance of safety at the workplace is often overlooked [4]. Occupational hazard is the risk, harm, or danger that an individual is exposed to at the workplace, whereas occupational diseases result from such exposures to the individual [5,6].

Although these occupational diseases appear to occur less frequently than other major debilitating diseases, there is evidence that they affect a considerable number of people, particularly in rapidly industrializing countries e. During work periods, workers are faced with a variety of hazards almost as numerous as the different types of work, including chemicals, biological agents, physical factors, and adverse ergonomic conditions.

These are responsible for a variety of health consequences [4]. Chemical substances, and their derivatives, are widely used in many sectors including industry, agriculture, mining, water purification, public health—particularly disease eradication—and infrastructure development. Their utilization has brought immense benefits to mankind. However, the production, storage, transportation, and removal of these substances can pose risks to people and the environment, and at the same time it has had negative impacts on human health and safety [8].

Solvents used in the paint industry for example have been shown in numerous studies to be the cause for negative health symptoms that include the central and peripheral nervous system as well as other organ systems. The studies show exposure related negative effects, most commonly on tests of psychomotor function and short-term memory. Also, some chemicals organic and inorganic used in paint industries contain heavy metals with known risks. Usually, the manufacture of paints involves a wide variety of raw materials that contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium pigments, and fungicides such as mercuric oxide [15] in the production process, which can present with medical hazards, some of which are easily recognized and others that may remain undetected for many years [16—18].

Lead and mercury, for example, have a serious and irreversible impact on the mental development of children [8]. Adults may also experience high blood pressure, fatigue, kidney, and brain disturbances [19]. Chronic exposure to heavy metals may also lead to skin eruptions, intestinal ulcer, and different types of cancers [20]. To control these medical hazards, particularly in relation to heavy metals, there are coordinated safety initiatives introduced to limit heavy metal exposures in the paint industry thereby preventing negative health effects.

PPDs are usually the last line of defense and usually used in conjunction with one or more of the other control measures [21]. The consequences of not following these practice guidelines can be fatal as control of these hazards is the key to reducing the risk of injury and illness among workers in this industry [18]. Our intention was to assess the awareness of workers on the occupational hazards present at work and the safety measures necessary in paint production factories. The study was also intended to highlight the common negative health symptoms experienced by paint factory workers.

Another objective was to quantify the heavy metal concentrations in the urine of some selected paint factory workers. The study was designed to assess the occupational safety and concentration of heavy metals in the urine samples obtained from paint factory workers in Lagos West Senatorial District, Nigeria.

The paint factory workers studied were factory production workers who were involved in the process of mixing raw materials and paint production, packaging of manufactured paints, and loading of paints into vehicles for appropriate distribution and marketing. A properly structured questionnaire adapted from the World Health Organization was used as a tool for data collection [5]. This study was undertaken for a period of 2 months.

A total of consenting respondents were included in this study. This sample size has been found to be adequate for such a cross-sectional study [22]. The inclusion criteria called for factory workers in paint production factories in Lagos West Senatorial District. The estimated number of paint manufacturing establishments in Nigeria is , of which are located within the three senatorial districts of Lagos.

Ten factory workers were then randomly selected from each paint manufacturing establishment, making a total of respondents. A self-administered well-structured standard questionnaire was designed and distributed to factory workers with the assistance of the factory supervisor for the purpose of gathering information from the respondents. The questionnaire elicited information on personal data, awareness of occupational hazards, and use of PPDs.

They were also made to understand that participation in the study was voluntary and strict confidentiality was to be maintained.

Occupational Hazards

Fifty consenting factory workers were randomly selected from the factory workers for urine heavy metals determination assay. The selected participants paint factory workers were age matched with the control participants nonpaint factory workers who were selected randomly from consenting students in the Department of Chemistry, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria.

The urine samples were analyzed for heavy metals lead, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium concentrations using atomic absorption spectroscopy Buck Scientific Inc. Connecticut, USA. The beaker was brought down from the hot plate to cool to room temperature. The specific wavelengths used were as follows: chromium, The calibration yielded a straight line, and the absorbance of solutions of unknown concentrations was measured and the concentration was determined from the calibration curve. The Student t test analysis was used to determine the differences between samples. It was observed that the majority of the respondents were within the age range of 25—34 years The collected data revealed that the majority of the paint factory workers had secondary education The results show that among our respondents, the level of occupational hazard awareness is high However, the majority Some of the respondents The results reveal that the larger percentages of the respondents do not use these devices.

In detail, Headache was the most frequently reported health effect Others include chronic fatigue Number of participants for each group, Over the past half-century, there has been an accelerated release of artificial chemicals into the environment, many of whose impacts are not well known. We do know, however, that industrial development in many countries has carried along with it significant health implications, which are narrowly defined by those concerned with occupational or individual health safety, as the health consequences of workers exposed to specific hazardous processes, materials, or environmental conditions are associated with the workplace [6].

The aim of this study is to provide data that will indicate the risks posed to factory workers in the paint industry, particularly from exposure to raw materials and solvents containing heavy metals and thus provide an impetus that will drive implementation of occupational safety standards. This is especially important because, although progress has been made in developing a regional framework for the management of chemicals throughout their life cycle—production, transportation, storage, use, and disposal—much still needs to be done in integrating them for implementation [8].

A previous study in Tanzania also reported a low use of PPDs [24]. The gross inadequacy of adherence to occupational safety measures is further highlighted when specific PPD use is evaluated: In controlling medical hazards in the paint industry especially for heavy metals, safety measures are directed at limiting heavy metal exposures. The use of PPDs is strongly recommended and is usually in conjunction with one or more of the other control measures [21]. Although this study did not directly link the cause of these effects to the chemicals solvents and heavy metals containing raw materials used in this industry, previous investigations have shown that they are linked.

A decrease in olfactory functions [28] , such as reduced two-point discrimination ability in the lower extremities [10] and color vision loss [29] , has also been reported. Human exposure to lead is common and results from the numerous uses of this metal because of its exceptional properties. The industrial use of lead is common in the manufacture of corrosion- and acid-resistant materials used in the building industry. In occupational settings, the major routes of lead exposure are inhalation and ingestion of lead-bearing dusts and fumes.

Independent of the route of exposure, absorbed lead is primarily excreted in urine and feces; sweat, saliva, hair and nails, and breast milk are minor routes of excretion [30]. Measurements of urinary lead levels have been used to assess lead exposure [31—33]. In a recent study of Egyptian policemen, urinary excretion was positively correlated with duration of exposure to lead from automobile exhaust [33].

However, urinary lead excretion reflects, mainly, recent exposure and, thus, shares many of the same limitations for assessing lead body burden or long-term exposure [34]. Drawing inference from this, the results show that workers in paint factories are acutely at least twice at risk for exposure to lead than the general population. Symptoms of acute lead poisoning are headache, irritability, abdominal pain, and various symptoms related to the nervous system—symptoms that are also reported by the respondents in this study.

Except for those who live near cadmium-emitting industries, inhalation of cadmium in the ambient air may occur but is not a major source of exposure. Smokers and people living in contaminated areas have higher urinary cadmium concentrations, with smokers having about twice as high concentrations as nonsmokers [35]. Blood cadmium tends to reflect recent exposures and urinary cadmium reflects cumulative cadmium exposure and body burden particularly, kidney cadmium levels.

Sensitive areas are the kidney and bone following oral exposure, and the kidney and lung following inhalation exposure. Although acute pulmonary effects and deaths are uncommon, sporadic cases still occur [36]. Because the toxicity of cadmium is dependent on its concentration in the kidney, adverse effects in humans are typically not observed after shorter durations. Cadmium excretion in urine of occupationally exposed workers increases proportionally with body burden of cadmium, but the amount of cadmium excreted represents only a small fraction of the total body burden unless renal damage is present; in this case, urinary cadmium excretion markedly increases [37].

It has been suggested that the tubular damage is reversible [38] , but there is overwhelming evidence that the cadmium-induced tubular damage is indeed irreversible [35]. Baring cases of renal damage, our results suggest that workers in paint factories have on average six times the cadmium body burden of the general population. The principal route of exposure to arsenic for the general population is likely to be the oral route, and exposure to arsenic from other pathways is generally small, but may be significant for areas with high levels of arsenic contamination particularly in occupational settings.

Increased risk of lung cancer, respiratory irritation, nausea, skin effects, and neurological effects have been reported following inhalation exposure [39]. Human data suggest that dermal or respiratory effects may be the most prevalent [40,41] ; respiratory or immunological effects appeared to be the most common following inhalation exposure to inorganic arsenic in animals [42].

In occupational settings, only small amounts of arsenic will be absorbed through the dermal route, so this is usually not a source of concern.

However, typical dermal effects that may follow both oral and dermal exposure include hyperkeratinization of the skin especially on the palms and soles , formation of multiple hyperkeratinized corns or warts, and hyperpigmentation of the skin with interspersed spots of hypopigmentation. Arsenic is a known human carcinogen by both inhalation and oral exposure routes [39]. By the inhalation route, the primary tumor types are respiratory system cancers, although a few reports have noted increased incidence of tumors at other sites, including the liver, skin, and digestive tract [39].

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We can thus infer that paint factory workers may be exposed to as high as 20 times more arsenic than the general population. The time course of excretion in humans exposed by inhalation has not been thoroughly investigated, but urinary arsenic levels in workers in a smelter rose within hours after they came to work on Monday and then fell over the weekend [43]. This implies that excretion is fairly rapid, and this is supported by intratracheal studies in rats [44] and hamsters [45] , where whole-body clearance of administered arsenate or arsenite occurred with a half-time of 1 day or less.

Chromates are used in the manufacture of cements, leather products, anticorrosives, and paints. The primary route of exposure in nonoccupational workers is through contaminated food ingestion. Present-day workers in chromium-related industries can be exposed to chromium concentrations 2 orders of magnitude higher than the general population [46]. The primary effects associated with exposure to chromium compounds are respiratory, gastrointestinal, immunological, hematological, reproductive, and developmental. In addition, dermal and ocular irritation may occur from direct contact.

Occupational exposure to chromium compounds in various industries has also been associated with increased risk of respiratory system cancers, primarily bronchogenic and nasal [46]. Normal urinary levels of chromium in humans have been reported to range from 0. However, this study did not investigate the urinary concentrations of these harmful elements in relation to the use and nonuse of PPDs; thus, this should be investigated in future studies.

It is also important to assay the urinary metal concentration by sex stratification as sex is one of the fundamental components for biologic samples. In conclusion, the results highlight a lack of adequate work safety practices in the paint factories of Lagos West Senatorial District. Given that adherence to safety practice guidelines is the key to reducing the risk of injury and illness among workers in this industry, there is the need to develop a framework that will initiate the integration and implementation of safety regulations and guidelines in the paint factories so as to reduce associated occupational hazards.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Saf Health Work v. Saf Health Work. Published online Apr 4. Popoola , 1 Bawo S. Ogbudu , 1 Akin Akinyede , 1 Herbert A. Coker , 2 and Alade Akintonwa 1. Temidayo D. Bawo S. Herbert A. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Olufunsho Awodele: moc. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract Background The manufacture of paint involves a variety of processes that present with medical hazards. Methods A total of randomly selected paint factory workers were involved in the study. Results The results show that Conclusion The need to develop effective frameworks that will initiate the integration and ensure implementation of safety regulations in paint factories is evident. Keywords: hazard exposure, heavy metals, occupational hazard, paint factories, safety regulations, workers. Introduction Work has its positive health-promoting effects, as the financial dividend provides the worker with the basic necessities of life [1].

Open in a separate window. Materials and methods The study was designed to assess the occupational safety and concentration of heavy metals in the urine samples obtained from paint factory workers in Lagos West Senatorial District, Nigeria. Sample size determination and participant selection A total of consenting respondents were included in this study. Data collection A self-administered well-structured standard questionnaire was designed and distributed to factory workers with the assistance of the factory supervisor for the purpose of gathering information from the respondents.