Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH   OCTOBER 2014 , Volume 43 , Number SUPPLEMENT 3; Page(s) 186 To 193.
 
Paper: 

METAL WORKERS: EXPOSURE TO CHEMICALS AND NOISE CAUSED BY USING INCORRECT SAFETY MEASURES

 
 
Author(s):  REINHOLD KARIN*, PALLON LEA
 
* TALLINN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, TALLINN, ESTONIA
 
Abstract: 

Background: This paper describes the common hazards in the metal industry – chemicals and noise. The aim of the study was to get an overview of risk levels of mentioned occupational hazards and examine the implementation of adequate safety measures.
Methods: Measurements of noise and chemicals were performed, self-reported exposure and usage of personal protective equipment from workers were used to assess the behavior of workers, semi-structured interviews were con ducted to clarify employers' practices to provide workers with adequate personal protective equipment.
Results: The measurements of working environment in welders? workplaces showed th at the main chemicals that reach workers' breathing zone are carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide, and metals (manganese, iron, chromium). The results of questionnaires and interviews revealed that 57% of employees provide and only 41% of welders use respiratory protectors against hazardous welding fumes. The results of noise measurements showed that many of the machines used in the metal industry produce high levels of noise. Those values were often above occupational exposure limits, but 35% of workers do not use any personal protective equipment. Workers reported several health problems connected with chemicals and noise.
Conclusion: Working conditions of the metal industry may impair workers' health considerably. Several safety measures can be implemented to protect metal workers? health against noise and hazardous welding fumes including noise screens, local ventilation, organizational measures (such as educational intervention, providing chemical material safety data sheets) and adequate personal protective equipment.

 
Keyword(s): OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS, NOISE, CHEMICALS, METAL INDUSTRY
 
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