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Paper Information

Journal:   IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH   AUGUST 2014 , Volume 43 , Number 8; Page(s) 1045 To 1059.
 
Paper: 

DEVELOPMENT OF WELDING FUMES HEALTH INDEX (WFHI) FOR WELDING WORKPLACE’S SAFETY AND HEALTH ASSESSMENT

 
 
Author(s):  HARIRI AZIAN*, PAIMAN NUUR AZREEN, LEMAN ABDUL MUTALIB, M.D. YUSOF MOHAMMAD ZAINAL
 
* FACULTY OF MECHANICAL AND MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITI TUN HUSSEIN ONN MALAYSIA, JOHOR, MALAYSIA
 
Abstract: 

Background: This study aimed to develop an index that can rank welding workplace that associate well with possible health risk of welders.
Methods: Welding Fumes Health Index (WFHI) were developed based on data from case studies conducted in Plant 1 and Plant 2. Personal sampling of welding fumes to assess the concentration of metal constituents along with series of lung function tests was conducted. Fifteen metal constituents were investigated in each case study. Index values were derived from aggregation analysis of metal constituent concentration while significant lung functions were recognized through statistical analysis in each plant.
Results: The results showed none of the metal constituent concentration was exceeding the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for all plants. However, statistical analysis showed significant mean differences of lung functions between welders and non-welders. The index was then applied to one of the welding industry (Plant 3) for verification purpose.
The developed index showed its promising ability to rank welding workplace, according to the multiple constituent concentrations of welding fumes that associates well with lung functions of the investigated welders.
Conclusion: There was possibility that some of the metal constituents were below the detection limit leading to ' 0' value of sub index, thus the multiplicative form of aggregation model was not suitable for analysis. On the other hand, maximum or minimum operator forms suffer from compensation issues and were not considered in this study.

 
Keyword(s): WELDING FUMES, INDEX, AGGREGATION ANALYSIS, MALAYSIA
 
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