For the following research paper assignment, you have been asked to performance evaluation of employee exposures at a small automobile parts manufacturing facility. The manufacturing processes include two metal presses, two machining stations, three welding stations, a small paint booth, and a shipping/receiving area. There are two employees working at each press, one person working at each machining station, one person working at each welding station, two people working in the paint booth, and four employees working in the shipping/receiving area.
One of the presses is a 2,000-ton press, and the other press is a 200-ton press. The 2,000-ton press is the greatest noise source for the facility. The machining area uses a metal working fluid. The safety data sheet (SDS) for the metal working fluid is attached here. All welding is performed on stainless steel. The painting booth uses a powder coating operation, but the employees use xylene and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) to clean the parts prior to the powder coating operation. At the end of the shift, one of the employees uses 1,3 butadiene to clean the nozzles for the paint booth. The facility uses two electric forklifts to move materials between the production area and the storage warehouse and between the warehouse and the shipping area. All employees work an 8-hour shift.
Identify the hazards that are present in the facility. In your discussion, explain why you chose the hazards, and describe whether you believe the hazards to be actual hazards or potential hazards (which require further evaluation). Describe the specific location(s) at the facility where the hazards are located, and determine how many employees are potentially at risk in those areas.
Your response for Part 1 should be at least one page in length. 300 words, double spacing
Summarize how you would measure the personal exposures to the hazards that you identified in Part 1. Use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) website (https://www.osha.gov/dts/
Your response to Part 2 should be at least one page in length. 300 words, double spacing
Access the attached sampling results here. For each set of results, perform the following actions:
Calculate the 8-hour time weighted average (TWA) exposure.
Compare the results to the appropriate OSHA permissible exposure limit(PEL).
Determine which results exceed an established OSHA PEL.
Write a one-page summary of the sampling results; document the exposures that exceeded an OSHA PEL, and identify those areas that you believe will require the application of controls to reduce risk. Include your calculations, include a list of the OSHA PELs you compared the results to, and explain how you decided that an exposure exceeded an OSHA PEL. 300 words, double spacing
Using OSHA’s hierarchy of controls, recommend the control methods that you believe would be the most effective for reducing the risks associated with the exposures that exceeded the OSHA PEL above. Explain how you would implement the controls and how you would evaluate the effectiveness of the controls. Also, discuss any interim control methods you would recommend for the facility.
This section should be at least one page in length. 300 words, double spacing
Include a reference page and in-text citations for all sources you used inthis project, including your textbook, using proper APA format.
There are multiple hazards that are possible through the various types of compounds as well as the mechanisms that are being used in the factory. The first and probably the one that might affect the normal workings of a human being the most is that of methyl ethyl ketone also known as butadiene. This is one of the most heavily sanctioned substances in world and has been banned from using in many countries due to the acute damage that it does to the human body primarily the liver. The same can be said for the 1,3 butadiene that the employees use at the end to clean the nozzle. Excessive exposure to any of these chemicals can lead to completely irreversible damage and can heavily reduce the normal life of a healthy employee. The hazardous substance that are being used in the factories also lead us to another chemical that is being used which is xylene. Xylene is one of the feared substances the vapour of which if taken in excess amount will lead to a breakdown of the nervous system with smaller amounts leafing to various symptoms like dizziness and hazy eyesight. All these types of chemical and the exposure to them does make the lives of the workers that are working in this facility one of quite a lot of hazard. To add on to that if we go beyond chemical damage and look into the sound part of it the ever-working press which is said to be the machinery giving out the highest amount of continuous sound in the factory can lead to sever noise damage on continuous working on it if the correct safety precautions are not taken. Excess exposure to noise ca also leads to brain damage and loss of hearing in many cases.
Measurement of Butadiene in the air of the workplace is generally done by Diffusive Sampling and Thermal Desorption GC analysis. To measure by diffusion method, there are multiple readymade tools available which has porous membrane filled with Carbopack, which can catch the data to be tested in computer software accordingly. Normally it is sampled at 20 degrees for 30min to 8hrs, which can be stored for two months and analyzed in 14 days.
Effect of temperature and humidity on the sampling rate
Sampling rate at low RH(20%)
Sampling rate at high RH(79%)
Low (5 degree C)
34.5 +/- 0.9 ml/min
29.8 +/- 1.4 ml/min
High (40 degree C)
13.5 +/- 0.5 ml/min
7.5 +/- 0.2 ml/min
Sampling rates are 30 ml/min (15 ppb – 1.3 ppm) for butadiene.
The second hazardous material used in the paints which is detrimental is Xylene. The allowed limit of Xylene by safety authorities of most countries is 100ppm.
Active samples of Xylene are collected by gathering workplace air by sampling tubes of coconut shell charcoal, using sampling pumps. Diffusive samples are collected by exposing SKC 575-002 Passive Samplers to workplace air. Samples are then extracted by carbon disulfide and analyzed with GC using a flame ionization detector.
There are multiple specifications to be followed and then by reverse diffusion process the standards are checked to understand whether the concentration is within limit or not.
The next hazardous element discussed is the sound. There are permitted decibels at different workplace as per country standards. 85 db is standard followed by multiple countries like UK in a standard workplace. It is measured by decibels meters and measures are taken to lessen them like putting absorbing materials on the walls and floors. Also insulating the machines used for the same purpose.
If we now consider each of the toxic elements that we talk about and the amount of exposure that they might potentially be causing we might conclude on the one that might be potentially most harmful and can cause a real problem to the person
If we take methylethylketone as our first, we see that is used in a regular level in the painting part of the booth by an employee. A normal exposure of a 10 ppm of this aerosol with a time-weighted average of around 9 ppm across 8 hours can lead to an average pollution of around 50 ppm per day for an employee. As per the OSHA standard level as low as this can cause eye irritation and dry eyes. However, when it will go beyond this to about 200 ppm per employee which is quite a normal for a single employee working week long, it might lead to disastrous results as per OSHA standards and needs to be severely looked into before any long-lasting damage is done
On a similar basis xylene which is used as a cleaner of the nozzle can have toxic effects if taken in harmful amounts. Low amount of Xylene causes eye irritation and nervous problem. However, taking a per day average of around 4 ppm per hour based on weighted average if a single person gets affected to more than 150 ppm of this chemical on a monthly basis this may lead to sever damage to livers and kidneys as per the OSHA standards. Also, xylene is said to contain carcinogenic properties thus this along with the various other aerosols that are exuded as part of the cleaning process may lead to severe damage to the health and safety of the employees if preventive and safety measures are not taken.
OSHA’s hierarchy control suggests various options to identify controlling measures provides a control hierarchy depending upon the seriousness of the issue. The following are the five steps of hierarchy control according to effectiveness as follows –
c) Engineering Controls
d) Administrative Controls
e) PPE – Protect the worker with Personal Protective Equipment
In a workplace, managers can decide to choose from these based on their requirement and also the situation. If suppose we take the example of butadiene or xyelene, which we have been talking in the previous question, we can see that eliminating those two would be very difficult task as, the particles will always be present in the paint. So, in this case, elimination is not the proper choice, because it not possible. Next if we want to substitute these two, this might not be possible as changing the two elements given products might actually alter the specifications of the paint thus affecting the quality of the paint to be put on the subjects. Does the most favored control measures would be engineering controls and administrative controls, because these two type of controls will enable to make some regulatory changes in the system so that the workers might follow them for better protection. along with that PPE would be very necessary as only with the personal protection this kind of situation can be avoided. Things like wearing masks during the work or using the correct amount of paint can help reduce the bad effects of these two elements on human beings. Thus, a combination of these three controls would actually be implemented effectively to reduce the hazardous affects of the detrimental particles.
For the sound we cannot be using PPE because there is no other way of human being safe gaurd himself from the sound pollution other than using some ear buds. Therefore a proper administrative control can be levied upon in the work place so that the decibels never goes up the decided value.
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