Q) What are some physical hazards that you can think of in your current place of employment or a former place of employment? If you were the safety officer at one of these facilities, what are some actions that you might take to ensure that your co-workers remain safe from harm?
Your journal entry must be at least 200 words. No references or citations are necessary.
Each question should be answered using a minimum of 250 words. Any resources should be cited and referenced using APA formatting. use two resources with intext per questions
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently has a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for noise of 90 dBA at an 8-hourtime-weighted average (TWA) exposure with an action level of 50% of that exposure. OSHA uses a 5 dB exchange rate (doubling rate); this means that if the exposure increases from 90 dBA to 95 dBA, the allowed exposure time decreases to one-half—from 8 hours to 4 hours.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recommend using an exposure limit of 85 dBA instead of 90 dBA and also recommend using a3 dB exchange rate. These levels are much more protective than the levels currently used by OSHA.
- Discuss the merits of each of the two methods. Provide your opinion as to which of the approaches you believe should be used. Support your answer with atleast one professional/scholarly reference.
OSHA does not currently have a regulation specifically covering ergonomic issues. OSHA has issued several guidelines for some specific industries. Consider a workplace you are familiar with where there is a potential for repetitive motion injuries.
- Discuss what methods you would use to identify tasks that would present thegreatest risk for repetitive motion injuries. How would you establish an ergonomics program to address the issues? What would be the greatest obstacles in establishing the ergonomics program?
Assignment 1 Answer
I have previously worked in the Iron and Steel Industry. The plant in which I worked consisted several types of hazards, such as physical hazards, chemical hazards, biological hazards, etc. There were a lot of injuries and diseases happening in the place. Some of the physical hazards that the plant was exposed to are as follows: –
- Slips and falls on the same level
- Falling objects
- Toppling of moving machinery
- Falls from heights
- Noise and Vibration of machines
- Electrical burns and electric shock
- Contact with hot molten metal
- Improper maintenance of machines leading to sudden breakdowns and injuries
- Working in confined spaces leading to easy choking down in case of any accident
These physical hazards could be taken care in an effective way. Some actions that I might take as a Safety officer in the organization would be –
- Regular checkup of machines to avoid sudden breakdowns
- Provision of helmets and hand gloves to workers
- Provision of emergency first air kit box for every department and proper rescue facility in case of any emergency
- Fire extinguishers provision for each zone
- Proper training given to each employee required for their work
- Regular accident prevention training programs covering different possible types of accidents
Even though today Iron and Steel plants are having a lot of preventive measures, the accidents are yet happening. Two main reasons behind these accidents are the carelessness of the employees and improper maintenance of the machines.
1. Joshua Fleishman, 2013 Apr 08, Safety in the Steel Industry: History, Hazards, and How We Can Help, Safety Training Services
2. John Masaitis, 2008, Iron and Steel, ILO Encyclopedia
3. Safety Team, 2015 Sep 15, 5 most common safety hazards when working with steel, Stronghold
Assignment 2 Answers
OSHA defines its PEL for noise as 90 dBA at an 8-hour weighted time average for workers, and it uses a 5 dB exchange rate. NIOSH and ACGIH defines their exposure limits for noise as 85 dBA at an 8-hour weighted time average, and it uses a 3 dB exchange rate.
This exchange rate generally means that the exposure limit will get doubled increased by the given number, when the duration is doubled, as it can be seen in the below picture. It can be seen that for every 3-dB increase in noise level, the exposure limit for NIOSH is doubled.
These noise exposure limits are used to define a term called Noise-induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). It is generally 100% preventable, but once exposed, it is irreversible and permanent (NIOSH, 1998). Therefore, it is a need to minimize the noise risks associated with exposures at workplace.
Comparing the two exposure limits, it can be observed that OSHA permits a worker to be exposed to 85 dBA for a 16-hour allowable time, whereas NIOSH and ACGIH recommend 85 dBA for an eight-hour allowable time, along with a more protective exchange rate. Although none of these limits are designed to protect every worker from suffering any NIHL, NIOSH/ACGIH standard is more health protective than the OSHA one. According to a research done by Noise-Health department, it was estimated that 1 in 4 workers at 90 dBA PEL 8 hours per day for a 40-year working lifetime will suffer a compensable hearing loss due to noise exposure, as compared to 1 in 12 workers at 85 dBA exposure limits. Even most scientific and regulatory body follows NIOSH/ACGIH noise-protection guidelines internationally, but this is not a mandated standard however.
1. Richard Neitzel, 2008 Sep 29, NIOSH and OSHA Permissible Noise Exposure Limits, Audiology Online
2. Chuck Kardous, 2016 Feb 08, Understanding Noise Exposure Limits: Occupational vs. General Environmental Noise, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention USA
In this activity, I would be discussing about the ergonomic-related risk factors in the foundry industry. Foundries are used for making castings from molten metal, and this process includes both physical and chemical hazards, along with ergonomics related risks. Employees working in foundries have a potential of getting exposed to repetitive motion injuries such as reaching overhead, bending, lifting heavy items, pushing or pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures.
For identification of tasks leading to repetitive motion injuries in a foundry, I would like to analyze the previous records of injuries and incidents, along with the employees’ compensation claims. This could provide me a trend or pattern to identify the ergonomic-related hazards. After that, I would observe and analyze the instructions given to employees for completing those tasks and ask the employees about their opinions on the same.
For establishing an ergonomics program to address the observed issues, we would need to find out the safer method for carrying the task whether it be through elimination, substitution, administrative, or engineering (Fuller, 2015). Elimination/Substitution would refer to removing a task completely or slightly changing the casting process for minimizing ergonomics-related risks. Engineering would involve changing the casting machines and molds for making the process safer for employees. Administrative solutions can be like rotational jobs for the workers according to their working capabilities.
The greatest obstacle in establishing the ergonomics program would be to involve the employees and make them participate in the program. For making this ergonomics program a success in the company, we would need to create an effective messaging for the employees so that they follow the policies and procedures properly for avoiding the ergonomic hazards.
1. Elena Finizo, 2012 Dec, Solutions for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Injuries in Foundries, OSHA
2. Frank Swoboda, 1999 May 29, OSHA guidelines aim to prevent repetitive-motion injuries
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