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Hazards Found In The Workshops & Labs

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Hazards Found In The Workshops & Labs

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Discuss about the Health and Safety at Workplace.

Safety is a critical issue for any work environment. Employees must keep in mind their training and safety measures while working in hazardous conditions. In this report we will learn about the hazards found in labs like welding lab, electric lab and chemical lab. Potential hazards have to be identified and assessed. We will also learn about the control measures that are taken in place to reduce accidents and deaths.
Welding Lab
Arc welding is considered a safe profession when proper measures and precautions are taken (Shyam Sundar Budhathoki, 2014). But if these precautions and measures are ignored the workers working in a welding workshop face an array of hazards that can be potentially dangerous to their life. Some of these hazards are:-
Electric shocks:- A welder is in immediate risk of getting an electric shock while welding if he is not taking proper safety measures. These shocks take place when the welders touch the metal objects that conduct high voltage between them. They unknowingly insert themselves in the electrical circuit for e.g when a worker holds a bare wire with his hand the electric current will run through his body and give him a higher voltage shock. Injuries caused by the electric shocks can cause death(Jingxiang Qin, 2014). Usually the secondary shocks in welding are caused by arc welding circuits that can have an electric shock as high as 100 volts. In order to prevent electric shocks it is necessary that all workers should wear gloves that are in good condition. They should always keep dry insulation between them and their body. Insulations should be checked regularly for damages.
Gases and Fumes:-welding work includes exposure to various gases and fumes. Overexposure to these gases could be very hazardous to your health as these fumes contain harmful metal oxides, base oxides and based metals(Marta Regina Cezar-Vaz, 2015). Welding workshops should always have good ventilation system and exhaust system. It is crucial that these workshops have removable fixed and removable hoods (L. G. Cena, 2016). All welding operators should be informed about the threshold limits of exposure substances. All operators should wear approved respirators that could protect them from metal plating fumes, galvanizing fumes and paint fumes. (Azian HARIRI, 2014 )
Explosions and fire:-the welding arc produces extreme temperatures that have a high fire and explosion risk. The temperature can reach as high as 10,000 degree Fahrenheit. The arc creates sparks, spatter and heat that can reach as far as 35 feet far from the arc. To prevent accidents any flammable substances should be removed from the welding area. Operators should be aware about the nearest fire exists, location of the fire hoses and sand buckets.
Injuries from insufficient protective equipment:- the PPE ( Personal Protective Equipment) such as burns, are common in welding work. It is important the PPE are chosen with care to provide protection along with freedom of movement. Cheap PPE’s should not be used as they are not fire resistant and would melt and burn with contact with fire. Workers should be advised not to roll their sleeves and pant cuffs as they can deposit hot metal and burn. Work boots should be worn always that can tuck in the pants leaving no loose openings. Workers should be provided with helmets that have side shields that protect the skin and eyes. These helmets protect the wearer from any debris that may hit the eyes.
Electric Lab Hazards
Every year thousands die from electric shocks from circuits at work and home (Wafa Tourab, 2016). Workers working in electrical labs should be instructed and informed about the electrical hazards and risks involved.
Spark hazards and static electricity:- sparks and explosions can occur when flammable liquids are present in the vicinity of electrical work(Haji Omid Kalte, 2014 ). These sparks are caused by braking of the electrical circuit while its being energized.
Contact injuries:- many cuts, abrasions and burns can occur if the sheathing around wires and cables are open or frayed.
Use of extension cords:- extension cords should not be substituted for permanent wirings. It is not a replacement for the permanent electrical supply. Extension cords should not be drilled through ceilings, windows, floors, walls and doors. Special precaution should be taken if these extension cords are being used as they have a specific wire size, temperature range, and construction type.
Electrical equipment repairs:-repairs are unavoidable in any work place but special care should be taken while working with electrical units. Fuses and circuits should be turmed off before starting the repair. It is crucial to deenergize the system before starting any work. Workers should be informed not to wear any jewelry, like necklaces, bracelets and watches. (Ajay Lunawat, 2015),(A Kraut, 1990)
Care should be taken to use voltmeters with proper rating as a low voltage voltmeter would explode under high voltage. Power strips should be used that have fuses and circuits breakers in them. Workers should always be advised to use tools that have a non-conductive cover. They should be advised to wear gloves at all times. They should be advised to probe and check hot components and hot wires by one hand at a time so that they can prevent getting a shock (Olugbenga Oludiran, 2011). Water sources and metal materials should not be in the vicinity of the electrical work area. Workers should also be advised to avoid leaving any cords and cables hanging in the open as they can cause someone to trip and injure themselves. Cords should never be conceded or attached behind building surfaces. Everyone working in the lab should be properly trained in the safety guidelines.
Chemicla Lab Hazards
Workers working in academic, clinical and industrial laboratories have health and physical threats from hazardous chemicals. These chemicals are toxic, hepatoxic, nephrotoxic, neurotoxic, carcinogenic, irritant and corrosive that may damage the eyes, mucous membranes, skin and lungs.
Thermal and chemical burns:- many chemicals such as alkalis and mineral acids are corrosive to skin and eyes. Acid halides, and phenols are toxic and corrosive if they are spilled.
Absorption of chemicals:- chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and can have serious effects. People can have allergic reactions to chemicals if they are repeatedly exposed to them. It is important that workers are advised to wear gloves while working. These gloves provide a layer of protection that could permeate through the skin.
Inhaling chemicals:-the solvents that are used in chemicals labs are toxic to inhale. Chemicals like Acetyl Chloride irritate the membranes in longs, throat, eyes and nose. Some chemicals like Benzyl Chloride cause tears and eye irritation(Montano, 2014). Workers should always be provided with hood and should consult their instructor if they are not sure about some chemical. Gases created by chemicals either due to buildup in the air or due to pressure risk are dangerous for people working around them. Substances like mercury, lead, and phosphorus are really dangerous if ingested or inhaled. Fume cupboards should be maintained to ensure that they are efficiently extracting the dangerous fumes.
Ingestion of chemicals:-workers are at risk of ingesting chemicals accidently through their hands, through pipets and through food and drinks that are contaminated. Workers should never use mouth suction instead it is crucial that they should be provided with pipets with suction bulbs. Workers should always wash their hands before chewing gum, food, and smoking cigarettes. Always remember to wash your hands before leaving the lab. Chemicals such as mercury should be stored in containers made from polyethylene material. If any of it is spilled it should be painstakingly cleaned by using trapped vacuum line. (Imed Gargouri, 2011)
Improper labeling:- Many of these hazards are caused by improper labeling. Chemicals that are not stable and ones that deteriote with time should have complete identification slips that should be stuck to the container. Unlabeled bottles should be disposed very carefully.
Transportation of chemicals:- all chemicals which are not in sealed containers should be transported in chemical transport carts and rubber buckets. Chemicals should never be carried in carts that do not have side rails as they fall and bottles can break. Chemicals should never be stored in overhead storage (Paul Becker, 2004 ). Flammable chemicals should be refrigerated in storage refrigerators. Chemicals should not be stored according to alphabetical order as it may cause mutually reactive chemicals to be stored next to each other. Chemicals that produce stench and are injurious to inhale should be kept in properly ventilated cabinet. It is important to consider all chemicals as dangerous.
Spill kits should be provided in every laboratory and workshop that has solvents, bases and acids that has directions which should be used for which chemical spill.
Accidents caused in the laboratories and workshops are usually caused by the ignorance and carelessness of the workers. All workers and employers should have safety guidelines outlined and safety precautions listed. Many times accidents resulting from fire, chemical, thermal and explosions are caused simultaneously therefore it is important that workers are properly trained and are informed about these hazards.
A Kraut, R. L. (1990). Pulmonary effects of acute exposure to degradation products of sulphur hexafluoride during electrical cable repair work. Br J Ind Med., 829–832.
Ajay Lunawat, S. M. (2015). Evaluation of Quantum of Disability as Sequelae of Electric Burn Injuries. J Clin Diagn Res, PC01–PC04.
Azian HARIRI, N. A. (2014 ). Development of Welding Fumes Health Index (WFHI) for Welding Workplace’s Safety and Health Assessment. Iran J Public Health, 1045–1059.
Haji Omid Kalte, A. H. (2014 ). Analysis of electrical accidents and the related causes involving citizens who are served by the Western of Tehran. Electron Physician, 820–826.
Imed Gargouri, M. K.-N. (2011). A case study on co-exposure to a mixture of organic solvents in a Tunisian adhesive-producing company. J Occup Med Toxicol, 28.
Jingxiang Qin, W. L. (2014). Health Related Quality of Life and Influencing Factors among Welders. PLoS One, 82.G. Cena, M. J. (2016). A Novel Method for Assessing Respiratory Deposition of Welding Fume Nanoparticles. J Occup Environ Hyg, 771–780.
Marta Regina Cezar-Vaz, C. A. (2015). Risk Communication Concerning Welding Fumes for the Primary Preventive Care of Welding Apprentices in Southern Brazil. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 986–1002.
Montano, D. (2014). Chemical and biological work-related risks across occupations in Europe: a review. J Occup Med Toxicol, 28.
Olugbenga Oludiran, K. I. (2011). Electrical Burn Injury in MidWestern Nigeria. J West Afr Coll Surg, 18–28.
Paul Becker, J. M. (2004 ). Impacts of Health and Safety Education: Comparison of Worker Activities Before and After Training. Am J Ind Med, 63–70.
Shyam Sundar Budhathoki, S. B. ( 2014). Awareness of occupational hazards and use of safety measures among welders: a cross-sectional study from eastern Nepal. BMJ Open, 64.
Wafa Tourab, A. B. (2016). Measurement and Modeling of Personal Exposure to the Electric and Magnetic Fields in the Vicinity of High Voltage Power Lines. Saf Health Work., 102–110.

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