Occupational health and safety in industrial workshops

Occupational health and safety in industrial workshops

Occupational health and safety in industrial workshops

All workplace environments must be hygienic and safe for employees and visitors, even those who are not involved in producing and handling food. That is why it is crucial to apply hygiene policies. But what is hygiene? Hygiene is the collaboration of many human sciences, professions, and technologies with the common purpose of protecting individuals and groups from harmful exposures. 

1) Occupational Hygiene

Industrial hygiene is concerned with identifying, evaluating, and controlling real or potential workplace environmental hazards that can affect the well-being of workers and community members.

Occupational health

Occupational Hygiene

It is sometimes called Occupational Hygiene. Industrial hygiene surrounds a wide range of health and safety concerns in the workplace such as:

  • Ergonomics: The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries associated with bad posture, overuse of muscles, and repeated tasks.
  • Noise: Long-term exposure to noise can lead to hearing loss for workers. Noise issues can be addressed in several ways, including separating workers from noisy machinery as much as possible and using devices, such as ear muffs or ear plugs, to protect workers.
  • Temperature: High temperatures can cause problems for workers. If temperatures are too high, workers are vulnerable to heat exhaustion; Workers should be allowed to slowly adapt to the heat and drink small amounts of water frequently, and air should be cooled whenever possible.
  • Indoor air quality: Poor air quality can cause issues ranging from chronic coughs to severe headaches. Proper ventilation is important to ensure that fresh air is brought into the work area and air filtering systems that can help remove contaminants from the air.

2) Standards and Regulations for molding and casting

Casting is a manufacturing process in which a molten material is introduced into a solid mold and allowed to solidify. The solid material takes the shape of the mold. Molding refers to shaping a material that is soft but not fully liquid. The molding as a process might also use a mold to shape the soft material but doesn’t necessarily require one.

-RELEVANT STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS:

The British Columbia, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (OHSR) (B.C. Reg.

296/97, amended by 185/99 and 253/2001), outlines exposure limits (ELs) for certain Hazardous ingredients in casting resins.

The following table outlines some of the hazardous ingredients and their ELs in casting resins:

regulations and standards

regulations and standards

The WHMIS Regulation applies to workplaces using products related to casting resins.

  • Production companies must ensure that containers of controlled products are labeled with a supplier label. A workplace label is required when the product is decanted and not used up by the end of the shift.
  • A copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for all controlled product in the shop must be available.
  • The MSDS must not be older than 3 years old. Check the revision date.
  • Workers handling casting resin products must be instructed in the proper procedures for the safe use, storage, handling and disposal of products.

3) Casting harms to humans

People working in foundries are exposed to a number of harmful substances.

These harmful substances include:

  • Fine respirable dust which contains silica, large quantities of inhalable and respirable dust, ferrous foundry particulates and fumes.respirable dust
  • Other substances such as formaldehyde, acid fumes and isopropyl alcohol can be present if using a sand stabilizer during the casting process.
  • Other possible hazardous substances can include chlorine, aluminum, cobalt, and nickel.
  • If the foundry is also involved in spraying activities workers can be exposed to solvents as well.

solvent
solvent

The amounts of respirable dust and silica entering into the respiratory tract of the foundry workers may cause lung diseases and other harmful side effects.

silicosis stages

silicosis stages

However, these small particles are often not visible to the naked eye and therefore may not be an obvious exposure risk to workers. But exposure over a number of years can lead to the development of the condition known as silicosis.

 

silicosis

Silicosis is a form of occupational lung disease caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust and is marked by inflammation and scarring in the form of nodular lesions in the upper lobes of the lungs. Furthermore, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggests that long-term exposure to silica can increase the risk of the development of lung cancer.

inhalable and respirable dust

inhalable and respirable dust

4) Benefits of Robots

Pouring liquid metal into the molds is a crucial process in sand casting. It can be dangerous for human workers. It’s an unsanitary task in a tough environment.

Benefits of Robots

casting robot

However robots are perfectly prepared to do the job, they are immune to harmful substances and other harmful hazards not only that but they also surpass the human capabilities.

Robots

                    casting robot

Robots ensure the best quality by performing constant and repeatable pouring processes. The results are homogenous metal structures with reduced cavitation shrink holes.

casting robot in action

casting robot in action

Robots can also skim dross and ladle the molten metal much faster than human, eliminating turbulence and chances of spills. This also applies to loading the inserts and extraction of the solidified castings. Plus, robots can reach between dies too hot for a human saving energy and reduce cycle time.

Robots may not seem to be the cheapest option in casting but surely they are extremely efficient. So the benefits of robots are that they can easily replace human workers so granting the industrial business more time, better precision, and excellent efficiency.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2605857/

https://www.generalkinematics.com/blog/foundry-safety-part-1-noise-control/

http://www.actsafe.ca/wp-content/uploads/resources/pdf/castingresinsguideline.pdf

http://www.themetalcasting.com/safety-tips.html

https://www.ganoksin.com/article/sand-casting-safety-notes/

https://www.sanitarydesignworkshop.org/course-info

http://envirocare.org/foundry-health-risks/

http://pacdiecast.com/die-casting/benefits-of-deploying-robots-in-die-casting/

http://www.inchem.org/documents/iarc/vol68/silica.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicosis

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ecpe/industrial-hygiene-keeping-workers-healthy-and-safe/

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