Health, Safety and Risk Assessment in Engineering

Risk Assessment in Engineering 4

RISK ASSESSMENT IN ENGINEERING

Benefits of Using a Computerized System

  • Time saving- Computerized system saves much time for business operation hence, providing many advantages for the business. Calculations for functions like billing and payrolls are made efficient when using a computerized system.

  • Accuracy- a computerized system helps in reducing calculation errors that can lead to inaccurate results.

Welding fumes are poisonous metal fumes produced in welding operations. The fumes contain some contaminants due to a variety of metal compositions used for welding. The types of fumes produced during welding operations include Aluminum, Beryllium, Copper, Chromium, Lead, Nickel, Vanadium, Manganese, Fluorides, and Iron Oxides. The types of gases produced are Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen Fluoride, Nitrogen Oxide, and Ozone (Whaley, 2003). These fumes and gases enter our body system through inhalation, that is, we inhale them together with the air that we breathe into our lungs.

Effects of welding fume on health and wellbeing of workers

Exposure to welding fumes and gases causes different health effects if breathed into the body system for an extended period and in large quantities. Indeed, the short-term effects of welding fumes and gases are irritation of the eyes and chest, coughing, breath shortness, bronchitis, fluid in the lungs, lung inflammation, appetite loss, cramps, and nausea. The long-term effects of welding fumes and gases inhalations are lung cancer, larynx cancer, urinary tract cancer, hearing loss, skin disease, kidney damage, heart disease, infertility, and chronic lung problems(such as Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Asthma, Siderosis, and Silicosis.)

Investigations done on Epidemiology studies have indicated that a large number of welders experience respiratory illness. The respiratory illness seen in full-time welders include bronchitis, lung function changes, airway irritation, and an increase in lung cancer. Infections of pulmonary are increased regarding severity, frequency, and duration among the welders. However, epidemiological studies have indicated that an increase in pulmonary illness due to exposure to welding fumes have little information of the causality. There is insufficient information about neurological, dermal, and reproductive effects after exposure to welding fumes. Therefore, this investigation shows an understanding of the possibility of adverse effects of welding fumes exposure on health, as essential to risk assessment. Consequently, the investigation will then lead to the development of prevention measures, strategies, and how it will impact on a large population of workers.

Protection measures on welding fumes and gases

Complete ventilation of a workshop does not prevent hazardous fumes from reaching the breathing zone of the welders. Conversely, the most effective method is local extraction whereby, the hazardous fumes and gases are captured right at the source before they reach the breathing zone of the welders (Buckle, 1999). Indeed, this protection is a guarantee that provides sufficient protection and produces a conducive clean breathing of air at welding workplaces. Methods to control gas and fume in welding include:

  • Use efficient welding technology such as gas metal arc to create less fumes.

  • Make use of electrodes that create fewer fumes.

  • Use the minimum possible current.

  • Use certain personal protective equipment.

Frequency and severity of workers ill with respiratory diseases in welding

According to the investigation, the certified rates of the sickness of 56 welders were examined for the period 2010-2011. This rate was compared to 46 controls from the same petrochemical plant matched with age and duration of employment. Severity indices on average annual duration, the average length of spell on work, and the frequency of inception rate per worker were calculated. The investigation showed similar absence and presence attributed to respiratory diseases to be slightly higher in welders in severity, frequency, and duration (Peto, 1986). The proportion of lost days of work due to the respiratory illness of the workers was 2.6 times as compared to the previous year due to increase in higher respiratory tract diseases. Consequently, the ratio of ill welders compared to those fit for the job was more than three for both severity and inception rate of spells.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

HSE is accountable for legislating health and safety at the workplace. Additionally, HSE also provides advice on safety and health issues. Besides, it gives directions on relevant legislations. Moreso, HSE carries out research to effect regulations on matters related to health and safety. Also, it performs a consultation with employee representatives and employers, and finally, gives advice to government and legislators on health and safety. Undeniably, HSE has reliable guidance and information on health and safety maintenance at the workplace (Whaley, 2003).

Schedule for setting up a safety audit system

The implementation schedule for establishing a safety audit system consists of two parts. The first implementation provides a simple overview in terms of time progress. The second part provide an expansion on the information created on the first part. It also gives reasons for not meeting the first legislations on health and safety measures (Peto,1986). The schedule is set by:

  • Implementing adequate procedures for detecting specific health and safety requirements.

  • Setting out well-understood procedures and responsibilities.

  • Recording adequate procedures for hazard identification at the workplace.

  • Setting out adequate risk assessment procedure to ensure health and safety at the workplace.

Codes of practice to enhance safety.

  • The model code of practice- provides guidance on managing health and safety risks related to welding. The code applies to places of work in welding and workers involved in welding activities. For a model code of practice to have effective legal jurisdictions, the code must have an approval as a code of practice in that particular workplace.

  • Abrasive blasting- provides industrial health and safety in the workplace.

  • Excavation code- provides working health and care requirements in a workplace setting.

There are several methods of identifying hazards, which include hazard analyses, routine self-assessment, inspections, and accident investigations. Therefore, in this context, we are going to use hazard analyses as our recording system to track potential hazards in the workplace.

HAZARD ANALYSES.

  1. Informal

The analysis and identification of hazard can be categorized into formal or informal. In a practical view, hazard identification is effective when informally performed by the supervisor and, non-supervisory employees when appropriately assisted by safety and health professionals. However, hazard identification is more efficient if the worker identifies the dangers.

Job safety analyses, comprehensive safety and health surveys, employee complaints and investigation of their suggestions, and nuclear safety analyses are all forms of formal hazard analyses.

    1. Job Safety Analysis

These are analyses conducted step-by-step of each component of the job and potential risks. The workers and supervisors who perform them supplement them with health and safety operates. Job Safety Analyses are performed first and later revised as operations change. This recording system identifies hazards and helps in preventing accidents before they occur. JSA is suitable for dynamic tasks and activities such as project construction. Consequently, JSA benefits employees by creating safety awareness of their job. Steps that compromise JSA process include:

  • Developing and grouping list of employment at the facility.

  • Making the priority of job risks based on probability occurrence and severity.

  • Determine the method to be used for the JSA.

  • Choose an employ to help in conducting the JSA.

  • Define each task and complete JSA worksheet for each job performed.

  • Finally, make a review of the JSA with the employee.

In this system, control hazards that cause serious precautions to employee health and safety are addressed effectively. The evaluation of the hazards should focus on whether the employee can accomplish required tasks with available equipment without affecting their health and safety. Once the hazards have been identified the data collected is then evaluated. Therefore, detailed data collected in various sources is necessary to maintain hazard information to track data in a manner that health and safety problems are determined. However, majority workplaces use computer databases to record data about the hazards. Indeed, the facts in the database are used to record data about the hazards.

References

Antonini J.M.Lewis, A.B., Roberts, J.R., and Whaley, D.A., 2003. Pulmonary effects of welding fumes: review of worker and experimental animal studies. American journal of industrial medicine, 43(4), pp.350-360.

Stern, R.M., Berlin, A., Fletcher, A., Hemminki, K., Jarvisalo, J. and Peto, J., 1986. International conference on health hazards and biological effects of welding fumes and gases. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 57(3), pp.237-246.

Li, G. and Buckle, P., 1999. Current techniques for assessing physical exposure to work-related musculoskeletal risks, with emphasis on posture-based methods. Ergonomics, 42(5), pp.674-695.