Question 1

Discuss the variables you would use to evaluate the risks associated with a task that requires a worker to lift bags containing raw materials and dump them into a hopper where they feed into a reactor. Identify which of the factors would be fixed factors and which factors might be variable, and state how you made that decision. Recommend some administrative controls that might be appropriate for the task. How might you use the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) revised lifting equation in selecting the controls?

There are several variables that need to be evaluated risks involving manual handling of materials that are being dumped into a hopper or mixer.

These are weight of material, how high it is being lifted, body position when lifting and dumping material (twisting motion of the upper torso), fugitive dust being released into the air, protection of the employee from any rotating equipment, traffic flow in the work area (forklift traffic), and noise.

The fixed factors are the weight of the material being manually lifted; these can be fixed as incoming material weight can be specified to reduce the risk of muscular injury

Fugitive dust can be addressed with an air handing system that will remove the dust from the area.

Rotating equipment can be guarded to protect the employees.

Noise suppression can be address through installation of noise suppression equipment.

Forklift traffic in the area, tis can be addressed with permanent hard barricading install to protect the employee loading the hopper,

The variable factors are height of the material being lifted, with a lift table this can be reduced however this requires that the employee utilize the table correctly and finally the body positioning. The NIOSH revised lifting equation takes into account lifting unstable material (bags being dumped in the hopper), restricted work space (the area where the material is being dumped into the hopper), high speed movements, lifting on a slippery surface (spilled material), and lifting in elevated temperatures and humidity conditions.

By utilizing the NIOSH revised lifting equation we will be able to produce our recommended weight limit for each of the employees that will work in the job. Each employee will need to be evaluated prior to starting the task. Our end result will set the weight limit at the lowest weight allowed therefore we will not have to adjust the weight of the material for each employee.

These finally two items will be address through administrative control, these include training, and written procedures for this task.

Brauer, R. L. (2016). Safety And Health For Engineers Sixth Edition. Hobken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Question 2

You have been asked to evaluate the hazards and risks associated with the introduction of a new robotic welder at your facility. Parts are fed onto a conveyer belt by an employee; the parts are picked up by a robotic arm and then placed onto a form where another robotic arm performs the welding. The first robotic arm then picks the part back up and places it onto another conveyer belt, where a second employee removes it and places it on a pallet. Discuss what types of guards you would recommend for the operation, including point-of-operation guards and perimeter guards. Based on the risk analysis results, what administrative controls and PPE would you recommend?

Material handing is inherently injury prone; in this case we have several points where injury could take place.

As the first employee places the material on the conveyer he is exposed to a moving conveyer. Guards to protect them from being pulled into the conveyer as it is moving will need to be installed, an emergency stop button should be place in close proximity to them so that if the need arise they are able to stop the conveyer.

We then move to the robotic arms, a cage will need to be installed to completely surround this operation. By installing the cage we will prevent any unauthorized enter in to the work zone.

The employee that is removing the piece from the conveyer will need to have the same type of guarding as the first along with the emergency stop button. This employee should also have some type of alert system to indicate the arrival of the pieces that will need to be removed from the conveyer as not to startle they when the piece arrive at their work station.

Administrative controls should include task training so that the employees use proper lifting techniques, and are aware of how the material will be delivered to them and removed from their area. PPE should include proper gloves, safety glasses, safety shoes or boots, earing protection, ether bump hats or hard hats to protect them from falling object’s, and both back and wrist braces to aid in the prevention of soft tissue damage from the repetitive motion.

Brauer, R. L. (2016). Safety And Health For Engineers Sixth Edition. Hobken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

25 points  

Question 3

A maintenance procedure is added to a new production line at a facility that manufactures tires. Once a week, a maintenance employee is required to use a step ladder to access a small platform on a mixing box that is located 12 ft. above the concrete floor. The maintenance employee must open the door and use a scraper and small shovel to remove excess buildup of raw materials used in the process. Evaluate the risks associated with falls associated with the task, and discuss how these results can be used in the selection of controls. In your discussion, include your recommendations for controls to reduce the risk of falls associated with the process.

This task is very dangerous, we have working at heights from a step ladder and to compound the danger the employee is use a tremendous amount of body motion.

Working at heights requires fall protection; the employee is 12 feet above a concrete floor. A fall from this height could result in a fatality. As we look at fall protection we can see that an arrest fall system will not prevent the employee from striking the floor should they fall. A restraint system would be the choice for this situation, however we still have the employee climbing a step ladder to access a pit 12 feet above the floor while trying to carry their tools with them.

To mitigate this fall potential we need to look at alternative methods of access the work point. The first mitigation we will look at is a permanent platform with a stairway access. This is the most desirable mitigation; it removes the ladder and gives the employee a firm nonmoving work place. The platform is stationary; the employee can work safely without the risk of falling. We have removed the need for PPE to protect the employee and engineered the fall out of the equation.

The second method involves a mobile platform such as a scissor lift. This mitigation requires administrative controls (both fall protection training and operator training for the scissor lift), and although it removes some of the risks it still leave potential for the employee to fall should they not follow the administrative controls.

Brauer, R. L. (2016). Safety And Health For Engineers Sixth Edition. Hobken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Question 4

An operation spray-paints large aircraft wings using a paint containing hexavalent chromium. Summarize the different types of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment that could be used to control the exposures for this operation. State which control you believe would be the most effective to reduce the risk in the painting operation to an acceptable risk level. Which additional controls would you use if your initial control did not reduce the risk to an acceptable level?

Hexavalent chromium has become a hot button subject throughout the construction industry; stainless steel welding has provided a number of lessons learned on controlling this hazard. By adding it into a painting process it brings with it even more hazards.

To control the exposure to hexavalent chromium in the painting process we first must look to engineering the hazard out of the work process. The first step would be to look at an enclosed booth with a negative pressure system. By using this type of system the excess paint would be drawn away from the employees and captured in a filter system. It should also be looked at to see if wetting the floor to capture any fugitive material from becoming airborne after it settles. We should also look at statically charging the aircraft wing as to prevent excess material becoming airborne.

The paint booth should also be climate controlled so that the employees are able to wear their PPE throughout their work shift.

As we complete our engineering controls we move to an additional layer of protection, PPE. All employees will need to be fit tested for full face supplied air respirators, full body disposable coveralls, booties, head covering, and a non-permeable glove. This needs to be but in place to not only protect the employee but their family also. By using the disposable outer wear there is limited chance of this hazardous material being carried home to the employee’s family there by exposing their family to a health risk.

It is also important to provide not only training on the dangers of hexavalent chromium, but the safe handling of it, the correct method of donning and removing your PPE, respirator care, cleaning, and verifying a correct fit, and acceptable facial hair. The administrative program should also include air sampling, random checks to ensure procedures are being followed, correct disposal of the outer wear at the end of the work shift. Hygiene would also be a concern, the possibility of providing a locker room with showers to ensure that no hexavalent chromium particles were being carried home at the end of the work shift. We also may want to look at health screening also to set a baseline for each of the employees to prevent any over exposure.

Brauer, R. L. (2016). Safety And Health For Engineers Sixth Edition. Hobken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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