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Evaluation of Occupational Hazards in Foundries

Evaluation of Occupational Hazards in Foundries

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Published by adel zakaria
A comprehensive research in three foundries in Egypt on occupational hazards and occupational injuries
A comprehensive research in three foundries in Egypt on occupational hazards and occupational injuries

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Published by: adel zakaria on Feb 28, 2013
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03/30/2013

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The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (JEPHAss.), Vol.80
o
.3& 4, 2005
 
Correspondence to:Adel M. Zakaria,Occupational Health Department,High Institute of Public HealthAlexandria UniversityE-mail: zakaria1959@yahoo.com
Evaluation of Occupational Hazards in Foundries
Adel M. Zakaria* Kamal H. Noweir*Gamal El-Maghrabi**
* Occupational Health Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University.** Occupational Safety and Health Department, Ministry of Labor, Behira.
ABSTRACT
The working environment of foundries is hazardous and characterizedby multiple simultaneous chemical, physical and mechanical hazardsexposure, which would lead to injuries of foundry workers. The aim of thepresent work is to evaluate occupational hazards in four foundries, two inAlexandria: El Nasr and Ramsis, and two in Behira: Misr Spinning and Weaving and Misr Rayon companies. Levels of total and respirable dust, freesilica % in total dust and lead concentration in total and respirable dust;NO
2
 , SO
2
and CO concentrations; noise and heat stress levels have beendetermined in the present work.Occupational injuries data were analyzed in a three years period from1998 to 2000. The results of the present work revealed;1. The levels of total dust and respirable dust exceeded the threshold limitvalues at knockout and cleaning operations at El Nasr Company.2. Free silica percentage exceeded permissible levels in all operationsexcept pouring in El Nasr Company.3. CO levels in Misr Spinning and Weaving Company were higher thanthreshold levels.4. Noise levels in knockout and cleaning operations at the four companieswere exceeding the threshold limit values.5. Heat stress levels in melting and pouring operations in El Nasr and inpouring operation in Ramsis Company were higher than the maximumpermissible levels.6. The age group 31-40 years has recorded the highest average incidencerate of injuries of age groups (P<0.01).
 
The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (JEPHAss.), Vol.80
o
.3& 4, 2005 .
 
434
7. Lower extremities and higher extremities have recorded the highestaverage incidence rate in the four companies (P<0.001-P<0.01respectively).8. Transportation and lifting was the main cause of injury in the fourcompanies (P<0.05).9. Faulty action and striking against was the main mean of injury in thefour companies (P<0.01).10. Ramsis Company has the highest average incidence rate in almost allinjuries parameters and indices (frequency rate and severity rate)(P<0.05-P<0.001).The present work is a massive survey, which highlights theoccupational hazards in Egyptian foundries.
Key words : Foundry working environment, chemical hazards,physical hazards, occupational injuries
INTRODUCTION
Foundries are integral part of the history of mankind. Foundrieshave been known for thousands of years.A foundry is a place where castings are made from molten metalaccording to an end user specification. Foundry work comprises;making the pattern, making and assembling the mold, melting andrefining the metal, pouring the metal into the mold, and finallyremoving all adherent sand and superfluous metal from the finishedcasting.
(1,2)
 The potential hazards present in working environment includechemical hazards and physical hazards.Chemical hazards examples are silica and other non metallic dustand fumes, carbon monoxides and other chemical compounds includingthermal decomposition products such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogendioxide.
(3-5)
 
 
The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association (JEPHAss.), Vol.80
o
.3& 4, 2005 .
 
435
Physical hazards, which are mainly associated with variousfoundry processes are noise, vibration and heat.
(5,6)
 The foundry industry includes; pourers, moulders, core workersand cleaning room operators in addition to crane operators, electriciansand welders.Foundry workers accidents can result in injuries from (i) manualand mechanical materials handling; (ii) work equipment andmachinery; (iii) walking and working surfaces; (iv) foreign particles inthe eye; (v) contact with hot material; (vi) falling objects and (vii) fireand explosion.
(7)
 Manual materials handling is the most prevalent causes of injury tofoundry workers due to overexertion and poor lifting techniques.
(8-10)
 Traumatic injuries and burns have been received by workershandling castings, hot core and molten metal because of inadequatepersonal protective equipment and poor work practices.
(9)
 Semiautomatic and automatic machinery presented hazards frommoving parts and flying or ejected materials. Improper maintenance,repair, guarding and use of grinders and abrasive wheels may alsoresult in worker injury. Poor house keeping and poorly lighted arearesult in slips, trips and other types of falls on walking and workingsurfaces.
(7)
 Higher temperature environment foundry increases the strength onmechanical handling devices. In addition, some of these devices arecontinuously vibrating, resulting in mechanical stress on nuts, bolts,chains and cables; which eventually may result in equipment failure,may lead to major explosions, fires, spills and burns.
(7)
 

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