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Assessment of Physical

Hazards at an Automobile
Parts Manufacturing

What do the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health did?

 conducted medical evaluations on colleagues participating in heat stress

 measured heat stress on the loaders and unloaders.
 measured noise levels throughout the facility.
 reviewed results of a noise survey and hearing tests done by contractors.
 interviewed colleagues on their health and safety concerns.
 reviewed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) logs of
illnesses and injuries.

What did National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found?

 There is potential for heat stress among the loaders and unloaders.
 The 70247 job posed an ergonomic hazard.
 Noise levels around the plant ranged from 85 to 100 decibels on an A-
weighted scale.
 Between 2002 and 2003, the number of colleagues with normal hearing levels
 The ventilation system built into a cut saw was not working.
 Housekeeping in the cut-saw area was poor.
What Tower Automotive Managers Can Do?

 Allow colleagues to rest completely after loading or unloading parts.

 Position fans above the loaded and unloaded workstations.
 Relocate the bin used in the 70247 job in order to reduce stress on shoulders
and wrists.
 Colleagues’ noise levels should be tested periodically.
 Make sure that the ventilation system built in the cut saws is functioning.

What Tower Automotive Employees Can Do?

 Drink plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated.

 Continue to properly wear hearing protection.
 Make sure work areas are kept clean.

Workplace Description

 Tower Automotive was started in 1993 in Indiana

 Manufactures body structures, lower vehicle structures, suspension
components, and modules for automotive manufacturers
 Tower Automotive has a workforce of 12,000 in 60 countries.
 Employs approximately 250 colleagues
 They work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
 In the paint area, the loaders work from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They take a
10-minute break at 8:00 a.m. and a 20-minute lunch break, at 11:00 a.m

Process Description

 Steel coils are decoiled through an automatic process and fed into a blanking
press. In the blanking press, the coil is cut into flat shapes, called blanks. The
blanks are deposited in containers, which are then moved by forklifts to the
forming press to be fed into a form die. The formed parts fall down a chute to
secondary operations such as painting.


 The meter was calibrated according to manufacturer’s instructions just before

the facility tour and immediately after.
Particulate Matter

 Based on concerns from a colleague, a NIOSH investigator examined the cut-

saw area for potential exposure to particulate matter. The cut-saw equipment
is used to cut metal pieces to the desired shape and size.

Occupational Exposure Limits and Health Effects

 OELs suggest levels of exposure to which most workers may be exposed up to

10 hours per day, 40 hours per week for a working lifetime without
experiencing adverse health effects.
 Not all workers will be protected from adverse health effects.
 A small percentage may experience adverse health effects because of
individual susceptibility.
 Some substances can be absorbed by direct contact with the skin and mucous
membranes in addition to being inhaled, which contributes to the individual’s
overall exposure.
 Some chemical substances and physical agents have recommended STEL or
ceiling values where health effects are caused by exposures over a short

An individual may be at greater risk of heat strain if:

 Profuse sweating is sustained over several hours

 Weight loss over a shift is greater than 1.5% of body weight
 24-hour urinary sodium excretion is less than 55 mill moles

Health Effects of Exposure to Hot Environments

 skin disorders
 heat syncope
 heat cramps
 heat exhaustion
 heat stroke


 When workers are first exposed to a hot environment, they show signs of
distress and discomfort, experience increased Core Body Temperature and
heart rates, and may have headaches and/or nausea
Dehydration and Hypernatremia

 hyponatremia can occur when blood sodium concentrations decrease to less

than 130 mEq/L and is generally caused by hypervolemia (water overload)
secondary to extensive over-drinking.
 Dehydration is not the only factor in heat stress, there is also the matter of
electrolyte depletion.

Fluid Replacement

 fluid replacement solution is important to ensure adequate rehydration.

Safety Precautions in
Maintaining the Vehicle

Safety Equipment:

 Fire extinguisher is a must have item in a working place such as automotive

shop or a maintenance shop.
 Safety goggle is also a must. Wearing one of these protections can prevent the
risk of having an eye infection or maybe worst.
o Warning:
 Rags and flammable liquid should be stored only in a fire-proof,
closed metal case or containers.


 Loose clothing like necktie, collar and long sleeves can cause a harmful
damage to you or the technicians when caught in a moving car parts like fan
blades, belts, pulley or throttle, and transmission linkages.


 Good ventilation can keep a good mood. Always work in a well ventilated
area. Welding smoke can suffocate other workers.

Setting the brake:

 Make sure that the car is in park or neutral and the hand brake is firmly set.
Hot surface:

 Avoid contact with hot surfaces such as exhaust manifold, mufflers

(catalysts), radiator and hoses.


 Never multi-tasking between smoking and working on your car.


 Do not lay tools or equipment on the battery.

Tire Care and Safety

The Most Important Factors in Tire Safety, Performance and Service Life

 Proper Tire Size, Type and Load Capacity (or Load Range)
 Proper Inflation Pressure
 Proper Vehicle Loading
 Regular Tire Rotation
 Regular Inspection
 Proper Tire Repair
 Good Driving Habits

Proper Tire Size, Type and Load Capacity (or Load Range)

There are a large number of tires for passenger cars and light trucks intended to
meet the needs of a wide variety of consumers, vehicles and operating conditions.

Aspect Ratio - In a tire size designation, the aspect ratio is the ratio of the tire
section height to section width.

The Sidewall Story - tires have very useful information molded onto their
sidewall. It shows the brand and model name of the tire, its size, whether it is
tubeless or tube type, the maximum load and the maximum inflation, safety
warning(s), and much more.

Speed Symbol - the speed symbol, also known as a speed rating, indicates the
speed category associated with the tire’s maximum speed capability. Speed ratings
are based on laboratory tests that relate to performance on the road, but are not
applicable if tires are under inflated, over loaded, worn out, damaged, or altered.

Load Index - the load index is a numerical code associated with the maximum load
a tire can carry. The load index should not be used independently to determine
Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) Standards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established the

Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards as a way to assist the consumer to
compare various tires.

Tread wear, Traction, and Temperature


The recommended inflation pressures for tires are specified in PSI (pounds per
square inch) or kPa (kilopascals) as indicated on the vehicle tire placard,
certification label or in the owner's manual.

Proper Inflation is Critical - inflation pressure enables a tire to support the load
and to control the vehicle, therefore proper inflation is critical.With the right
amount of inflation pressure, the vehicle and the tires will achieve their optimum
performance. In addition to tire safety, this means your tires will wear longer and
improve vehicle fuel consumption. Note that some vehicles may have different cold
inflation pressures for tires on the front and rear axles.

When to Check Inflation Pressure - check inflation pressure when tires are cold,
that is, when the vehicle has been parked for at least 3 hours or has been driven
less than one mile at moderate speed. The inflation pressure in all tires, including
the spare tire and inside duals, should be checked with an accurate tire gauge at
least once a month.

Continuous Inflation Pressure Loss - any tire that continually requires re-
inflation is a serious safety risk. The cause may be a puncture, road hazard damage,
corroded or damaged rim, tire mounting damage or other irregular condition.

Additional Tire Pressure Recommendations

Dual Tire Assemblies - For vehicles equipped with dual tire assemblies (duals), if
one of the dual tires becomes significantly under inflated or flat, the other tire will
carry the load for both tires, resulting in an overloaded condition for both tires.
Consequently, both tires should be inspected by a tire service professional for
Proper Tire Loading - to avoid over loading tires, maintain the proper inflation
pressure and never exceed the vehicle's load capacity, gross axle weight ratings
(GAWR) or the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) stated on the vehicle tire
placard, certification label or the owner’s manual. The vehicle load must also be
distributed so that no individual axle, tire or dual assembly is over loaded.

Rotation Patterns - tire rotation procedures are established to equalize the tread
wear for each tire to prolong tread life. By regularly changing a tire to another
position on the vehicle, any abnormal wear patterns that were starting to develop
may be corrected.


Tire Inspection Guidelines - in addition to maintaining proper inflation

pressure, regularly inspect the tire tread and sidewalls for irregular tread wear,
cracking, scrapes, bulges, cuts, snags, foreign objects or other damage resulting
from use. Stones, glass, and other foreign objects embedded in the tread should be
removed to prevent further damage.

Tire Service Life - it is important to have tires in good operating condition, thus
tires may need to be replaced because of service conditions long before the tread is
worn out.

 Tire Service Life is Not Determined by Chronological Age - Tires are

composed of various materials, including rubber, having performance
properties essential to the proper functioning of the tire. These component
properties evolve over a combination of time, service and storage conditions.


Tires driven even a short distance while under inflated may be damaged beyond
repair. Running a tire under inflated is like running the vehicle's engine without
enough oil or coolant. It may seem to work fine for a time, but serious permanent
damage has occurred.

Have Your Tire Repaired Properly - proper tire repairs should be performed by
trained tire service professionals or tire manufacturer approved procedures. If a tire
continually loses inflation pressure or has lost all or most of its inflation pressure, it
must be removed from the wheel for a complete internal inspection to check for

There is a close relationship between several mechanical systems on a vehicle and

its tires. Tires, wheels, brakes, shock absorbers, drive train, steering and
suspension systems, among others, must all function together to perform safely and
comfortably and to give optimum tread wear. Improper or inadequate vehicle
maintenance can cause tires to wear rapidly and/or abnormally.


The way you drive has a great deal to do with your tire service life and safety.
Therefore, in addition to proper tire maintenance, cultivate good driving habits for
your own benefit.

 Observe posted speed limits.

 Avoid fast starts, stops and turns.
 Avoid potholes and objects on the road.
 Do not run over curbs or hit the tire against the curb when parking.

Road Hazard and Impact Damage - punctures, cuts, snags, and other issues can
lead to further damage if not repaired in time. The tire must be demounted and
carefully inspected to determine whether it is repairable.

Sudden Vibration or Ride Disturbance - if the vehicle experiences a sudden

vibration or ride disturbance and/or there is a possibility the tires and/or vehicle
have been damaged, gradually reduce speed.

Wet Weather Driving - driving too fast on wet roads, through standing water or in
the rain, can cause your tires to hydroplane.

The Right Tire for the Vehicle - when tires need to be replaced, do not guess
what tire is right for the vehicle. For the answer, refer to the vehicle tire placard
and/or certification label, usually located on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove
box or fuel door.

Replacing Less Than Four Tires - when replacing tires on a vehicle, it is

recommended and preferred that all four tires be replaced at the same time for
continued optimal vehicle performance.

Replacing Two (2) Tires - When a pair of replacement tires is selected in the
same size and construction as those on the vehicle, the two newer tires should be
installed on the rear axle.

Replacing One (1) Tire - Replacing a single tire on a vehicle can have an adverse
effect on suspension systems, gear ratios, transmission, and tire tread wear.
Purpose - to develop an entry-level knowledge and awareness of automotive health
and safety processes and practices and the capacity to apply these in workshop

Question: You are in your workplace. You see something being done the unsafe way.
You are worried about your safety and you can see a hazard that could cause an
injury, what can you do about it?

You can contribute in a number of ways:

 taking initiative – by reporting potentially hazardous situations or by acting

to control the hazard when there is an immediate risk of injury
 problem-solving – by contributing to the resolution of an issue such as an
uncontrolled hazard at a meeting
 decision-making – by responding to your Person Conducting a Business or
Undertaking (PCBU) or Health and Safety Representative (HSR) when
consulted on a WHS/OHS issue.

Hazard Management

 All workplaces present the risk of accidents and injury. There are a number
of ways that these risks can be managed including the identification,
assessment and control of hazards in the workplace.

 A hazard is anything that
can cause injury, sickness or

 A risk is a measure of the chance that something will happen.

Four step hazard management

Effective hazard management can be achieved in four simple steps.

 Hazard identification
 Risk assessment
 Hazard control
 ‘Hazard monitoring

Two main types of hazard

1.Unsafe acts - things people do as part of their work.

2. Unsafe conditions - situations that occur in your workplace.

Some common workplace hazards

• Storage of materials and rubbish

• Lighting and ventilation

Hazard control - having identified a hazard and assessed it, the next step is to
control that hazard. In this case control means reducing the impact of the hazard by

• reducing the consequences, or reducing the likelihood.

It is best if you can reduce both. The hierarchy of control shows how to do this.

Hierarchy of control methods

There are a number of ways to control hazards which can be placed in order
according to their suitability and effectiveness for managing a risk. These hazard
control measures are:

Elimination – Where work involves an
unacceptable risk, the best solution is

eliminate the work.

Substitution – Here a lower risk procedure is substituted for the high risk activity.

Isolation – Separate the task from employees who may be at risk.

Engineering Controls – Design a process or machine design to reduce the risk.

Administrative Controls – Apply controls to staff to ensure they operate in a

safer way.

Personal Protective Equipment – Allow the task to proceed but only with
precautions that limit the risk of injury.
Safe Practices

The four step hazard management process gives us a basis for working safely. To be
as effective as possible at working safely we need specific skills and procedures for
dealing with the everyday aspects of WHS/OHS. In this topic we look at:

 Personal Protective Equipment - PPE

 Manual Handling Techniques
 Dangerous Goods and Hazardous 
 Tools, Equipment and Plant
 Working On and Around Vehicles
 Lifting Devices
 Housekeeping
 Signs and Symbols

Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Substances:

Dangerous Goods - are substances, mixtures or articles that, because of their

physical, chemical or acute toxicity properties, present an immediate hazard to
people, property or the environment.

Hazardous Substances - are those that, following worker exposure, can have an
adverse effect on health

Lifting Devices:

Lifting devices in automotive workshops include:

 Vehicle Hoists
 Hydraulic jacks and trolley jacks
 Vehicle ramps and stands

Housekeeping - as part of a duty of care all workers should contribute to daily

housekeeping. In simple terms this means working without making a mess and
keeping the work area clean and neat. This extends to keeping the whole workshop
clean, well-organised and safe.

Signs and Symbols - hazard recognition is essential to prevent injury in the

workplace. Safety signage is used throughout the workplace to remind workers of
hazards & safe working practices.
Incident, Accident and Emergency – statistics and common sense tell us that it
is likely that you will be involved in accidents, incidents and emergencies.
Government agencies like WorkSafe are making every effort to improve the
statistics so that accidents and emergencies are less common. In this Topic we will
be looking at how to respond to an accident, incident or emergency and how you can
help to reduce their frequency at your workplace.

Preventing Fires - fires are, at their simplest, made of three elements – Fuel,
Heat and Oxygen. Fires can be prevented by controlling one or more of these three
elements. While this is very simple advice we can use this principle to develop
guidelines to ensure fire hazards are minimised.

Emergency Response - good training requires that you experience the events you
are training for. This means you need to experience an emergency and given that
the whole purpose of WHS/OHS is to avoid emergencies this creates a problem.
What we can do, however, is step through the procedures you should take in an
emergency keeping in mind that you usually will only be taking instruction from
your instructor, supervisor or emergency services officer.

Emergency signals, alarms - alarms come in several forms – machinery alarms

(machine malfunction), manual alarms (e.g. fire alarm), external alarms (fire
evacuation alarm), and warning lights (rotating yellow light on a forklift)

Fire - everyone must become fire conscious and get to know your fire drill
thoroughly. Learn the locations of fire points, fire alarms, telephones and fire exits
in your workshop. Be aware of the location of all fire extinguishers. When fire
breaks out, decide whether you can help fight it. If not, get out quickly.

Types of Fires and Extinguishers - a fire - once its burning - is controlled with a
fire extinguisher. There are many classes of fires but only a few that commonly
effect worksites. Extinguishers are designed to control different types of fires.
Recording and Reporting

Any potential emergency situation that you identify in your workplace can be
reported in one of several ways:

Hazard Management Plan– you can report the situation as part of the risk
management process which will mean that a record is created in the Hazard
Register and controls are put in place.

Emergency reporting – if an emergency is occurring you should notify a

supervisor who can manage the situation or take direct action if a supervisor is not

Emergency Notification – employers are required to notify their state or territory

authority of any incident involving serious injury or damage to property.