Ambient air, that is breathed in every day, contains life supporting carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen and chemicals like carbon monoxide or formaldehyde that can cause harm. Characteristics of that air, like barometric pressure, humidity and temperature, determine how comfortably humans can work in that space. Now, start with that air, add the chemicals employed in manufacturing and concentrate them in a limited space like a factory, the resulting air can become more toxic and uncomfortable quickly if not managed properly.
The following are the health effects of ingesting chemicals:
1. Increasing risk of cancer, heart disease, kidney and liver diseases
2. Irritation—mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat)
3. Strained breathing— chest tightness, wheezing, coughs
4. Existing health problems become worse
For instance, healthy adults in a workplace can tolerate lower levels of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. However, they can bring home these chemicals, attached to their clothing, to children and infants. The levels of toxicity are relative to the mass of the person ingesting the toxin. The adult might tolerate the mass breathed, but the child may not. In addition, as formaldehyde is denser than ambient air, it sinks to a child’s breathing level. For instance: formaldehyde off-gassing from flooring is a health and safety concern, particularly for children.
Automation, data acquisition, electric heating, and custom engineered products can be required to implement an air quality monitoring system that ensures the safety of a factory. The first step is to assess the risk of one’s environment.
Factory Air Risk Management
Defining the present situation is the first step in any regular risk management survey. For factory air risk management, a risk management assessment commences by monitoring the air and defining the present situation. The air must be tested to satisfy OSHA standard, health studies for workers’ compensation, HVAC temperature monitors and also safety concerns for extreme conditions.
Monitoring is the first step. The data is collected, analyzed, and interpreted. Issues are discovered, and solutions are implemented. The last step is to monitor on a continuous basis.
Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA)
The OSHA mission started with indoor working conditions. The strategy is to embrace the mission and use their training tools available to the public through the OSHA website. Spanish language materials is one of their most productive services, particularly those regarding technical data like fixing personal protection gear, or the obligation to wear it. It has to be ensured that everyone understands the system from gearing up to decontamination.
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by OMEGA Engineering Ltd.
For more information on this source, please visit OMEGA Engineering Ltd.