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A Safe Workplace
Occupational Hygiene is a broadtechnical area that forms a vital linkin the University’s comprehensiveoccupational health and safetyprogram. Occupational hygiene isthe application of scientific,technological and managerialprinciples to the protection of thehealth of persons at the University,through the prevention or reductionof risks to health which arepresented by chemical, physical orbiological agents. Such agents caninclude harmful dusts, gases andvapours, occupational noise,vibration, lighting, ventilationissues, and biological exposures.
dosimeter [dəʊˈs ɪmiˈt ], dosemeter ə [ˈdəʊsˈmiˈt n (Physics / General Physics) ə] an instrument for measuring the dose of X- rays or other radiation absorbed by matter or the intensity of a source of radiation dosimetric [ˈ dəʊsɪˈm ɛtrɪk] adj dosimetrician [ˈ dəʊsɪməˈtr ɪʃən], dosimetrist n dosimetry nNSW WorkCover statistics Bulletin 08/09 indentify industrial deafness accountingfor approximately 36 % of all occupational injuries. Industrial deafness isirreversible and is preventable. The NSW OHS regulation requires that appropriatecontrols measures are in place if people are exposed to:85 dB(A) average equivalent for 8 hours140 dB(C) peak
Ventilation—particular risk control measures(1) An employer must ensure that:(a) mechanical ventilationappropriate for the work being carried out is used to controlatmospheric contaminants and that the ventilation is maintainedregularly, and(b) if a mechanical ventilation system is used to controlexposure to a contaminant, the system:(i) is located as close as ispracticable to the source of the contaminant to minimise the risk ofinhalation by a person at work, and(ii) is used for as long as thecontaminant is present, and(iii) is kept free from accumulations ofdust, fibre and other waste materials and is maintained regularly,and(iv) if the system is provided to control contaminants arising fromflammable or combustible substances—is designed and constructedso as to prevent the occurrence of fire or explosion, and(c) if a ductedventilation system is used, an inspection point is fitted at any placewhere blockages in the ventilation system are likely to occur.(2) Thisclause does not apply to the underground parts of a miningworkplace or a coal workplace.
Entry protection—contaminated atmosphere or unsafe levels of oxygenAn employer must ensure that any place of work at which there is a risk ofexposure to atmospheric contaminants or unsafe levels of oxygen is isolatedand that appropriate warning signs are provided at the place. Atmospheric monitoringIf a risk assessment under Chapter 2 indicates that monitoring ofatmospheric contaminants should be undertaken at an employer’s place ofwork, the employer must ensure that:(a) appropriate monitoring isundertaken in accordance with a suitable procedure, and(b) the results of themonitoring are recorded, and(c) any employee or other person working atthe employer’s place of work who may be or may have been exposed to anatmospheric contaminant that has been monitored is provided with theresults of the monitoring, and(d) the monitoring records are readilyaccessible to any such employee or person.
Hazardous Substances and Dangerous Goods Assessments andAuditsThe handling, storage and disposal of hazardous substances anddangerous goods are required identified, assessed and controlledto ensure workplace health and safety SWE, (safe workenvironment) can carry out workplace and construction siteaudits for both.Hazardous Substances are materials that have the potential toharm employees during handling, storage or disposal of them at aplace of work. Any type of chemical or other substance that canbe classified as a Hazardous Substance has the potential to causeharm to persons exposed to these by either causing acute healtheffects or long term chronic illness. Worst case scenario acuteexposure to a hazardous substance may cause a fatality or severeinjury. Employees may become exposed to hazardous substancesthrough inhalation of a gas, vapour, mist, aerosol, dust or fumecaused by use of the substance. (insert link to gas, vapour, dustand fume), ingestion (eating, drinking) of substance, eyes, throator skin exposure.
What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document thatcontains information on the potential hazards (health,fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to worksafely with the chemical product. It is an essentialstarting point for the development of a complete healthand safety program. It also contains information on theuse, storage, handling and emergency procedures allrelated to the hazards of the material. The MSDScontains much more information about the material thanthe label. MSDSs are prepared by the supplier ormanufacturer of the material. It is intended to tell whatthe hazards of the product are, how to use the productsafely, what to expect if the recommendations are notfollowed, what to do if accidents occur, how to recognizesymptoms of overexposure, and what to do if suchincidents occur.
Non-ionising radiation is made up of low frequency, long wavelength and low energy electromagneticwaves. It includes ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared light, radiofrequency, very-low and extra-lowfrequency radiation. Manufactured sources include photocopiers; welding equipment; TV, radio andtelecommunication transmission towers; mobile phones; microwaves; visual display units; power lines.Where does it occur?Workers may be exposed to high magnetic fields if they work near electrical systems that use largeamounts of electric power (eg large electric motors, general motors, generators, or the power supply orelectric cables of a building). High magnetic fields are also found near power saws, drills, copy machines,electric pencil sharpeners, and other small electric appliances. The strength of the magnetic field dependson equipment design and current flow, not on equipment size, complexity or voltage.Workers exposed to sources of EMR above normal levels include those in the power industry,telecommunications, offices and the construction and metal industries. Non-ionising Radiation Spectrum Long waves/low frequency ---------> shorter waves/higher frequency Extra Very Low Radio Infrare Visible Ultravi Low(EL Low(V Freque d(IR) Light olet F) LF) ncy Lasers
Manual handling and ergonomicsManual handling is any activity that involveslifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, pulling, holding or restraining. It may alsoinclude stretching, bending, sustained and awkward postures, and repetitivemovements.Manual handling is one hazard that arises in the majority of workplaces. It occursin numerous activities and is indentified as a problem across most industrysectors.Every year in New South Wales, approximately 17,000 people are seriouslyinjured or suffer from illness related to manual handling.This represents about 37 per cent of all injuries in NSW and costs NSWworkplaces $373 million with an average cost of $22,000 per injury. When thehidden costs of injury are considered that figure is more than $1,491 million.Manual handling injuries are preventable.Manual handling needs to be considered and integrated as part of the overallmanagement of OHS. You can find out more about how to prevent manualhandling injuries at the Smart Move website.
Why is lighting important?Whether in industrial or office settings, proper lighting makes all worktasks easier. People receive about 85 percent of their informationthrough their sense of sight. Appropriate lighting, without glare orshadows, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches. It highlights movingmachinery and other safety hazards. It also reduces the chance ofaccidents and injuries from "momentary blindness" while the eyesadjust to brighter or darker surroundings.The ability to "see" at work depends not only on lighting but also on:the time to focus on an object. Fast moving objects are hard to see.the size of an object. Very small objects are hard to see.brightness. Too much or too little reflected light makes objects hard tosee.contrast between an object and its immediate background. Too littlecontrast makes it hard to distinguish an object from the background
What are basic types of artificial lighting? There are three basic types of lighting: • general, • localized-general, and • local (or task). General lighting provides fairly uniform lighting. An example would be ceiling fixtures that light up large areas.Direct-indirect light fixtures distribute light equally upwardand downward. They reflect light off the ceiling and otherroom surfaces. Little light is emitted horizontally meaningdirect glare is often reduced. They are usually used in "clean"manufacturing areas.
Localized-general lighting uses overhead fixtures in addition to ceiling fixtures to increase lighting levels for particular tasks. What are different types of light fixtures?The complete lighting unit (also called the light fixture) controls and distributes the light. (Light fixtures are oftenreferred to as "luminaires" in technical publications.)Various types of light fixtures are designed to distribute light in different ways. These fixtures are known as:direct,direct-indirect,indirect andshielded (various types).No single type of light fixture is appropriate in every situation. The amount and quality of lighting required for aparticular workstation or task will determine which light fixture is most suitable.Direct light fixtures project 90 to 100 percent of their light downward toward the work area. Direct lighting tends tocreate shadows.
Indirect light fixtures distribute 90 to 100 percent of the light upward.The ceiling and upper walls must be clean and highly reflective to allowthe light to reach the work area. They provide the most even illuminationof all the types of fixtures and the least direct glare. Indirect light fixturesare usually used in offices. Shielded light fixtures use diffusers, lenses and louvers to cover bulbs from direct view; therefore, helping to prevent glare and distribute light. Diffusers are translucent or semi-transparent (see-through) covers made usually of glass or plastic. They are used on the bottom or sides of light fixtures to control brightness. Lenses are clear or transparent glass, or plastic covers. The lens design incorporates prisms and flutes to distribute light in specific ways.
Cooling Tower RegistrationThe General Manager Asset Services shall ensure that eachexisting cooling tower system is registered with the Departmentof Health at all times that it is in operation.The General Manager Asset Services shall ensure that all newcooling tower systems are registered prior to operation.
Risk management of cooling towers - OHS information sheet number 16BAugust 2002What is a cooling tower?Cooling towers are used in air conditioning systems or for refrigeration. They usesurrounding air to cool water, which in turn will cool the target area. A coolingtower system includes any machinery, tanks, pipes or valves connected to thesystem, and will contain one or more cooling towers depending on how extensivethe system is.How does a cooling tower system spread Legionella?When air is drawn or forced through a cooling tower, it collects air borne particlesand as it leaves the tower these particles is carried into the environment.Sometimes these particles may be contaminated with Legionella bacteria. If theLegionella bacteria is inhaled by susceptible* people, these people may developlegionnaires disease.Registration of cooling tower systemsThe Building (Legionella) Act 2000 requires all cooling tower systems to beregistered with the Building Commission. For cooling tower systems in operationbefore 1st March 2001, an application to register must be lodged before 1stSeptember 2001.For Cooling Tower Systems that are commissioned on or after 1st March 2001, anapplication to register must be lodged before the system is tested andcommissioned. Registration is for a period of twelve months and the applicationfor renewal must be lodged before the expiry of the previous registration.
Risk management plansWorkcover has initiated a comprehensive risk managementstrategy for all of its cooling tower systems. This strategywill involve carrying out risk assessments of all coolingtower systems and formalising existing risk managementactivities in accordance with the Department of HumanServices Standard Operational Program. Risk managementplans are required to be completed within 12 months of theregistration of the cooling tower system. The programspecifies activities that are to be carried out atpredetermined intervals. These activities include:Regular inspectionsRegular servicingMonthly HCC testing to identify bacterial levels in systemLegionella testingProfomas for the risk management plans can be found onthe Workcover web page
There is more information in the Australian Standard AS1668.2: The use of ventilation andairconditioning in buildings - Ventilation design for indoor air contaminant control. AustralianStandards can be purchased on-line through the Standards Association shop website. Othercontact details are also on the website. Local or educational institution libraries may havecopies of Australian Standards, so check these.Often the problem is that the airconditioning units need servicing, or that the rate and directionof air flow are unsatisfactory. There is a booklet called Officewise available (free) from WorkSafe(03 9641 1555). It can also be downloaded from the website.Officewise recommends the following to improve thermal comfort: Regulate air conditioning for temperature and humidity; Avoid locating workstations directly in front of or below air conditioning outlets; Install deflectors on air vents to direct airflow away from people. These measure will prevent staff being annoyed by draughts; Control direct sunlight (radiant heat) with blinds, louvres and the like; Minimise draughts and thermal differences between the head and the feet (thermalgradients); Ensure adequate air flow. Feelings of stuffiness can result when air flow is low, anddraughts result when air flow is high. An air flow rate of between 0.1 and 0.2 metres per secondis desirable.
Define confined spaces relevant to the participants’ workplace environment and the underpinninglegislationDefine confined spaces hazard analysis and demonstrate atmospheric testing and monitoringproceduresIdentify and demonstrate the procedure for isolating confined space hazards and the protecting ofconfined space personnelDefine and demonstrate confined spaces risk assessment and response requirementsDemonstrate the operation and wearing requirements for self contained breathing apparatusDescribe and demonstrate the operation of first attack firefighting equipment, and identify operationalsafe working practicesDemonstrate basic first-aid principles and cardiopulmonary resuscitation for confined space personnelPracticalSelf Contained Breathing ApparatusSafe Entry and Exit from Confined SpacesAtmospheric Gas MonitoringOH&S Policies and ProceduresRisk AssessmentConfined Space ExerciseFirst-AidSuitable attireWork clothing and workboots must be worn.
What are the health effects of exposure to heat?When the body is exposed to more heat than it can cope with, this leads to heat stress. Thebody tires to cope mainly by evaporation - sweating. As the temperature in the workenvironment increases, so too does the bodys temperature. This triggers sweating and aflow of blood to the skin where it can be cooled by evaporation. Excessive sweating leadsto loss of water from the body, dehydration and loss of salt, resulting in potentially serioushealth effects.Possible consequences of excessive heat:Increase in the likelihood of accidents due to reduced concentration; slippery, sweatypalms; increase of discomfort of some personal protective gear, resulting in reducedprotection and unsafe conditions, etcSkin Rashes: "prickly heat"Heat Illness:Heat Cramps: Muscle spasms as a result of heavy sweating without restoring the bodyssalt/water balance.Heat Exhaustion: Dehydration following heavy sweating causes clammy, moist skin,weakness and fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache and giddiness. Reduced blood flow tothe brain may lead to fainting.Heat Stroke: Hot, dry skin and rapidly rising body temperature can lead to collapse, loss ofconsciousness, convulsions, even deathAggravation of other medical conditions and illnesses: e.g. high blood pressure or heartdisease due to increased load on the heartAggravation of the effects of other hazards: through interaction with other workplacehazards such as noise or exposure to toxic substances heat can compound their effectsReproductive Disorders: may affect sperm count or the health of the foetus.
The criteria presented in Building Safety Regulations Section 2 are expressed as (or in the case ofTable 2.4, based on) rms acceleration. Overall weighted rms acceleration values are used to assesscompliance with the criteria. Building vibration may also be measured in rms velocity or peakvelocity. Appendix C contains equivalent criteria presented in these terms. Sufficientjustification should accompany whichever approach is used in an assessment.a As far as is practical, vibration measurements and assessmentcriteria should refer to the place at which the vibration affectspeople, which, for this guideline, is inside buildings.Depending on whether occupants are standing, sitting or lyingdown, vibration may enter the body in the x-axis, y-axis or z-axis.People are more sensitive to z-axis vibration than to x- and y-axisvibration. However, human exposure to vibration should usually bemeasured in all three axes, so that the results can be combined andcompared to the criteria.
Managing Risks ToHealth And SafetyPersonal ProtectiveEquipmentTraining And Instruction Emergency Plans First Aid