Evaluation of occupational hazards in foundries.

Occupational Health Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University.
The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association 02/2005; 80(3-4):433-62.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The working environment of foundries is hazardous and characterized by multiple simultaneous chemical, physical and mechanical hazards exposure, which would lead to injuries of foundry workers. The aim of the present work is to evaluate occupational hazards in four foundries, two in Alexandria: El Nasr and Ramsis, and two in Behira: Misr Spinning and Weaving and Misr Rayon companies. Levels of total and respirable dust, free silica % in total dust and lead concentration in total and respirable dust; NO2, SO2 and CO concentrations; noise and heat stress levels have been determined in the present work. Occupational injuries data were analyzed in a three years period from 1998 to 2000. The results of the present work revealed; 1. The levels of total dust and respirable dust exceeded the threshold limit values at knockout and cleaning operations at El Nasr Company. 2. Free silica percentage exceeded permissible levels in all operations except pouring in El Nasr Company. 3. CO levels in Misr Spinning and Weaving Company were higher than threshold levels. 4. Noise levels in knockout and cleaning operations at the four companies were exceeding the threshold limit values. 5. Heat stress levels in melting and pouring operations in El Nasr and in pouring operation in Ramsis Company were higher than the maximum permissible levels. 6. The age group 31-40 years has recorded the highest average incidence rate of injuries of age groups (P<0.01). 7. Lower extremities and higher extremities have recorded the highest average incidence rate in the four companies (P<0.001-P<0.01 respectively). 8. Transportation and lifting was the main cause of injury in the four companies (P<0.05). 9. Faulty action and striking against was the main mean of injury in the four companies (P<0.01). 10. Ramsis Company has the highest average incidence rate in almost all injuries parameters and indices (frequency rate and severity rate) (P<0.05-P<0.001). The present work is a massive survey, which highlights the occupational hazards in Egyptian foundries.

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