Mirror Lab BY viiU523 One air inhalation hazard I observed during the Mirror Lab tour was for rhodite 906. In a large open room and workspace, the mirror lab utilized rhodite frequently to polish large new mirrors. This is concerning because this is a hazardous dust particle with its particle size at about 1. 5 micrometers. The movement of these particles are heighted by water mist placed above the mirror to keep the rhodite from solidifying. The employees also sprayed down the mirror frequently which further caused these particles to move around.
When we were walking beneath and to the side of the mirror, orange rhodite compound could be seen on the sides of the mirror as well as the ground. The employer’s Job was to make sure the mirror was properly and consistently being polished. This definitely can poise a threat and safety risks to the workers. As a risk assessor, it is essential to decrease exposure and limit the spread of rhodite 906. Hazardous chemicals such as rhodite can cause harm when they enter the body in sufficient amounts via inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption.
The ature of the chemical hazard and the routes by which it enters determine the controls needed. Unfortunately, I did not observe such controls in the workplace. There were no material safety data sheets visible or chemical hazard warnings. The employer simply wore a lab coat while visitors were only asked to wear closed toed shoes. There were no guidelines, PEL, or TLVs given by OSHA. However, the material safety date(which should be posted) explains that it can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.
Moreover, compounds that it has such as cerium ave low toxicity. People can come into contact most easily by inhalation. In order to quantify the amount of air exposure, I would employ biological monitoring for the employers who monitor the polishing. The levels of chemicals in the body can sometimes be measured in the blood, urine, or exhaled air. The results would provide an estimate of the actual dose absorbed into the body. The MSDS lists ingredients in the rhodite we could monitor such as lanthanum fluoride, cerium fluoride, praseodymium fluoride, and kaolin.
As a risk assessor student I would uggest controls such as safety glasses with side-shields used by employers and visitors alike. Engineering controls would include a local exhaust ventilation to control dust exposure without compromising the polishing ability. For skin protection, I would enforce those who have had contact to was their hands afterwards. Systems should also ensure that work wear does not become contaminated with dust, which would be carried away from the work area into mess rooms or other areas.
Although the engineering controls may be less feasible, the other controls are a matter of dministrative enforcement and selling the importance of these safety measures to all employees of the mirror lab. One of the physical hazards I observed during the mirror lab tour was with noise levels. Those noise concerns ranged from the air cart, generator, and machine shop. The machine shop in particular concerned me with all the overlapping sounds. Many of the tools utilized such as the machines used to cut the mirrors created active levels of sounds.
They had decibals exceeding 100dbl. The workplace was in a some air ventilation and air flow. Ear and eye protection were also provided. This does not bold well when compared to OSHA’s permissible exposure limit which is 90 dBA for an 8 hour TWA. Because noise levels can cause hearing loss, OSHA requires employers to have a hearing conservation program in place if workers are exposed to a time-weighted average noise level of 85 dBA or higher over an 8 hour work shift. According to the presentation in class, some machines alone exceed 100 dBA.
Using a sound level meter attached to employees, I would monitor the noise levels generated y various pieces of lab equipment to identify equipment that has excessive noise levels to verify these measurements. When equipment exceeds these limits(which according to our presentation, it did), it is important to manipulate engineering controls, posting of warning signs, and hearing protection options. I personally observed several warning signs and MSDS provided by the employer. Moreover, I saw several hearing protection devices available to employees.
To improve on the conditions, I would move noise-producing equipment such as freezers into another oom. Moreover, the mirror lab could place compressors for controlled-temperature rooms in a remote location. Finally, I would provide acoustical treatment on ceilings and walls. Because there are equipment that exceed the 85 dBA set by OSHA, it is extremely important for employers to moniter the amount of time a person can be exposed in the machine shop. Although the standard is an 8 hour shift, if employees are always around the sound-exceeding machines, the amount of time a person can be exposed is cut by more than half.