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Risk Assessment and Control Measures, Case Study Example

Pages: 2

Words: 647

Case Study

The case study, “Hazardous Noise” is description of a situation in a work environment in which a machine shop produces noise, which makes the environment non-conducive for most employees. The shop has an area of 10,000 sq. ft. It has 12-ft high concrete block walls and a flat metal roof. The shop also has two band saws, three drill presses, two metal lathes, three abrasive grinders, and one milling machine.

Noise is one of the major distractors of workers in large and small companies. Noise from machines usually affects workers lowering their production ability and level. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has exposed noise exposure standards with the aim of protecting the hearing of employees (OSHA Directive, 1992). There standards are well designed to protect employees in the general industry like manufacturing, service sector and utilities from health harms caused by noise produced by the machines. The above form displays a risk assessment that was conducted on the shop based the level at which the noise affect the people at different levels in the shop. The initial risk assessment is a reflection of the hazard caused by the noise before any measures were introduced. The post Control Measure Risk Assessment, on the other hand, is a reflection of the risk after additional risk control measures were applied.

Before control measures are applied, the entire production process usually affects various processes and employees. From the form, the initial risk assessment shows that the hazard target s, personnel, and equipment are mostly affected by the noise. First, the noise interferes with hearing of employees. This makes coordination among workers hard. Low coordination implies poor communication among the handlers of the equipment in the shop. In essence, it is possible to make mistake leading to breakdown of some equipment. Besides, noise emanates from the machines and when it is not absorbed or released elsewhere, a larger percentage of the sound energy is retained in the shop making the place unbearable to employees. Noise pollution affects the environment interfering with its calm nature and hinders hearing not only to employees but also to other people living in the surrounding. However, its effect on the environment is of course less severe to its effect on the personnel and equipment. Noise in shops or industries do not affect the products in the industries in direct way. The quality and quantity of the products do not rely to the frequency or the level of noise produced by the machineries (Bergel et al, 2000). The downtime is also never affected by noise. The probability of the risk occurring was frequent due to the fact that machines have to operate by employees who are affected by the noise. Before the measures, the noise is consistent making the risk occurrence likelihood frequent.

According to OSHA, the daily permissible hours of noise exposure should be eight and the sound level should be 90-dBA slow response. The sound level should be indirectly proportional to the permissible daily exposure duration. When the exposure is one hour, the sound level should not exceed 105-dBA slow response (OSHA Directive, 1992). From the case study, the sound level was 88 dBA to 97 dBA but sometimes it exceeded 100 dBA. After measures were put in place such as installing proper sound absorbent materials in the office walls, equipping workers with equipment that would ensure that their hearing is not affected, using appropriate lubricants to lower the noise or buying machines that are noise that ensures noise-free environment while under operation, there was a significant change in the whole process. Severity became marginal in both personnel and equipment and negligible in the environment. The probability of the risk occurring became remote and the risk went low.

References

Berger, E.H., et al. (2000). The Noise Manual. 5th ed. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Field Operations Manual. OSHA Directive CPL 02-00-045 [CPL 2.45B]. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1992.

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