Case Study;Safety Plan…
Consider the following scenario…
You are the safety and occupational health professional for your city’s health department. You received a call from a major food-distribution warehouse about some employees who are complaining of dizziness and feeling sick. The scene is a very large warehouse; a significant portion is refrigerated. The illnesses are being reported from a refrigerated section (about 40 degrees F), where workers are blister packing food products on a production line. The warehouse has 20 loading docks, two railroad car lines that end directly inside the warehouse (in close proximity to the production area), a dozen or so gas powered forklifts, and no sensors or environmental monitors of any kind except those associated with the refrigeration systems.The warehouse manager is cooperative, but he points out that he is in the middle of contract negotiations with the union. He is also very proud of the fact that they have special seals on the loading dock doors and throughout the warehouse to keep the cold in and the heat out.You cannot identify any discernible odors other than the exhaust from the forklifts when they move by you. There are four women waiting for you in the break room complaining of dizziness and lightheadedness. They are all comparing and complaining about their symptoms. There are 14 employees who work in this area of the warehouse: 12 women and 2 men.
Based on the given scenario, develop a plan of action that includes how you would conduct the investigation, how you would identify possible sources of the problem, and your opinion on the likely source…..
Discuss the standards applicable to possible sources. Include several recommendations you would make to the manager to help solve the problem based on your research into documented best practices for similar situations……
You may make assumptions about the scenario in order to propose solutions
(be certain to state your assumptions clearly)……..
All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations……….
1). Carbon monoxide exposure;
2). insufficient ventilation;
3). check whether the ventilation is balanced; check where the air intake is coming from;
4), if the ventilation make up air is coming from the production area see if there is a way to reroute;
5). industrial hygiene study; review chemical inventory of chemicals used in area looking specifically for exposures;
6). hang personal monitoring devices to see levels of exposure;
7). compare the levels of exposures to the OSHA PELs/TLVs;
8). based what your exposures are then you can develop how to control – engineering, PPE, administrative;
9). check the Carbon Monoxide levels of the forklifts (major contributor);
10). change forklifts from gas powered to electric or propane (need to keep tuned up because they do emit CO;
11). freon may be emitted from a faulty refrigeration so check;
12). go to NIOSH and look for studies on refrigeration gases;
13). go to the CDC website and do a search on the different chemicals and studies;
14).send the personnel complaining to an industrial physician but brief him before sending;
15). ask the physician if they may have personal problems that could cause the symptoms;
16). relocate the workers to see if their symptoms resolve; monitor the replacement workers health;
17). consult with your insurance carrier, as they may have an Industrial Hygienist on retainer or staff;
18). speak with your maintenance department to elicit their help in identifying building issues, as what maintenance they have been doing on the Refrigeration and forklifts;
19). look at the industry and businesses surrounding the plant to screen what chemicals they may be emitting …
Prioritize the actions above by amount of cost then time ..
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