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An evaluation of the preventive and control measures for lead dust exposure in one of the South African foundries
2003 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Foundry workers are exposed to numerous health hazards (WHO, 1999). However, there are preventive and control measures available for dust hazards, which are stipulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 (Act no. 85 of 1993). In particular, lead exposure poses workers to illnesses. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the preventive and control measures of lead dust exposure implemented in one of the South African foundries. The foundry recycles lead-acid batteries hence the need to conduct a study in this workplace. The contemporaneous data was gathered through the method of interviews with the technical director and two environmental officers. Subjective information from the workers was obtained by use of the questionnaire. Other information was obtained from the walkthrough evaluation of the plant. For retrospective data (from the year 2000 until 2002), records for air monitoring and blood samples for lead was obtained from the company. Other information was obtained from the company throughout the research through correspondence with relevant stakeholders. From this study it was found that the foundry implements the most effective preventive and control measures for lead exposure. The measures that are implemented include engineering and administrative controls, education and training, medical examinations and air monitoring. It was reported that the engineering controls are implemented as the first priority in controlling lead exposure in this foundry. Baghouses are the best engineering control measure that the environmental officers recommended. However, in areas such as the battery breaking and smelting there were very high air and blood lead levels. These high levels could be attributed to either improper maintenance of the engineering controls or a lack of supervision or monitoring for regular use of PPE in designated areas. From this study it was concluded and recommended that the foundry should consider an effective maintenance programme for all control measures implemented in the foundry. There should also be a clear policy regarding use of PPE. It is also recommended that the management should allow workers to rotate and have autonomy in their work. Housekeeping and personal hygiene should also be strictly enforced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, dust, foundries, lead dust, prevention
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-43719ISRN: LTU-EX--03/069--SELocal ID: 18fcd2eb-f3b1-4902-847f-f71a8fe6da96OAI: diva2:1016960
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
Ergonomics, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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