The 7 most common health risks of working in a foundry
The health of foundry workers is at risk both on and off the job. The health risks faced by foundry workers are directly and indirectly influenced by the nature of their work. Foundries work in hazardous environments, so being aware of possible health risks and how to avoid them can help you protect yourself. The 7 most common health risks are:
1. Molten metal explosion
A steam explosion occurs when molten metal comes into contact with moisture, either by introducing moisture into the molten metal or by pouring the molten metal onto a moisture-bearing material.
A chemical explosion is caused by introducing a reactive chemical directly into the molten metal or as a contaminant in the charge material, resulting in an increase in gas pressure within the molten metal.
Burns are, of course, the leading cause of injury, commonly caused by contact with hot surfaces, radiation, or accidental splashing of molten metal.
3. Heat stress
The effects of working in extreme heat range from discomfort and heat rash to fatal heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Workers may suffer prolonged heat stress because they are unaware of the effects of working in extreme environments. Heat stress can affect concentration, perception, and decision-making, and negatively affect behavior and judgment.
Other factors besides furnace heat contribute to body overheating. example:
- Excessive or dangerous clothing
- Inadequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Work factors such as strenuous work, sustained work, and inadequate recovery time
- Seasonal factors such as high temperature and relative humidity, or low air movement
Read our blog on managing heat stress here.
4. Light emission
Intense UV and IR radiation from molten metal in furnaces can cause eye damage and skin burns. This is often caused by ongoing pouring and welding operations.
5. HARMFUL RADIATION
Foundry workers can be exposed to hazards and risks from a variety of hazardous chemicals.
6. Physical hazards
A physical hazard is a property of a chemical that is produced from a chemical reaction. They can pose risks if improperly handled or used, and can often result in personal injury or property damage. Examples include chemicals with flammable, corrosive, explosive, or oxidizing properties.
One of the greatest potential hazards in foundries is physical hazards from some hazardous chemicals. Fires and explosions in foundries have caused deaths and property damage.
7. Health hazards
A health hazard is the property of a chemical that can potentially cause adverse health effects. Exposure can occur through inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion of the chemical.
Inhalation of gases, vapors, fumes and dust will have lasting effects on breathing unless proper protective equipment is worn.
As with any work environment, slips, trips and falls can easily occur, causing permanent injury, pain, muscle aches and sprains. Foundry machinery and equipment can also cause physical injuries and health effects. These are caused by entanglement and crushing, vibration and noise.
Elliotts offers a wide range of both primary and secondary layer protective clothing. Each of our products is designed to the highest standards and there is something for everyone.
Also Read: Differences Between Primary and Secondary Protective Clothing
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