Case studies to evaluate the working environment in small and medium sized enterprise chemical manufactures in South Wales
Mohamed, Guma E.T.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Case studies concerning the evaluation of working environment were conducted in two Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) chemical manufactures located in South Wales (Case A and Case B). The evaluation of working environments was undertaken by following four stages of inspection protocol: workplace visits, workplace risk assessment, analysis of occupational accidents and monitoring the working environment. Working environment hazards such as chemical, physical, biological, ergonomic and mechanical/electrical hazards were observed in different departments and units of both Case A and Case B. Physical and chemical hazards were the most common hazards that workers were exposed to in the workplace of both SMEs. To be struck by objects or machinery, slips trips and falls were the main causes of the occupational accidents during the three year period 1998 to 2000. The working environment parameters, namely temperature, relative humidity, light and noise were below the recommended standards in most departments and units of Case A and Case B. The concentrations of all hazardous substances (vapours, gases and dusts) in the indoor working environment were below the occupational exposure limit. The results from this study have shown that there are a number of areas, which requires attention in both Case A and Case B to improve the working environment, and minimise the risks that may cause occupational accidents and illness to workers. A number of recommendations have been implemented by both SMEs to help them effectively address the working environment problems.
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