Risk Analysis Of Chemical Substances In An Industrial Unit – A New Tool For Prevention
Free (open access)
E. C. Alexopoulos, S. Kokkini, E. Kleidona & S. Sarvanidis
Accidents involving chemical substances are frequent in industry. Burns on various body sites and toxic inhalation are some of the effects related to accidents involving chemical substances. The aim of this study was to estimate accidents implicated by the handling of chemical substances in a shipyard industry during the last decade. Methods: A retrospective epidemiological study was performed in the shipyard industry from 1995 to 2004 concerning chemical accidents. Data were retrieved through the archive of the Occupational Health Department (OHD), including information on time and place of the accident, description and severity and, the body site affected. Results: From 50 incidents recorded in the whole period, one third concerned dermal burnings and another third eye splashes. It is worth mentioning that the 1995 records included an incident involving 24 workers who inhaled burning fumes, hopefully without serious health effects. Conclusions: Our study indicates that during the period 1990-2004 in an industrial unit of 2000 employees, there were few and mild accidents. Nevertheless, the incident with the 24 affected workers gives strong evidence that chemical substance management could turn into a real tragedy. Employers have to take measures of prevention and early detection because, apart from legal obligations, in most cases, interventions required minimal investment. In order to provide the basis for optimal actions, the OHD has to investigate and evaluate all the incidents and to implement frequent educational programs. A new monitoring system of dangerous gases is presented. Keywords: risk assessment, occupational health, accidents, chemical substance, gas free, shipyard, toxic inhalation, monitoring and prevention.
risk assessment, occupational health, accidents, chemical substance, gas free, shipyard, toxic inhalation, monitoring and prevention.