Environmental health and safety assessment questions

  1. Cindy is the plant manager from Gemstone, and she has asked you to perform a sound level survey and noise dosimetry in the fabrication shop, which can get pretty noisy when all three mechanical power presses and the 12-foot shear are running at the same time for several hours a day. She also asked that you identify noise level exposures in the adjacent welding department. Your results indicate that the noise levels in the area are just above the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure level for an average day in the fabrication department.
 

The welding department is adjacent to the fabrication department, and there is no separating wall. The welding operations are not quite as noisy, although the crackle of a well-adjusted MIG welder can be rather loud when welding mild steel. Noise monitoring and dosimetry of the welders indicated an exposure of just over OSHA’s Action Level of 85 Dba. In addition, you remember taking the survey readings and watching the noise level jump in the welding shop every time the power presses or shear cycled in the fabrication area.
 

After consulting with fellow industrial hygienists, it was determined that setting up a 12′ X 30′ noise barrier wall between the fabrication area and the welding area and adding noise absorption panels to both sides of the barrier wall and to the white-painted concrete walls in the fabrication department would decrease the sound levels in the welding area to several decibels below OSHA’s Action Level.
 

Of course, these engineering controls will cost $33,000 dollars. This is compared to a continuing hearing conservation program to include annual audiograms, or hearing tests, annual training, and providing noise protection for the welding department which is estimated to cost $9,000 per year. This amount would be saved each year if the engineering controls are installed.
 

If the company takes out a loan for $33,000 at 5% interest, what will the payback period be for the loan? Please consult your unit lesson for the necessary formulas. What would be your recommendation to the employer with respect to the options available? Please show your work. Make sure you justify your reasoning and that you consider the hierarchy of controls in your discussion.
 

Your response must be at least 200 words in length in addition to your financial analysis.

2. In the not-too-distant past, it was common for Occupational Safety and Health professionals to consider the hierarchy of controls according to the following priority order: 

  1. Engineering controls,
  2. Administrative controls
  3. Personal Protective Equipment

 However, eliminating the hazard and substitution have usurped engineering control’s position at the top of the hierarchy although they have always been obvious best options, just not always included in discussions of the hierarchy of controls. Identify two examples where elimination of the hazard or substitution was, or might be, applied as a means of hazard control. Discuss some of the pros and cons of this option as compared to the other options in the hierarchy. You may also select examples from places you have worked or for which you have some familiarity.
 

Your response must be at least 200 words in length.

3. Your organization, a company that manufactures fitness equipment such as treadmills and elliptical machines, is about to introduce lean concepts into its operations in order to be more competitive with foreign manufacturers. The foreman from the assembly department, however, does not think that his employees have the time to be involved with the lean initiative. Provide a convincing argument about why it is important for the assembly line workers to play a part.
 

Your response must be at least 75 words in length.

4. A manufacturing facility that makes steel materials handling devices such as hand carts and an assortment of roller carts for moving heavy materials around in manufacturing facilities has decided to start making cantilever storage racking systems. This will require the purchase and installation of a 12-foot hydraulic press brake and a 12-foot shear in the fabrication department along with the necessary tools and dies to bend and punch holes in the rack components that will largely be manufactured from formed sheet metal. Employees have experience working smaller versions of this type of equipment, but room will need to be made and larger pieces of sheet metal will need to be cut and handled. The department will also need to continue to produce existing orders while the new equipment is installed. How can a management of change program be used to reduce risks in such a scenario?
 

Your response must be at least 75 words in length.

5. Your purchasing department does not want to buy adjustable hydraulic pallet stands for the filter assembly line at a company that makes oil filters for cars and trucks. They state that the current process works just fine and that expensive, adjustable stands are not required in the Occupational Health and Safety Administration standards. The production employees in the facility are largely female and many have worked at the facility for decades. The current process for accessing filter parts entails having assemblers bend over to pick up arm loads of the various filter components from a pallet or bin and placing them on a table beside their respective workstations. The parts are assembled and pressed into place, and the completed product placed in a separate bin. Please provide a risk-based argument as to why the adjustable pallet stands would be the better choice.
 

Your response must be at least 200 words in length.

6. What benefits can be achieved through benchmarking of safety and health training?
 

Your response must be at least 75 words.

7. What are some obstacles to successful benchmarking of safety training? Suggest some ways to overcome these obstacles.
 

Your response must be at least 200 words.

8. Describe how you would conduct formative and summative assessments of Environmental Health and Safety training. Who should conduct each of these assessments?
 

Your response must be at least 200 words.

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