The industrial hygiene profession is focused on the recognition, evaluation, and control of work place hazards. In today’s industrial world there are many different types and magnitudes of health and safety hazards. They include:
Chemical Exposures – Toxic chemicals can come in the form of gaseous, liquid, or solid form and be either acute or chronic.
Fire and Explosion – Explosions may be the results of moving drums, accidentally mixing incompatible chemicals, or introducing an ignition source into an explosive or flammable environment.
Oxygen Deficiency – Identification of atmospheres with oxygen concentrations below 19.5 percent oxygen.
Ionizing Radiation – Emission of either alpha, beta, or gamma radiation.
Biologic Hazards – Medical wastes, poisonous plants, insects, animals, and indigenous pathogens.
Safety Hazards – Physical hazards such as personal protective equipment, unstable surfaces, equipment safe guards or shields, or fall protection.
Electrical Hazards – Proper grounding, water-tight seal, and corrosion-resistant connecting cables should be used to minimize this hazard.
Heat Stress – Avoiding overprotection, careful training, and frequent monitoring of personnel who wear protective clothing, judicious scheduling of work and rest periods, and frequent replacement of fluids can protect against this hazard.
Cold Exposure – Frostbite, hypothermia, and impaired abilities are dangers that can occur at low temperatures and when the wind-chill factor is low.
Noise – Excessive noise exposure can cause distraction, physical damage to ear, and communication interference that can increase potential hazards due to inability to warn of danger.
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