Sample Healthcare Paper on Chemical Safety & Industrial Hygiene

Chemical Safety & Industrial Hygiene

Introduction

After having been appointed the new director of occupational Health and safety at a small corporation specializing in manufacture of computer microchips processors, my role is to take up the duties that come with the position head on. First on the agenda is the formulation of a new company plan with policies to address several health and safety issues and address exposure to the chemicals in second hand smoke at the facilities.

Exposure to chemicals

Computer microchips processors require complex procedures that involved the use of hazardous chemicals. Chemicals such as ethylene glycol (glycol, EG, glycol alcohol), benzene, hydrogen chloride gas and xylene are some of the potentially harmful compounds that employees working in computer microchip processors are exposed to. All these compounds are carcinogenic especially when individuals are exposed to them over long periods of time. Benzene is of particular interest because of the numerous recent studies that have been carried out to ascertain its carcinogenic nature. Benzene has been found to increase the level of chronic toxicity and has been associated with leukemia and non Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Charzis, Alexopoulos, Linos, 2005). The employees that are directly exposed to benzene and other organic chemicals at the factory will have to wear protective clothing and conduct a thorough detoxification incase of any accidental exposure. The employees will also be retrained on the negative effects of the chemicals at the factory, and issues with new protective gear incase it is worn out. The employees will appreciate such information and it will serve to increase their motivation and productivity levels and their loyalty as well.

Chart showing microchip production process (electronic materials, 2014)

Second hand smoking at the factory

Smoking of cigarettes results in many harmful health effects to the smokers and to those exposed to the second hand smoke. Unfortunately, most of the individuals that smoke are addicted to it and cannot quit easily. Quitting is associated with dizziness, headaches and anxiety. However, the smoke is a health hazard, especially in a factory setting such as at this particular computer microchips processors company. People working at the factory where industrial chemicals such as benzene and other industrial chemicals are used, are already at an increased risk of hematological cancers. Benzene and other organic compounds used at the factory bring about oxidation of cells in the body and reacts with essential enzymes, which interferes with the exposed individuals’ DNA (Charzis, Alexopoulos, Linos, 2005).

The company should set apart an area where smokers can go and smoke away from the non smokers. The area should be far from the exit or anywhere else where other people in the company would have to pass through in order to get their way. Employees who are caught smoking outside of the smoking zone should be fined and issued with warning memos. This method would be effective because individuals do not like losing the money that they have put in a lot of time and effort to earn.

The company should also facilitate smoking support groups so as to encourage those that are addicted to quit since it is not good for their health. Since the company provides medical covers for the employees, it stands to lose if it does not try to help avoid more serious medical cases from affecting the employees (James, Barfield, Britt & James, 2008). The non smoking employees have a right to be protected from the second hand smoke from the smokers because they do not chose to be exposed to the smoking workers, yet they have to work at the factory to earn their living. Lung and mouth cancer are the most common forms of cancers associated with smoking; both first hand and second hand smoke

References

Charzis C, Alexopoulos EC, Linos A, (2005). Cancer Risk for Thai Traffic Police Exposed to

Traffic Benzene Vapor, Asian Pacific Organization for Cancer Prevention, Retrieved May 29, 2012 from http://www.apocpcontrol.org/page/popup_paper_file_view.php?pno=Vmlyb2ogV2l3YSZrY29kZT0zOTQ=&pgubun=i

Electronic materials. Computer Chip Production process. 2014, web. Accessed on 13 ct 2014

from http://www.azem.com/en/About-AZ/Innovation%20our%20passion/Production%20process/Microchip-production.aspx

James, H., Barfield, L., Britt, J., & James, R.. (2008). Worker Exposure to Secondhand Smoke:

Evaluating a prediction model. Professional Safety, 53(9), 34-44. Retrieved May 29, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1560719481).