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Working conditions and workers' health in a smelting plant in Konjščina

K. Zlački ; Dom zdravlja Zlatar Bistrica, Hrvatska
J. Hršak ; Institut za medicinska istraživanja i medicinu rada, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 8.596 Kb

str. 277-287

preuzimanja: 323



An investigation was performed of the working conditions in a smelting works and of the workers' state of health. Chemical and physical parameters of the working environment were measured in 1985 on two occasions: in winter (January) and in summer (July). At all the workplaces, except in the laboratory, the conditions were unfavourable: temperature was too low in winter and too high in summer, relative humidity was very high, there was excessive draft in some places during winter time, and excessive heat irradiation during the process of casting. The concentration of airborne dust particles containing free silica was considerably higher than the MAC values and 50°/o of the particles were respirable. Noise was found to exceed standards acceptable for work posts in mechanical casting, those close to the grates for emptying casts and in the rest of the cast cleaning premises. The average phenol, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide values did not exceed maximum allowable concentrations. It is very likely, however, that among the values exceeding 113 of MAC there are short-term concentrations which are greater than the borderline ones. The results of medical examinations indicate that some health impairment among exposed workers may be expected, as well as a greater incidence of certain occupational diseases associated with excessive exposure. This applies in particular to chronic obstructive lung disease, hearing damage and impairment of the locomotive system, the spine in particular. Only one case of silicosis was identified, but more cases may be expected. Recommendations are given for improving working conditions.

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