Embracing Engineering
Knowledge of Engineering Controls Can Lead to Creative Solutions
BY BILL MELE, ROB STRODE, DANIEL HALL, CASSIDY STRODE, AND ANDREY KORCHEVSKIY
Engineering controls are one of the hierarchical priorities in managing occupational exposures and risks. Recent experience, however, indicates that the specialization of industrial hygienists may be a hindrance when considering and designing exposure controls. This article is the first in a series that will discuss how industrial hygienists and engineers can work together to better understand, implement, or improve new and existing solutions for the occupational environment.
 
BEHIND THE MASK A few years ago, we were called by a copper refining and casting facility where copper was being melted and cast into molds (Figure 1). The facility had identified a problem with employee overexposures to inorganic arsenic, copper fume, and copper dust. In addition, individuals working near the melting furnace and the holding furnace also had high heat and excessive noise exposures. The melting and casting process included five individuals on each shift, working at five specific tasks and work locations per shift. Personal and area sampling of metal dust and fume exposures varied from location to location and task to task, with all but one area having contaminant levels in excess of the OSHA PEL.
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