Evaluation of work conditions in a pasta manufacturing plant with particular consideration of dustiness
Agnieszka Buczaj 1, Halina Pawlak 2, Joanna Tarasińska 3, Piotr Maksym 2, Wojciech Brzana 4 1 - Department of Physical Occupational Hazards, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin 2 - Chair and Department of Technology Essentials, University of Natural Sciences, Lublin, Poland 3 - Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science Applications, University of Natural Sciences, Lublin, Poland 4 - Department of Physical Occupational Hazards, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland Ann Agric Environ Med 2012; 19 (4): ICID: 1024077 Article type: Original article
Objective. The objective of the study was evaluation of work conditions in a pasta manufacturing plant, including: physical and psychological load and factors of material work environment. The main aim was determination of the level of employees’ exposure to our dust.
Methods. Studies of work conditions were conducted in a our processing plant in the Lublin region at the workplace of an automatic production line – operator of the noodle production line, employees packaging pasta, and the manual line – employees responsible for the kneading of dough, cutter operators, and employees engaged in packaging. Energy expenditure, static load and monotony of the movements performed were assessed as a part of the physical load. Mental e ort and monotony of work were assessed as a part of psychological load. Measurements of dustiness, noise, microclimate and lighting were performed according to the Polish standards and regulations in effect. Dust concentrations at work were carried out in the respiratory zone of workers while performing work activities at individual workplaces. Measurements of weight concentrations were carried out in series for individual workplaces, and covered the measurements of concentrations of individual fractions of dust deposited in the sections of the airways (inhaled, thoracic and alveolar).
Results. The evaluation of work conditions, which covered physical and psychological load and factors of the material occupational environment, showed that their values did not exceed the allowable values contained in respective standards. While kneading dough on the manual line, the highest concentrations of dust were observed of inhaled, thoracic and respirable fractions (12.96 mg/m3; 3.09 mg/m3; and 0.18 mg/m3, respectively), whereas the lowest – at the workplace of an operator of an automatic packer (0.39 mg/m3; 0.14 mg/m3; and 0.03 mg/m3). At the workplace of an automatic packer the MAC values for inhaled dust were exceeded. At the remaining workplaces on the manual line, and all workplaces on the automatic line, the MAC values for inhaled and respirable dust were not exceeded.
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