The emission of hazardous substances and exposure to them cannot be determined by pollutant measurements at actual workplaces in all cases. Complex procedures for the measurement of hazardous substances are for example not always possible at real workplaces. Unavoidable extraneous influences from neighbouring work areas may also invalidate the measurement results and thus rule out measurement at the workplace in question. Retrospective examination of workplace situations, as may be performed for example in connection with occupational diseases, requires that the conditions at the workplace do not change by the time the study is performed. In many cases however the work processes, the working conditions or the substances employed may have changed to the extent that the workplace or comparable workplaces are no longer available for retrospective study. Measurements at the workplaces under the new conditions thus cease to be of value, if indeed they are even possible. In such cases, and also where prospective studies are to be performed, for example for the purpose of prevention, simulation of the work process is a proven method for assessment of exposure to hazardous substances. With the commissioning of a cabin for the simulation of working operations, the BG Institute for Occupational Safety (BIA) has created a means by which work processes may be reproduced, and thus for the use of measurement technology for the ascertainment of hazardous substance concentrations under defined conditions.
A design concept was initially drawn up in the form of a specification defining the requirements of the test bench. This specification provided suppliers with a basis for planning. Following completion of the test bench, the performance of the ventilation system was tested. A working process is currently being simulated, at the request of the Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the MetalI Industry in Northern Germany, involving cleaning operations performed with carburettor fuel containing benzene.
The cabin and its ventilation system were examined with the following conclusion: the installation meets the requirements of the specification.
-cross sectoral-Type of hazard:
Gefahrstoffe, Arbeitsbedingte ErkrankungenCatchwords:
Chemische Arbeitsstoffe, GefährdungsbeurteilungDescription, key words:
simulation of working operations, test bench, assessment of exposure, exposure to hazardous substances