Despite that the 21st century has realized numerous developments in technology, civilization and administration of human safety, calamities are still cropping up. This has called upon the focus on industrial hygiene in the endeavors of ensuring safety of all human kind. Basically, industrial hygiene entails all process of recognizing, anticipation, controlling and evaluation of the workplace conditions.
This is aimed at identifying and preventing conditions which may cause injury or illness to the workers serving in the station. Various strategies are adopted by industrial hygienists so as to detect the level of worker exposure. Some of the approaches include analytical and environmental monitoring methods.
In response to the case of New Orleans Hospital which has been affected by the Katrina disaster, the concept of industrial hygiene should be adopted in the recovery process. This is aimed at ensuring optimum safety of all personnel serving at the site. Analysis of the current situation has demonstrated a very devastating condition.
This is evident in the state of the buildings, equipments, power supply, surgical suites and clinical laboratory among other elements of the hospital. With this in mind, optimum care and expertise should be adopted in addressing the situation and bringing the hospital back to its state. The main guidelines and industrial hygiene concerns in the clean-up process will be adequately addressed in this paper.
An extensive worksite analysis should be undertaken so as to offer an insight on the real situation. This is a very crucial step that should be executed in determining the potential problems. The rescue team should at first be well versed with the real ground situation.
By undertaking a worksite analysis, the rescue personnel will be able to identify the problem tasks, exposures and risks. It should be noted that the worksite analysis should be undertaken in a very elaborate and intensive manner.
This should entail all work activities, operations and jobs to be undertaken. In this particular scenario, the clinical laboratory, surgical suites, and pharmacy are filled with debris and trash. This situation demonstrates the massive amount of work that needs to be carried out in the rescue process. An evaluation of cases of public intrusion after the event should also be conducted.
As evident in the case, muddy footprints and open cabinets signify intrusion by the public thus calling for concern. Based on the current situation, the industrial hygienists and the rescue personnel will carry out research, inspection and analysis on how the physical, pharmaceutical, chemical and biological hazards affect worker health.
Information gathered from the analysis of the situation will lead to provision of guidelines and recommendations on the appropriate course of action (Nims 27).
With regards to the messy and tempered state of the clinical laboratory, surgical suites, pharmacy and power terminals in the hospital, optimum consciousness should be held so as to prevent toxic exposure of the recovery workers. It should be observed that all operations within the recovery site should be carried in a responsible, safe and compliant manner. All employees working in the recovery site should be maintained at acceptable exposure limits.
This is in avoidance of the toxic nature of the physical, biological, chemical and pharmaceutical agents at the site. Some of the main approaches in minimizing the exposures include engineering controls, hazard elimination, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment.
All personnel should be brought to task in executing this policy on acceptable exposure limits. The organization should be responsible for offering all material resources for protecting the workers at the site (Talty 48).
Recognition and control of hazards
In light with the ideas of Talty (48), safety of workers in the recovery site should be administered through reduction of employee exposure. Employee exposure can in this case be reduced through appropriate work practice, engineering and administrative controls. In the case of engineering, the rescue team should remove or reduce hazard at the source.
The workers can also be isolated from the hazard. At the hospital site, a lot of debris, mud and trash have been identified to be scattered in the ground floors. This should be safely removed so as to avoid any toxic exposures or risks to the workers. The surgical suites, pharmacy and clinical laboratory have also been noted to be overwhelmed by debris, trash and public intrusion.
This might have significant impacts on the wellbeing of the workers due to possible toxic exposures. In response to this situation, these places should be handled with great care. The rescue personnel should remove all toxic chemicals at the site and replace them with less hazardous ones.
On the other hand, work operations in the recovery site should be confined or enclosed in safe sites. Additionally, local and ventilation systems should be installed. This would ensure comfort and safety of the workers following the tempering of the original state of the offices (Talty 48).
Work practice controls
Work practice controls should also be administered during the recovery process. Some of the key work controls include inspection and maintaining control equipments and processes in regular basis. Workers should also be guided to follow proper procedures which have minimal exposures in executing the recovery process.
Implementation of good house-keeping procedures should also be undertaken which ensures that all activities are accounted for. The concept of good supervision should also embraced, which in this case ensures that good conduct of all personnel is maintained.
From another perspective, work practices concerning the issues of drinking, smoking, eating, application of cosmetics, and chewing gum or tobacco should be prohibited in the regulated areas (Nims 27).
In order to ensure optimum safety of the workers, administrative controls should also be undertaken. This can include controlling of employees from direct exposures through the adoption of scheduling procedures.
For instance, operations with the highest exposures can be scheduled when fewest employees are present. This will ensure highest safety of the employees. The administration should also be steadfast in ensuring appropriate respiratory equipments among other protective equipments (Talty 48).
Training and Education
In execution of the rescue process, adequate training and education to the workers should be administered. This should not only be conducted to the workers but also the general public which may be in the vicinity of the rescue process. Some of the information services can be administered through technical advice, audiovisual, and speakers for special engagement.
Through the provision of education, essential tips on health and safety will offered. The public as well as the workers should be adequately enlightened on how to safeguard themselves from the toxic exposures as well as future incidences (Nims 27).
By adopting the above highlighted recommendations and industrial hygiene concerns, the workers will be able to ensure safety in the recovery process.
The health of the workers is a priority in the recovery process and should thereby be considered. The basic and most crucial issues of concern are the worksite analysis, exposure limits, training, education and recognition and control of hazards. With adherence to these aspects, efficiency in the recovery process will be realized.
Nims, Debra. Basics of Industrial Hygiene. New York: Prentice Hall, 2009.
Talty, John. Industrial Hygiene Engineering: Recognition, Measurement, Evaluation, and Control. London: Routldge, 2008.