Steel like any other metal have been referred to as the backbone on the modern industries. For once, it is a moderately cheap building as well as cheap construction material which is used to make cars, ships, and is used in almost every kind of machinery. Steel have been preferred by welders and also those people dealing with vehicle construction since it is friendly to the economic of most countries making it impossible for people to do without it.
Steel was known in archeological find and it is believed to be an alloy that mostly consists of iron and has carbon content betwixt 0.2% and about 2.1% by weight, which depends on the grade. Carbon, manganese, vanadium, chromium and tungsten are among the alloying elements for iron as well as they act as hardening agent which prevents dislocations in the iron atom gemstone from sliding over each other. The amount of alloying elements and their presence in the steel metal controls some qualities such as the metal hardness, ductility, and the tensile strength of the resulting steel metal.
Steel is believed to have been produced by different methods for a long time. The use of steel have become more common after a fundamental and more efficient manufacture techniques were devised in the early 17th century where they started developing factories for manufacturing steel supplies. The development of factories came up with recompense and disadvantages to human health resulting to hazards that made workers to risk their live while working in steel factories.
Risks in steel factories
To start with, steel factories have some risks that workers undergo while doing their day to day activities. It is believed that certain groups of workers who normally earn their daily bread by working in steel factories are at high risk of asbestos exposure due to the surrounding or the environment to which they are working. The asbestos which is a chemical that is known to cause human cancer was first reported in the United Sates during World War II at around 1980s. It was said that those workers who were mainly working at places of constructions, rail works as well as those in the steel manufacturing industries were at great of asbestos since they were inhering the fiber that dissipitated into the air due to commotion.
Asbestos fiber had been known to puts steel mill workers at risk due to its exposure especially to those steel mills which were built before 1980s. The reason for the use of asbestos it’s because it’s known to be a heat and energy resistance substance. Since steel mills are believed to be very hot working places for labors and they are obligatory to work around extremely hot areas that involves working with very hot substance like liquid and solids asbestos is used to help cooling the places as well as for preventing chances of fire eruptions from the factories. For its advantage in cooling the places of work as well as acting as a fire extinguisher, any individual who attended the factory during the working hours was at risk of getting cancer due to inhalation of asbestos.
Even though the workers could not necessarily involved in laboring activities, use of asbestos could not be avoided in steel factories since it had it’s specific used in steel mills. Despite the use of asbestos as a fire resistance, it was also known to have a high tensile as well as it’s resistance to physical and chemical breakdown of several substances and due to this, steel mills could not stop using the asbestos in order to maintain the quality of their products but on the other hand it was minimizing the lifespan of a man.
In the steel factories, workers are the ones who controls the machines and where machines are not used they handle the task for themselves. If someone is working in the position of the skull cracking point, a heavy weight is allowed to drop from a distance in order to breakup the pieces of scrap. When the weights fall on the scrap, several chunks of scrap fly in deferent directions and one is expected to dodge them before they fall and some people are gotten unaware and been injured while some get seriously injured and others could die. Pieces of steel metals can penetrate through the shoes of those workers who don’t have suitable boots for the kind of work they do undertake. Despite the failure to dodge for the scrap, the liquid form steel spills on people and gave them injuries which may happen to be life time injuries.
There are several injuries in steel working mills which include back injuries as result from heavy lifting for several times and ones workers are involved in lifting heavy object, they get themselves in such risks. The brightness of the metal while melting affects some workers eyes and some end up becoming partially blind at their old age as a result of the risks they passed through while working in the steel factories.
Discussion on the risks that initiates in steel factories, there are a number of risks that are gone through as steel industries day to day measures are been undertaken. The risks include exposing oneself to gases that can end up causing human agonizing diseases which is cancer, chest problems as a result of lifting overweight materials, risk of human life since as some factories which are not well equipped depend on people to time the cracked pieces and if one delays or by bad lack fails to get in touch with the object it can end up hurting some one and one may collapse.
Despite the various risks encountered in steel plants, there are several injuries that workers stumble upon as they neglect their daily duty habitual. Steel plant like any other factories employ some people on contracts and therefore in one time or the other they employ people who have never been to the same profession before and therefore before they become used to the red hot metals, molten metal and all the progression undergone before the final stage to get the product steel, some spent time taking photos to the process and as they do so they get burned and end up getting serious injuries.
The most frequent injuries are caused by explosions of fire in plants and lack of suitable comprehension by those working in the plant on how to handle the circumstance incase the fire erupts or any other kind of things. Despite injuries from fire eruption, some workers who have law earnings end up going to such risk places without proper attires for such kind of job and therefore encounter a lot of injuries. For instance some use their simple shoes at work since they don’t have full compact for the kind of job they do.
For instance some use their simple shoes at work since they don’t have enough to sustain themselves and buy proper and protective attires for such job and most end up having a lot of injuries. Tetanus is another life hazard that is also common to those people working in the steel factories. Due to several words that people get and ignore while others get the words but due to small wedges they are unable to visit health centres can cause a severe turn-up to human life and most probably death if one hand several serious words without visiting the health centre.
Working in steel factories does not only affects those people who works in the factories but also those people who live near the plants area. People passing near the plats station, those who work in the factories as well as those who leave within the factory regions are at higher risk of generating cancer disease since the asbestos fiber gas which is used as a steel strengthening agent is contaminates the air of which it becomes one of the hazardous risk that is encountered by human beings near any plant stations. Due to steel being melted through several stages, some stages are more hazardous due to some radiation which affect mans health as well can develop to premature or abnormal births and those people who are sensitive to chemicals can end up having asthma which never ends as they live near factories which has the smell of the gas for daily basis.
Scientist have proved that those people who lives near factories where chemicals are used are at a higher risk of developing cancer, have unusual births, brain damage and some women experiences miscarriages and loss their unborn babies life due to the use of chemicals which are harmful to their lives. Despite the use of chemicals in steel plants, chemicals have also caused tribulations to other human having their routine duties in factories. Most of the companies drain their waste products in the rivers and people use the same water for their domestic purposes and therefore have health hazards like typhoid and many other related diseases caused by dirty water. The chemicals in water that may have originated from the companies make human lifespan diminutive and this can lead to extinction of healthy persons and some people starts conceiving abnormal kids.
High temperature affect people working in their steel companies this is because steel is obtained after passing it through high temperatures and in the process, there are those who used to handle situations of passing the molten form of steel since some companies are not well equipped with machines that can make all process complete without human meddling.
High temperatures while welding process takes place is essentially hazardous occupation to most workers since this use both heat and electricity to join the metal. While the process of melting is taking place, there are many types of fumes which are generated that can be toxic to the person doing the task. Scientist has proved that continuous exposure to these toxic substances can affect human health in terms short terms and long terms ways. Steel welding in particular can be more hazardous and welders are advised to make every effort as well use the protective gears such as respirators and fume removal equipments rather than using their simple ways to remove fumes.
There are several fumes associated with steel welding such as hexavalent chromium which is associated with diseases like cancer, asthma, kidney damage, gastric erosion among other several diseases. Since these kind of disease is as a result from steel welding, employers as well as workers are advised to work in open places where high degree ventilations in orders to have good respiration and provide individuals safety.
Nickel is another compound that results from the fumes of stainless steel welding and factories. It is believed to have been associated with increased rates of respirations diseases such as respiration irritation, bronchitis, decreased lung function and asthma which are the human hazardous diseases. According to the United States environmental protection agency, Nickel can cause other health problems like nausea and numerous diarrheas and vomiting as well known to be causing kidney damage.
Phosgene is another gas created when chlorinated hydrocarbons used in solvent steel decomposes. Its reaction with moisture produces hydrogen chlorine which is a harsh caustic that destroys lung tissue and therefore chlorinated solvents should be avoided near welding operations more so those who do welding using steel products.
How industries should prevent risks
Integrated steel plants are large factories with a complex structure and a broad range of products, and are designed for high capacity output. Mini mills on the other hand, are less complex and usually limited in their range of products and have production levels that are comparatively low. Some of these mini mills specialize in high valued finished products such as superior quality stainless steel or special alloys. In highly industrialized countries, companies’ have concentrated values in one facility, essentially creating critical bottlenecks and potentially long Business Interruption periods. This trend, which could result in major losses, is caused by the necessity of the steel industry to become increasingly efficient and competitive. In the past, capital was separated between two or three sites, rather than just one. Another manufacturing trend to improve efficiency is to optimize industrial process flow by dedicating one plant to a single type of product, as well as utilization of just-in-time production techniques. In less industrialized countries, despite the lack, in some instances of modern high rate production equipment, the reliability of production is often ensured by a very high degree of joblessness and back-up capabilities.
Injuries are believed to happen in any workplace and can happen at any time of the day or even at night. They can happen in some physical industry, such as industrial unit, a steel factory, laying asphalt, construction, or anything else that is labor-heavy in this way. Use of heavy tools in unchanged way over and over again can lead to obvious injuries, such as misuse of tools and serious bodily harm, but can also cause injury simply by the recurrence of movements. But the funny thing is that these kinds of injuries are not just found in these kinds of heavy labor jobs. With the rise and take over of the white collar job and office-based job, there emerging of all kinds of physical tribulations related to this particular kind of work environment. For example, there is now an official medical term for the eye strains that you suffer from looking at a computer all day long which have been referred to as Computer Vision condition.
As time goes on under the technology influence all over the world, Large plants should implement their old systems of working to the modern days machines since new machines which are fast, less labor and time efficient which can also be used in steel manufacturing industries. Employers should be managing work properly by providing several supervisors who are able to supervise the factory at any point and can be able to detect and explosion hence preventing damages from happening in the factories.
Despite the factories employing all kind of people not even knowing their education background, the employers should at least employ people who are sophisticated so that they can be able to know and handle the kind of machines which are bought and by doing this, they will be adapting fast to the use of machine hence reducing the risks and injuries that may happen in a factory or have severe physical hazards. There are several recommended issues on how to prevent and control potential worker injuries include making transport paths to be clear and working areas so as to prevent obstacles that may cause injuries. Appropriate design and layout of facilities to avoid crossover of several activities and smooth flow of processes as well as making sure those workers are well trained on how to handle the lifting equipments and have knowledge on how to drive the transport machines.
Restrictions of some places where material and product handling are from workers and at the same time have much supervision. Supervisors under maintenance should make sure that the maintenance of lifting electrical and transport are well conducted. There should be grids around the stands and shields where rolled materials are seen to come off rolling guides in order to prevent accident. As for the case of hot liquids and heat, they are known to cause fatigue and hydration and direct radiation causes a sight risk.
Other risks occur from contact with hot water or hot metals and from contact with hot surfaces. The preventive measures for these kinds of risks include shielding of surfaces where close contact with hot equipment or splashing from hot materials is expected, use of protective gloves which may be insulated, proper shoes and goggles in case of radiation to protect ultraviolet radiations. Another key issue that most employers do not implement is by providing work breaks so that workers can get access to cool resting areas and dinking water. In the case of testing steel composition by the use of gamma ray radiation occurs mostly and these can be avoided by caring out the test in a controlled and restricted areas using shielded collimator and ensure that there is no other activity taking place in the testing area.
Other risks hazards which may be referred to as respiratory hazards where asbestos and other fibers have been used widely in older plants may pose risks to human. This is due to inhalation of cancer causing substances and some simple measure could prevent the spread and high risk cancer developing. The measures include upgrading of the factories where asbestos is used most; Plant where asbestos is used should have wide survey and a management plan and where asbestos containing insulation materials should be completed by certified profession. In case of constructions that use asbestos insulates, the contracts should be given to proper trained and certified contractors and personnel following international accepted procedures for any kind of repair or removal of asbestos containing substances. Radiation, respiration, dust, noise and chemicals are hazards encountered in steel factories among others.
Steel factories have developed form the early methods of manufacturing it and there have been developed measures that are fast, human safety and less hazardous to human being. The steel factories where outdated methods are used to obtain the metal from its law products should try and update their systems in order to reduce human labour and provide a friendly environment. Trained persons on how to use the new technology is required as this will prevent risks takers from doing what they don’t know for the sake of gaining their daily read. Supervision in another way that can be used to prevent injuries in the factories and smooth running of the plant is ensured when there is proper supervision as anything could be reported as soon as it happen and right measures are taken The use of fiber containing asbestos should be avoided and people should be kept aware of it’s side effect and natives living near these plants should be warned of using water that comes from factories streams it this water may contain hazardous chemicals.