Hazards And Hazardous Wastes Assessment And Mitigation – University Of Podunk Case Study

The purpose of this paper is to assess the hazards in Podunk University and finding ways of mitigating the hazards. The first thing to consider is a change making process. This is done by informing the University’s management and all heads of department about the hazards and hazardous wastes in their respective departments, the possible risks, the violated laws and possible litigations in case one of the stakeholders in the university gets ill from the risks, and finally ways of mitigating the risks (English, 2011). They should also be informed of their needed cooperation’s in facilitating quick transition of the desired changes, with limited resistances.

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The initial hazard communication efforts should be focused on the automotive department and Massive Arena because of the presence of asbestos materials in the rooms. It is then followed by the physics department which has high voltage apparatus’s, LEDs and lasers. These are known to cause physical hazards like radiation which have a variety of health effects. Tagging on that is the English department containing many photocopiers that also emit dangerous radiations (Moran, 2015). The next one is math department, which has many computers and whiteboards that are associated with emission of microwave radiations. This is followed by chemistry department with chemicals that have not been labeled. The last is biology department that is associated with biological hazards like viruses, bacteria, fungi or protozoa, due to the presence of human and animal dissections.

Automotive technology department has various hazard communication issues. The solvents can pose serious risk to one’s body if not handled with care. It should have information containing how to use it, its flammability, how to offer first aid in case of an accident, and proper disposal methods. The other issue is the use of asbestos brake liners. It is well documented that long term exposure to asbestos can cause asbestosis, which reduce the functioning of the respiratory system or even death. Tagging on that, inhalation of asbestos fibres increases the chances of getting lung cancer or mesothelioma (English, 2011). Proper safety equipment, like grinding goggles should be used, with the appropriate safe working procedures. Hazardous waste issues include proper handling and disposal of waste oil. It must be stored in labeled containers without any leakages; the preferred method of disposal is burning using recommended hazardous waste incinerators.

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The hazardous communication issue in the chemistry department is the presence of chemicals that have not been labeled and well arranged. According to what is documented in Hazard Communication Standard, there must be information about the chemicals and its hazards in every working environment, to enhance chemical safety (Mancomm Inc., 2014). Hazardous waste issue includes what happens in the new forensic program. Considering the fact that the chemical have not been inventoried, there are high chances of mixing the wrong chemicals which might cause harm. The people needing hazard communication in the Massive Arena are the workers employed to do the renovation. They need to know the health effects of long exposure to asbestos, the use of proper protective equipment like nose masks to reduce rate of asbestos inhalation, and observing safe work procedures while attending to their respective duties. The management should also ensure that they have minimum exposure to the risks by redesigning the working process.

The main concerns in the physics department are the physical hazards caused by the high voltage equipment and LED. These are in form of radiations which are absorbed by the body without ones knowledge. The greatest effects of these radiations are on cells that are rapidly dividing, it also damages the blood developing system in the bone marrow (English, 2011). Another risk is its potential to cause cancer in many body parts. Adding on that is the risk of damaging the sperm or egg cells, causing mutations, which can be passed on to offspring.

The response to the presence of hazardous materials and waste spills in the University includes ways of eliminating them and how it should be handled. The hazards can either be eliminated at the source, along the path or at the worker. At the source, involves proper handling and disposal of hazardous materials, which has to appropriately separated, wrapped up and disposed depending on the type of material and potential hazard. This can apply for the case of asbestos, all materials containing asbestos should be removed and replaced with ones that friendly and safe for human use (Moran, 2015). Control along the path entails proper hygiene and safe disposal of waste, which must be practiced in all the departments.

Control at the worker entails the use of administrative controls. The other part is planning maintenance work during off hours so that in case of accidental release of toxic substances, the smallest number of people will be affected. It also entails the use of personal protective equipment as required and having hygiene practices and facilities (Moran, 2015). All the hazards in the University will be handled categorically depending on the nature of possible harm it must result from it. It should be addressed in a manner that the stakeholders, including students and other non-management staff do not develop any form of panic.

Hazard communication is also needed in the English and Math departments because of the presence of photocopiers and computers which are known to emit microwave radiations. Information of how to eliminate the hazard without necessarily discontinuing the use of both devices is needed (Mancomm INC., 2014). Resources essential for finding the solutions for the Hazard Communication matters includes getting information  from material safety data sheets (MSDSs) prepared by chemical manufacturers and importers, OSHA website and Hazard Communication Standards(HCS).The other one is financial support from the University to facilitate quick implementation of the new changes and training services.

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When selecting the type of technology or trainers to conduct the training, several factors have to be considered. The first one is confidentiality, since the trainer will have to see the condition of the University and the necessary information to facilitate the training, the information should remain confidential between both parties. The trainer should have the knowledge and skills of what is needed to be conveyed, with the ability to address all kinds of people (English, 2011). Due to less funding, these training is conducted by the safety manager and some concerns have to be considered when making PowerPoint presentation. The first one is to know the type of audience and using suitable methods that attract their attention, hence paying attention to the presentations. One should ensure that the ideas are wide spread throughout the presentation and moves the audience for easy convincing and passing out of information. The other aspect is pinpointing the key opinions using contrasts. The training can be evaluated by passing out questionnaires after the exercise containing relevant information, and by going through it with the audience to ensure that everyone gets the right information and the desired goals achieved.

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Before marketing the nonflammable compound, so many factors have to be considered. Fist, the compound has to be tested and approved by EPA for its safety. Secondly, the University safety department has to ascertain also that the use of the product cannot introduce other hazards in the environment (Farber, 2014). Marketing of this product by the University raises concerns from different perspectives. First, they have not taken any approval from the relevant regulatory bodies, these shows that it violating OSHA regulations. Secondly, the compound has not been tasted and observed of its use and effects to humans and environment at large. Thirdly, the University is seen to be after its own self-interests, ignoring the safety and health of its stakeholders. The continual manufacture of the compound by the University and storing in the grounds raises more concern, since it has been proved to be a potential hazard and can cause serious harm. The compound might leak and penetrate the soils and aquifers in the ground causing more harm to the ecosystem. The experts to be consulted include Environmental Protection Agency department, United States Department of Labor and OSHA.

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