Health and safety in surface engineering

Surface engineering refers to a wide range of technologies designed to modify the surface properties of components for decorative and/or functional purposes. The industry has significantly higher accident rates (for fatal, major and 3-day injuries) than manufacturing as a whole. Indeed, whilst accident rates for manufacturing have dropped over the last 6 year period, in Surface Engineering industries they have increased. For example, the major injury rate for surface engineering has increased from 270 (per 100,000 employees) in 1996/7 to 445 in 2002/3 whereas the manufacturing industry rates have fallen from 206 to 196 over the same period. In the health topics rubric, HSE explains  that there is also considerable underreporting of cases of occupational ill health ; they are related to lifting/carrying heavy and/or awkward objects, use of irritant and allergic chemicals (nickel, powder coatings, chromium etc), use of two-pack (isocyanate) paints, Vibration from polishing mops, hand-held grinders. They discuss also about the main causes of injury in the surface engineering industry.


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