Occupational exposures during routine activities in coal-fueled power plants
Bird, Mona Jill
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Literature on occupational exposures in coal-fueled power plants is limited. The study evaluated respirable dust, inorganic arsenic, noise, asbestos, and heat stress. Each facility surveyed was divided into five similar exposure groups (SEGs). At each facility, 50 respirable dust, 32 arsenic, and 70 noise samples were collected, for a total of 392 air and 302 noise samples. Twenty personal heat-stress samples were taken. One air sample exceeded the occupational exposure values (OEVs). Of the 302 noise samples, 49 (16%) were equal to or greater than the OSHA 8-hour 85 dBA action level, and 9 (3%) were equal to or greater than the OSHA 8-hour 90 dBA PEL. Heat-stress monitoring indicates 26% of the 1-hour TWAs exceeded recommended heat-stress limits. Some worksites were above the ceiling values recommended by NIOSH. Four employees exceeded recommended limits for heart rate or body core temperature. Controls to better protect the employees have been recommended.