Ukrainian Scientific and Research Institute of Industrial Medicine, Kryvyi Rih
Introduction. «Workplace is a dangerous environment». Prevention of occupational diseases should start as soon as a worker appears under the effect of harmful production factors. A system of «protection by time» can be a radical measure for preventing the harmful effect of factors of the work environment. An enterprise, owing to occupational morbidity, bears losses due to the growth in the cost of products, compensation for damages, payment of sick-lists, retraining of the suffered.
The purpose of the conducted researches was to improve the system of prevention of occupational dust lung pathology in workers of main professions at modern metallurgical production by risk management.
Volume and research methods: hygienic, epidemiological, sanitary- statistical, mathematical-statistical. The main group was presented by workers of main professions at a modern metallurgical enterprise and covered 4624 persons. The control group was presented by workers of non-production departments (500 people), who stayed more than 50% of the working hours in the isolated rooms, where the dust concentration was within limits of the maximum permissible concentration. The work-places of employees of the control group can be referred by the general hygienic assessment of work conditions to the 2nd Class (permissible) or to the 3rd class of the 1st degree of harmfulness.
Results. Working conditions in metallurgical shops did not meet hygienic standards. In the structure of the temporary morbidity, both in the main and in the control groups, the first place was taken by diseases of the respiratory system. High rates of the temporary morbidity due to diseases of the respiratory system, both by days and by cases, were recorded in the open-hearth, converter and domain shops, being the result of negative influence of high dust concentrations mainly of a fibrogenic action, heating microclimate and hard physical work. Among main shops of the modern metallurgical enterprise the high relative risk of development of occupational lung dust pathology is observed in the open-hearth. Such situation is the result of imperfection of steel melting, available in Ukraine at the end of the last century, and which exists till now. The available method of "protection by time" includes Tkachyov and Sukhanov's formula, based on the dust concentration at workplace and on the degree of the pulmonary ventilation. The formula, modified by the author, includes coefficients and the constituents with due account of peculiarities of work conditions at the metallurgical enterprise, such as: accompanying, potentiating factors, demographic indicators. In the prevention of occupational lung dust pathology there are three basic principles: a worker’ age by the time of the work in harmful conditions, dust concentration at a workplace and definition of the threshold number of work shifts, which occurs due to definition of an individual dust load, defined by the dust concentration at a workplace, owing to permanent sanitary and hygienic monitoring of work conditions.
Conclusions: occupational risk of lung pathology development is caused by the combined exposure to harmful production factors; the structure of temporary morbidity shows that the first place is taken by diseases of the respiratory system (55,57 %); high risk levels of development of occupational lung dust pathology in workers of leading professions of main shops are recorded in open-hearth, domain and converter shops, corresponding to high degree of work-related morbidity and demonstrates a very high dependence of morbidity on work conditions; the highest limited exposure dose for dust is recorded in the domain shop.
Key words: metallurgy, harmful work conditions, occupational dust lung pathology, permissible terms of work