Occupational Hazard

Construction worker setting up scaffolding. Checking that the scaffolding is level.

The day went very well for engineer Muri, extremely interesting and active day. Very palatable dose of adrenaline, this usually pumps when he has to lead the team of engineers to a new installation… he would have said he had a fulfilling first day and positively looking forward to the next day. Too tired when he got home, he had dinner and went straight to bed. At about 3am he woke up with a particle rolling with the tear build up in his eyeballs. His eye have become so red and the discomfort increasingly unbearable. He jumped into the bathroom and ran cold water through his eyes but the feeling was like the water rush pushed the particle to a corner of his eye. Thinking this is going to be a very long day, holding one eyes he jumped into the car and drove to an optician. Engineer Muri arrived too early he waited at the door for an hour that seems like a whole day. Cutting this long illustration short a strand of wood particle from the cover of the equipment he uncrated and installed a day before was removed from his eyes. This particle was probably hanging on his eye lashes and fell through while he was asleep. A few drops of eye medicine and the irritation got better. Engineer Muri was ready for day 2 of his installation as yet another occupational hazard has been put behind him. Every occupation comes with their hazards. Hazard simply put is a danger or risk. Today let’s look at some dangers or risks attached to the printing industry. In Engineer Muri’s case the hazard followed him home and the result was felt in his sleep. Please note that many time, a little bit of daily hazards could add up to become a complication in the next decade. The point is not to scare you but to keep you informed that hazards exists even in our day to day operations, but some education will always come in handy. I hope!

Working with printing equipment, the manufacturer would normally have put in place precautionary measures to prevent risks, for instance laser diode prone areas are properly protected and cordoned off, emergency switches are usually visibly provided to cut off power to moving parts, or light barrier sensors to sense body parts moving into dangerous area; like the body trapped between the doors of an elevator will tell the elevator that all isn’t right and the door should normally open up again, or hand in the cutting knife area of a cutting machine should send a deactivate command to the equipment by a light barrier sensor. Can I speak to technical people here please? It is criminal to deactivate safety switches in machines. If you do to troubleshoot please fix it back and test for functionality before handing the machine over to the operator, you might just be saving an innocent life. Permit me to quickly look at lead poisoning. The symptoms of lead poisoning include reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), nausea, insomnia, abdominal pains, irritability, excess lethargy or hyperactivity, headaches, and in extreme cases, seizure and coma. Called neurological problems. Industrial commercial printers can be exposed to this since most operators in printing presses work with lead or did I hear you say how? Well, lead is added to inks to speed up drying, retain a fresh appearance for unused ones, resisting moisture to prevent corrosion and in all increase durability. Every operator and those moving around in a press room all day are exposed to lead dust from the printing process. Can it be possible to take some dose of this in by normal hand-to-mouth contact or inhalation where lead dusts find its way into the body via the nostrils? Meanwhile ink is just one example in the press room. My advice is that every press room should be properly ventilated, and where the press room is air-conditioned a good exhaust fan needs to be in place to suck out air impurities real time. In like manner operators are advised to wear hand gloves when working with inks and chemistry, in case of chemistry splashes on the skin or eyes, it is advisable to wash affected area thoroughly with running tap water, if irritation persist please do seek medical advice immediately. How about hazards caused by poor proof reading? Enjoy this joke that I saw online, I don’t know if it is true but it explains the importance of quality assurance and if this is true the owner of the press must have lost some good money. Losing money is a great headache and this can happen often if the right measures are not in place. “BE CAREFUL WHO PRINTS YOUR WEDDING CARDS A printer was asked to put 1 John 4:18 on a wedding card but he made a mistake by not including the “1” before John so he printed John 4:18 1John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love but perfect love cast out all fears” but John 4:18 says “For You have had five husbands before and even the one you have now is not your husband” We are still begging the husband since Saturday that it was the printer’s mistake.”  We also can imagine worst mistakes like printing 30ml prescription on a pharmaceutical label instead of 5ml that will be used by children? Still on children (toddlers) will always put everything they hold in their mouth so the inks used in printing their fabrics must be non-poisonous. How many of us look out for this innocent children? Please only use food and drug approved (FDA) inks to print all edibles this also includes labels and packaging for all foods. Regulatory authorities in the food industry are always demanding poison free packaging. It’s not always about making money, it’s more about doing the right thing. This is why we are professionals. Imagine the joy that comes if we can end up combining doing the right thing with making money. My advice again is to take print education seriously! Operating a machine requires physical, mental and physiological alertness so if any is missing stay away from the equipment. Be safety conscious. Remain safe! And make the environment safe for others!! Enjoy. Thoughts from: Akin Oduwole CE @ Technology Global

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