Occupational Health and Safety in a Meat Processing Industry
The meat processing industries pose a high risk to workers due to accidents and minor injuries during work operation. The environment is also deteriorated due to waste water discharge and improper solid waste disposal. In order to study these conditions, environmental monitoring of different parameters was carried out during three different months in a year that included noise, particulate matter, light intensity, humidity and drinking water and waste water quality parameters. A questionnaire survey was conducted in the meat processing to have the views of employers and workers about environmental health and safety conditions. A checklist was made according to occupational safety and health act in order to ensure occupational safety. Hazard identification and risk evaluation was also done to highlight occupational conditions at the meat industry. The results of environmental monitoring showed that noise level in washing hall slightly exceeded in March and September that was 85.9 dB and 85.5 dB respectively from occupational safety and health act standard value. The level of particulate matter was higher when compared to world health organization (WHO) standard while according to national environmental quality standards; particulate matter in packing and production hall exceeded the standard value during study period. In Production hall it was 648 µg/m while in 3 packing hall it was 662 µg/m and 595µg/m in March and September respectively. Over all, light intensity was 3 3 good. Humidity level was within the range except in washing hall where the value exceeded 61.5 % when compared to standard range. The drinking water quality parameters were in compliance with WHO. The results of waste water quality showed that it had high chemical oxygen demand and biological oxygen demand which suggest that there must be a water treatment technology at the meat industry. Chemical oxygen demand of water sample taken from finished goods section was 670 mg/l while water sample taken from cleaning of raw material section was extremely high. Biological oxygen demand of raw material and finished goods water sample was 167.4 mg/l and 169.2 mg/l respectively. The results revealed that safety and health committee is not present in the meat industry. The meat industry showed that it had high risk of infection in cleaning of raw material. Initiation of proper waste disposal mechanism, waste water treatment and good cleaning practices can lead to sustainable operation in the meat processing industry.