Treatment of wastewater poses many risks to the health of WWTP operators as municipal wastewater is a rich substrate for several bacterial, fungal and viruses. Industrial wastewater also contains a range of chemicals, the exact makeup depending on the nature of the industry.
Operators can be exposed to potentially high levels of airborne bacteria, fungi and endotoxins during wastewater treatment especially in areas where there is substantial physical movement of the wastewater – for example during aeration and dewatering.
Exposure to these hazards increases the risk of upper respiratory infections, airway inflammation, asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis and hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Toxic gases such as hydrogen sulphide and methane are also present in high levels in areas such as influent lines, settling and clarification tanks.
Potable water treatment also involves the use of many highly corrosive chemicals such as chlorine gas, hydrofluoric acid, sodium hypochlorite, coagulants and ozone – exposure to which can result in eye and respiratory tract irritation.
Noise is also a major issue in water and wastewater treatment especially in pump and boiler rooms.
Shorcontrol have considerable experience in the field of assessing exposure to airborne moulds, fungi and endotoxins in wastewater treatment plants as well as exposure to chemicals in a range of occupational environments.
- Assessment and recommendations for control of airborne moulds and bacteria
- Assessment and evaluation of risk from chemicals and gases.
- Workplace noise assessments in water and wastewater treatment facilities.
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