Occupational Hazards

Hazardous waste sites pose a multitude of health and safety concerns, any one of which could result in serious injury or death. These hazards are a function of the nature of the site as well as a consequence of the work being performed. Several factors distinguish the hazardous waste site environment from other occupational situations involving hazardous substances. One important factor is the uncontrolled condition of the site. Even extremely hazardous substances do not endanger human health or safety if they are properly handled. However, improper control of these substances can result in a severe threat to site workers and to the general public. Another factor is the large variety and number of substances that may be present at a site. Any individual location may contain hundreds or even thousands of chemicals. Frequently, an accurate assessment of all chemical hazards is impossible due to the large number of substances and the potential interactions among the substances. In addition, the identity of the substances on site is frequently unknown, particularly in the initial stages of an investigation. The Project Team Leader will often be forced to select protective measures based on little or no information. Finally, workers are subject not only to the hazards of direct exposure, but also to dangers posed by the disorderly physical environment of hazardous waste sites and the stress of working in protective clothing.

  • Chemical exposure
  • Fire and explosion
  • Oxygen deficiency.
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Biologic hazards
  • Safety hazards
  • Electrical hazards
  • Heat stress
  • Cold exposure
  • Noise

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