Management of health and safety hazards to employees in commercial dry cleaners : the case of Dar es Salaam Dry-cleaners

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University of Dar es Salaam
This report investigates control methods and technologies used in the dry-cleaning industry for reducing occupational exposures to tetrachloroethylene, also known as "perchloroethylene" (PERC). It also examines dry-cleaning machines that use petroleum-based solvents. It addresses methods for controlling exposures to spotting chemicals, fire, and ergonomic hazards in commercial dry-cleaning shops. Data were gathered during ten Field surveys at dry-cleaning shops across Dar es Salaam This study looked at various categories of dry-cleaning equipment, such as transfer and dry-to-dry, vented and non-vented and modem machines equipped with various vapour recovery devices. Most operator exposures could have been further reduced during machine loading and unloading by additional control measures: the use of another cleaning media, such as petroleum-based solvents or water; the isolation of the dry- cleaning process through "satellite shops". Inhalation of spotting chemicals was not a significant hazard; however, isolation of this process would avoid unnecessary exposure to other workers. A number of recommendations are given to further reduce spotting chemical exposures. Ergonomic hazards usually involve repetitive motions and awkward postures. In dry-cleaning, these problems primarily occur at the pressing stations and can be controlled. Redesigned, adjustable workstations for pressing will decrease the awkward postures and excessive reaching. Fire hazards can be reduced by a two-pronged approach. The greatest risk of fire and explosion in dry-cleaning shops comes from petroleum-based solvents used in some dry- cleaning machines. First, new petroleum-based solvents and machines, both of which are inherently safer than those traditionally utilized, are currently available and could serve as an alternative to PERC in some shops. Second, all shops should comply with appropriate National Fire Protection codes to reduce the risk of fire not only in the dry- cleaning area but also throughout the entire shop.
Available in print form, East Wilbert Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS FCM HD7654.T34N66)
Health Hazards assessment, Management, Commercial dry cleaners, Dar es Salaam
Njovu, B.S(2005)Management of health and safety hazards to employees in commercial dry cleaners : the case of Dar es Salaam Dry-cleaners,Master dissertation, University of Dar es salaam, Dar es Salaam