martes, 28 de junio de 2016

NIOSH Research Rounds - June, 2016

NIOSH Research Rounds - June, 2016


In This Issue

Control Measures Critical for 3D Printers

An industrious college student recently made the news for straightening his own teeth with braces that he made on his school’s three-dimensional (3D) printer. From braces, hearing aids, and prosthetics, to military equipment, the list of products that 3D printers can make relatively easily and cheaply continues to expand. As with all new technologies, however, it is important to identify and address potential workplace health and safety risks.To understand how 3D printing works, picture plastic Lego blocks, which snap together to form all kinds of elaborate 3D structures. Similarly, the most common type of desktop 3D printer technology joins thin strands, or filaments, made of plastic or natural materials, such as corn. Following a computer-generated image, the 3D printer uses heat to melt and place layers of filament on top of one another to form a precise 3D replica of the image.

Investigators Take Multifaceted Approach to Understand and Prevent Falls

Falls are among the most common causes of injury in the workplace. They can lead to severe injury, even death, but—with the proper precautions—they can be prevented. Without the proper precautions, same-level falls can occur during the simple act of walking, while falls to a lower level can occur from a ladder, scaffolding, roof, or other structure above the ground. NIOSH investigators take a multifaceted approach to identify the risk factors for falls, and, ultimately, to develop preventive measures.

Research on Aerial Lifts Leads to Virtual Simulator

Last month, NIOSH and its partners asked construction workers and employers to take part in the second National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. This event calls for work to pause so workers can focus on activities to prevent falls. The National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction happens once a year, but NIOSH works year-round to understand the causes of falls, and how to prevent them, in all industries that experience this serious risk.

Aerial lifts are a type of widely used equipment that increases the risk of falls if precautions are not followed. These powered, mobile platforms often replace stationary scaffolding to elevate workers to various heights. They can be found in many industries, including construction, warehousing, and general building maintenance. In addition to their mobility, aerial lifts require minimal setup time and can reach substantial heights. For these reasons, aerial lifts are growing increasingly popular in various industrial jobs, such as painting, tile and drywall installation, and maintenance. The problem is that some of the same attributes—mobility, high elevation—that make aerial lifts so useful can increase the risk of falls, especially with improper training and use, and failure to follow manufacturer recommendations.

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