• Hazard is a term associated with a substance that is likelihood to cause an
injury in a given environment or situation. Industrial hazard may be defined as
any condition produced by industries that may cause injury or death to
personnel or loss of product or property.
• Industrial hazards consist of four principle hazards. This is because industries employ
many different processes involving a wide range of different raw materials,
intermediates, waste products and final products. The hazards encountered are fire,
explosion, toxic release and environmental damage.
Types of Industrial Hazards
• Chemical hazards
• Physical hazards
• Biological hazards
Fire: This is the most frequent of the hazards however the consequences are generally less.
The effect of fire on people usually takes the form of skin burns and is usually
dependant on the exposure time and the intensity of the heat. Fire can also produce toxic fumes
like Acrolein, Carbon monoxide and Cyanides. Physical structures can be damaged either by the
intensity of the heat or combustion. It may also have an effect on essential services like power and
instrumentation which can cause an escalation of the incident
Explosion: Explosions are usually heard from far away as a ‘bang’. This is the result of a shock
wave. This overpressure can kill people but usually the indirect effects of collapsing buildings,
flying glass and debris causes far more loss of life and severe injuries. There are different types of
explosions which include gas explosions and dust explosions. Gas explosions occur when a
flammable gas mixes with air and is exposed to an ignition source.
Dust explosions occur when flammable solids, especially metals, in the form of fine powders
are intensively mixed with air and ignited.
Toxic/Chemical release: Sudden releases of toxic vapours have the potential to cause death and
severe injuries several miles from the release point. They are carried by water and air. Their release
into public sewage systems, rivers, canals and other water courses, either directly or through
contaminated water used in fire fighting can result in serious threat to public. The number of
casualties depends on the weather conditions, population density in the path of the cloud and the
effectiveness of the emergency arrangements.
Environmental Damage: As well as having the potential for causing injury, loss of life and damage
to property, the hazards of fire, explosion and toxic releases may pose a severe threat to the
environment. Release of other substances, not directly toxic to humans can cause major pollution
problems. It is becoming increasingly recognized that damage to natural resources such as plant and
animal life can have serious long term consequences. E.g. destruction of trees is increasing the effect
of global warming and extinction of animals are severely disrupting food webs and causing an
increase in pests.
• Textile industries involve diverse operations including fiber synthesis,
weaving, manufacturing, dyeing and finishing.
• Textile operations have been studied extensively and found numerous
health and safety issues associated with the textile industry.
• They include: chemical exposure from the processing and dyeing of
materials, exposure to cotton and other organic dusts, musculoskeletal
stresses and noise exposure.
• The manual transfer of powder dyes from bulk containers to smaller
containers generates significant amounts of dust.
• Worker exposure to dye dust through breathing or skin contact can result
in adverse health effects such as occupational asthma, eczema and severe
• In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH) recognizes certain dyes as potential occupational carcinogens.
• Therefore, NIOSH recommends limiting dye dust exposures to the lowest
feasible concentrations to prevent these health problems.
Workers in powder dye handling operations are often poorly protected from dust exposures.
NIOSH research has shown that worker exposures to dye dust can be effectively reduced by
as much as 70% with the following combination of controls: adequate ventilation,
redesigned bulk containers and appropriate work practices.
**VENTILATION: Semi downdraft ventilation booths are recommended for use during the
manual transfer of dyes. A vertical air shower pushes airborne dust out of the worker’s
breathing zone, until the dust is captured and exhausted from the work area. All task
associated with the manual transfer of powdered dyes (weighting, scooping etc.) should be
performed inside the booth under the air shower.
• **BULK CONTAINERS: Most powder dyes are kept in drums that range in height from 30 to 36
inches. When manually transferring dye from these drums, many workers must lean forward and
place their heads inside the drum to scoop out dye near the bottom. In this position, the worker is
greatly exposed to airborne dye dust, even in a ventilated booth. Shorter drums should be used to
eliminate the need for workers to place their heads inside the drum. Maintaining a space between the
worker’s face and the top of the drum enables the booth ventilation to capture the dust before it
reaches the worker’s breathing zone. Limiting the drum height to 25 inches significantly reduces
worker dust exposures.
• **WORK PRACTICES: Workers should use slow, smooth movements when handling dye to
keep dust concentrations low. Dye transport distances between the bulk and process containers should
be kept to a minimum. The height at which the dye is dropped into a container should also be kept to
a minimum. Workers should avoid skin contact with the dyes by using protective clothing such as
gloves long sleeved shirts and aprons.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health
Amends Cotton Dust Standard Following
The occupational safety and Health Administration today called for comment on
its amendment to the cotton dust standard, which adds an improved method of
washing cotton to other procedures already exempted from portions of the rule.
Cotton dust is a dust present in the air during the handling or processing of cotton.
This dust may contain a mixture of many substances including ground up plant
matter, fiber, bacteria, fungi, soil, pesticides, non-cotton matter and other
Exposure to cotton dust can mean serious health problems. The first symptoms of disease is difficulty
in breathing or perhaps a tightness across the chest which is particularly noticeable on the first day
back at work after a worker has been off for a few days. Workers also cough up phlegm or mucous.
If exposure above the OSHA limit continues, workers may develop byssinosis, also known as “brown
lung” disease. While earlier breathing difficulties may be reversible, damage at the advanced stages of
the disease is permanent and disabling. Workers who develop brown lung may have to retire early
because they are so short of breath they can not do their normal jobs or even carry out simple tasks.
Exposure to cotton dust also leads to increased risk of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
At the time the final standard was published, as many as 100,000 workers in the cotton industry
were at risk from cotton dust exposure. An estimated 35,000 individuals are disabled from
byssinosis as a result of exposure to cotton dust.
• To protect workers from disabling respiratory diseases, employers are
required to limit the amount of respirable cotton dust in the air.
• The limits known as permissible exposure limit are average exposures as
measured over an eight-hour work per day.
• For yarn manufacturing the limit is 200 micrograms of cotton dust per
cubic meter of air; for textile waste houses 500 micrograms; for slashing
and weaving operations 750 micrograms; and for waste recycling and
garneting 1000 micrograms.
• Cotton seed processing operations are covered by the standard but there
is no permissible exposure limit.
• Dust Measurement:
• Employees must measure the workplace cotton dust level at least every six
months or whenever there are any changes in equipment or work practices
which might increase the amount of cotton dust in the air.
• The cotton dust must be measured with a vertical elutriator or an equivalent
• Measurements must be representative of an eight hour period and performed
for each shift and in each work area. Employers must explain the procedure
to their workers and permit them to observe the monitoring.
• They must notify employees in writing of the findings with in five days after
measurement. If the levels are above OSHA standards, employer must list in
the notice to employees the steps they will take to correct problems.
• Often employers can reduce dust levels by adjusting dust control equipment,
such as ventilation systems and by cleaning and repairing the equipment
• An employer’s dust control program must include at a minimum the following:
Cleaning floors with a vacuum or another method that cuts down the spreading
• Disposing of dust in such a way that as little dust scatters as possible;
• Using mechanical methods to stack, dump or otherwise handle cotton or cotton
waste, when possible;
• Checking, cleaning and repairing dust control equipment and ventilation
systems. Compressed air may not be used to clean clothing and floor and may
only be used to clean equipment if no other methods are possible and workers
involved in the cleaning wear respirators.
Skin: Prevent skin contact Wear appropriate personal protective clothing to prevent skin
Eyes: Prevent eye contact Wear appropriate eye protection to prevent eye contact.
skin: When contaminated The worker should immediately wash the skin when it becomes
skin: Daily The worker should wash daily at the end of each work shift, and prior to
eating, drinking, smoking etc.
Remove: When wet or
Work clothing that becomes wet or significantly contaminated
should be removed and replaced.
Remove: When wet (flam) Work clothing that becomes wet should be immediately
removed due to its flammability hazard (i.
e. for liquids with a flash point<100˚ F).
Change: Daily Workers whose clothing may have become contaminated should
change into uncontaminated clothing before leaving the work premises.
Fire and Explosion:
• The fire hazards found in a dye works are the flammable solvents used in
the processes and certain flammable dyestuff.
• Safe storage facilities should be provided for both: properly designed store
rooms constructed of fire-resisting materials with a raised and ramped sill
at the doorway so that escaping liquid is contained within the room and
prevented from flowing to a place where it may be ignited.
• It is preferable that stores of this nature be located outside the main factory
building. If large quantities of flammable liquids are kept in tanks outside
the building, the tank area should be mounded to contain escaping liquid.
• Similar arrangements should be made when the gaseous fuel used on the
singing machines are obtained from a light petroleum fraction.
• The gas-making plant and the storage facilities for the volatile
petroleum spirit should preferably be outside the building.
• Many factories use hypochlorite solution for bleaching; in others the
bleaching agent is gaseous chlorine or bleaching powder which releases
chlorine when it is changed into the tank. In other case, workers may be
exposed to dangerous levels of chlorine, a skin and eye irritant and a
dangerous pulmonary tissue irritant causing delayed lung edema.
• To limit the escape of chlorine into the workers atmosphere, bleaching vats
should be designed as closed vessel provided with vents that limit the
escape of chlorine so that the relevant recommended maximum exposure
levels are not exceeded. Atmospheric chlorine levels should be checked
periodically to ensure that the exposure limit is not being exceeded.
*Safety: At Eco textiles mills, no polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is used; the
company requires its mills to use potato starch or carboxymethyl cellulose
(CMC) which is cellulose dissolved by an acid to become a liquid. It is used
in food and is chemically inert-and non-toxic and is allowed under global
organic Textile standard.
In sizing section 5-10 cubic meter effluent is exhaust per day. It is
responsible for 1-5% effluent generation.
• In bleaching section 220-250 cubic meter effluent exhaust per day.
• It is responsible for 10-15% effluent generation.
• Chlorine bleach is known to be extremely toxic to the environment and to
consumers, yet chlorine based chemicals are still often used to bleach
• In Eco textiles mills, the bleaching method must be oxygen-based
(hydrogen per oxide) and the waste water is treated.
• In one mill, ozone, a very new technology is used for bleaching.
• This technology relies on cool water (rather than having to maintain the
fabric in a hot water bath for many hours and the ozone breaks down into
water and oxygen.
• Many textile manufacturers use dyes that release aromatic amines (e. g.
Benzedrine, toluidine). Dye bath effluents may contain heavy metals,
ammonia, alkali salts, toxic solids and large amount of pigments – many of
which are toxic.
• About 40 percent of globally used colorants contain organically bound
chlorine, a known carcinogen.
• Natural dyes are rarely low impact, depending on the specific dye and
mordant used. Mordants (the substance used to “fix” the color into the fabric)
such as chromium are very toxic and high impact.
• The large quantities of natural dyestuffs required for dyeing typically equal to
or double that of the fibers own weight, make natural dyes prepared from
wild plants and lichens very high impact.
• Eco textiles uses low impact reactive dyes in a closed 100P system.
• While they are the lowest impact fiber reactive dyes available, the
dyes are by no means low impact. At best about 80 percent of the
dyestuff stay on the fabric, while the rest go down the drain (although
the water is contained and treated before returning to the ecosystem).
• Eco textiles dyes contain no heavy metals so the dye house waste
water treatment yields pristine water.
• Printing is carried out on a roller printing machine.
• The dye or pigment is thickened with starch or made into emulsion which, in the case
of pigment colors is prepared with an organic solvent.
• The health hazards associated with this type of printing are the same as those discussed
Solvent based pigment printing:
• Solvent based printing system use large amount of solvents such as mineral spirits in the
thickening system. The major hazards are: Flammability: The thickening systems contain
up to 40% solvents and are highly flammable.
• Air emissions: Solvents in this print system will be flashed off from the oven during
dyeing and curing. Local environmental regulation will dictate the permissible levels
of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions that can be tolerated.
Aqueous-based pigment printing:
• Pigment printing requires the use of a cross-linker to assist in the bonding of the pigment to
• Formaldehyde has been found to be carcinogenic in mice but it has not yet been
conclusively associated with cancer in humans. It is classified as a group 2A carcinogen,
“probably carcinogenic to Human”, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer
• To protect the local environment emission from the plant have to be monitored to ensure
that levels of formaldehyde do not exceed those stipulated by applicable regulations.
• Ammonia is often used as print-paste thickener. Care should be taken to handle ammonia
in a well ventilated area and to wear respiratory protection if necessary.
• Since all dyes and pigments used in printing are usually in liquid form, dust exposure is
not a hazard in printing as it is in dyeing.
• One type of chemical finishing does not involve a chemical reaction: the
application of a softener or a hand builder to modify the feel and texture
of the fabric, or to improve its sew ability.
• This presents no significant Hazards except for the possibility of
irritation in skin and eye contact, which can be prevented by the use of
proper gloves and eye protection.
Design and Pre-modification review: this involves proper layout, facilities and
material selection. Research should be done try to substitute extremely toxic
chemicals with safer ones. Less chemicals should be stored; a reduction in
automatically mean less damage if an accident is to occur.
Chemical Risk Assessment: Chemicals are assessed based on compatibility,
flammability, toxicity, explosion hazards and storage.
Process Safety Management: HAZOP studies, reliability assessment of process
equipment, incorporating safety trips and interlocks, scrubbing system, etc.
should be done before effecting major process changes. Management should try
to develop a culture of safety in industrial organizations
Safety Audits: Periodical assessment of safety procedures and practices,
performance of safety systems and gadgets along with follow up measures
should be carried out.
Emergency Planning: A comprehensive risk analysis indicating the impact of
consequences and specific written down and practiced emergency procedures
along with suitable facilities should be done. This can be done by communities
as well as national or regional corporation authorities
Training: Proper training of employees and protective services should be
Special times and escorts for dangerous vehicles
Public Cooperation on the road: the public should cooperate with the police
and any tankers and heavy duty vehicles to avoid accidents and allow for the
shortest possible on road time for dangerous vehicles.
Public awareness: Everyone should be aware of potential disasters and
informed of protective and safety measures. MSDS sheets should be readily
available to the public. Cautions must be placed to standout on dangerous
household and car care products.
Proper storage of hazardous Materials:All chemicals and
hazardous materials should be kept at proper storage temperature and in locked
cupboards away from children and animals. Also, if reactive substances are
stored, it should be stored is a watertight container.
• In the textile industry, dyeing, printing and finishing operations present a
mixture of old, generally small establishment in which worker safety,
health and welfare are given little attention, and newer larger
establishments with ever improving technology in which, to the extent
possible, hazards control is built into the design of the machinery.
• In addition to the specific hazards outline above, such problems as
substandard lighting, noise, incompletely guarded machinery, lifting and
carrying of heavy and/or bulky objects, poor housekeeping and so on
• Therefore a well-formulated and implemented safety and health program
that includes the training and effective supervision of workers is a