Abstract

As a part of laboratory Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) management system, the working environment control is applied to eliminate exposure hazards for workers. This control is a continuous effort in our laboratory as the working environment management system. Volatile organic compounds (VOC)s are ones of very common exposure hazardous factors in petroleum R&D laboratory. To better working environment control, the working environment measurement additionally to the chemical risk assessments is conducted at first to assess the concentration of VOCs in accordance with the guideline of domestic act. The measurement design is optimized on the basis of actual chemical use in the monitoring objective laboratories. The chemical records has been tracked in the chemical inventory management system. The measurement is conducted by two methods to assess both of average and the maximum VOC concentrations in the objective laboratory. Based on the measurement results, the objective laboratories are classified into three ranks. If necessary, counter actions will be taken: for instance, ventilation system improvement as building management, and consideration of substitute. Furthermore, the working record what types of chemical used and how long hours to handle them are linked to the health management system in which the workers who handle solvents must take a semi-annual special medical check. Further potential improvements were debated by adopting the process safety management in laboratory phase, and installing flexible exhaust system.

The working environment management is important for protecting employee's health. The system is not independent and linked to other HSE management systems. Therefore, a well-organized grand design is worthy as total management system which includes each management system for waste, inventory, procurement, building maintenance, and so on. Because this paper discussed a practical example of HSE management system from both of detailed and high level. The discussion should be useful for considering HSE in laboratory.

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