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Automotive Industry

What Is The Automotive Industry?

In terms of expertise and capability, the automotive industry has evolved and technologies such as 3D glasses, haptic sensors and AR heads up displays have entered the vocabulary of traditional suppliers.

The automotive industry was one of the first to develop global supply chains, and those supply chains have only continued to become more complicated. Moreover, the safety challenges that underlie these trends are not going away but instead, require confrontation.

In an automotive industry, the factory floors are busy and bustling places of manufacturing robots and equipment. They contain moving machineries and thousands of workers, and both work in collaboration. It’s a challenge to maintain this complex supply chain and so, health and safety of employees tops the agenda.

Exposure to noise, vibrations, fire and other hazardous conditions while working in the automotive industry is a risk to the individuals health.

What Are The Risks of Noise?

Noise and vibrations can result in deafening of ears. Individuals are also exposed to hazardous substances and chemicals found in petrol, solvents, degreasers, paints and other cleaning products. The chemicals found in these materials are alkenes, hydrocarbons, N-Propyl Bromide (nPB), benzene and ammonia - this list is not extensive.

There are two types of Noise monitoring, Noise Dosimeters and Sound Level Meters.

Noise Dosimeters are a specialised type of sound level meter that is used to measure personal noise exposure levels. They can also be used when it isn't safe or practical to use a full-sized sound level meter, such as in areas with a high fire risk or in confined spaces.

The Sound Level Meter consists of a calibrated microphone, electronic circuits, and a display. The microphone detects small air pressure variations associated with sound and converts them into electrical signals. The electrical signals are then processed using the instrument's electronic circuitry. If your Sound Level Meter has data-logging capabilities this is when the signal will be stored as data.


Should I use a sound level meter or a noise dosimeter?

Follow this rule!

Use Sound Level Meters when you need to know the noise level of a particular task or process, or how noisy a piece of machinery or area is.

Use Noise Dosimeters when you need to find out the direct noise exposure of an employee.

What is the Fire Triangle?

Oxygen, heat, and fuel are frequently referred to as the ‘Fire Triangle.’ This is a simple equation that refers to the presence of oxygen, fuel matter and heat to create fire.

However mostly forgotten is the addition of the fourth element, the chemical reaction.

The important thing to remember is that if take any of these four things away you will not have a fire or the fire will be extinguished!

What Are The Risks of Fire?

The motor industry is a working environment that contain high levels of fuel. This is one of the three elements that make up the fire triangle (along with a source of ignition and a source of oxygen). This makes monitoring of fire hazards within this area even more important.

The fuels that are highly flammable and present the most immediate and obvious fire hazard throughout the automotive industry include the following:

  • Petrol

  • Solvents

  • Paints

  • Engine oils

When working with these fuel materials other chemicals are exposed as a result of chemical reactions which could put individuals in close proximity at risk of exposure. The risk increases again if there is a lack of ventilation or detection as this can lead to fuel toxins being allowed to ‘build up’ within the atmosphere thus displacing other elements that make up the air that we breathe.

Lack of due diligence when handling petrol is a particular risk, and individuals working in motor industry must take extra care when draining fuel tanks. To avoid unwanted exposure we would advise that you wear a Portable Safety Monitor, this will monitor your working atmosphere and alarm if levels increase above a pre-calibrated threshold.

Heat and Spark Emitting Equipment

The motor industry uses heat emitting equipment or machinery, such as soldering irons and spark-generating saws, these activities must be carried out in regulated conditions well away from flammable materials. Irradiation of this machinery is not liable due to its industry so we must mitigate risk by early detection especially when using this type of equipment.

This is simply because the heat/spark emitting equipment can complete the fire triangle causing a risk of fire. Due to the logistics of these activities, incidents whereby fire occurs due to a spark or heat can put the individual working at serious risk and could be fatal.

Early detection would indicate the change in the immediate atmosphere giving the individual live data so they can risk assess dynamically. This saves time for employers and individuals.

Using a Portable Safety Monitor can also be benefitial for Exposure Control Plans (ECP).

By using a Portable Safety Monitor individuals can track their chemical exposure data live. This data is really important when considering ECP's as they must be bespoke for each operational site.

"I think I may need Safety Instrumentation Monitoring, but I don’t know anything about it!"

You don’t need to understand Safety Instrumentation Monitoring to be safe at work! If you are unsure whether you need a monitor, please call one of the team on the below number.

Call The Team: 01489 326031

You cannot create the need for Safety Instrumentation, the need is either there or isn’t – that why the best way to make sure you are keeping yourself and your own team as safe as possible is to give one of our experienced team members a call! You can speak to us about your site and our team will be able to advise you based off extensive working knowledge, existing and pre-existing clients/projects and industry specific hazards. Our team remain informed in the world of Safety Instrumentation so that we can provide up to date advice in line with best practices. This means whenever you speak to our team you know you are receiving updated support from people who care.

"Our work should enrich our lives, not cost them" - Alex Graft (Managing Director)
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