Physical and environmental hazards in the prosthetics and orthotics workshop: a pilot study
journal contributionposted on 12.01.2022, 00:57 by Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson, Margaret StuckeyMargaret Stuckey, Diana POOLE, Jodi OakmanJodi Oakman
Prosthetists and Orthotists (P&O) are exposed to physical hazards within the workshop environment. Concern regarding these exposures has been expressed by P&Os; however, little research has been undertaken. Exposures to noise and volatile organic compounds in amounts larger than statutorily allowed can have adverse short and long term consequences on people’s health. To identify and quantify hazardous noise and chemical exposures in a typical P&O workplace. Noise and volatile organic compound testing was undertaken in 2011 and 2013. Modifications to the workshop occurred between these testing times and the impact of these changes examined. The levels of volatile organic compounds was very low in all areas in 2011 and 2013. Noise levels were high and staff require the use of PPE to prevent exposure beyond levels prescribed in the Australian Standards. Conclusions. Occupational environmental exposures in P&O are of concern to the profession. A pilot study of one facility demonstrated that Occupational Noise exposures are high and may result in hearing loss and other adverse health outcomes. Occupational chemical exposures through volatile organic compound exposures are relatively low. Further, systematic investigation is required to develop evidence-based control strategies.