What are the hazards in steel mills?

Large iron and steel enterprises generally include the following systems: smelting system, steel rolling system, thermoelectric system, coal chemical system, logistics transportation system, energy decomposition system, maintenance and waste recycling and other production auxiliary systems, logistics support system; in production, The main occupational hazards generated during the process include dust, poisons, noise, high temperature, etc.

 

hazard in Steel mills

 

Four common hazards in steel smelting plant operations

 

1) High temperature burns – the biggest hazard

When tapping iron or steel, the temperature around the furnace wall reaches thousands of degrees Celsius. Once the steel drum tips over or accidentally fall due to work, you may be burned by the molten metal or slag. On the other hand, working in front of the blast furnace for a long time, coupled with the high-temperature season, can easily cause the human body to sweat a lot and cause heat cramps or heatstroke.

 

2) Carbon monoxide poisoning

During the steel production process, a large amount of gas is produced. After dust removal, the coal gas can be used as power fuel or chemical raw materials in other production links. However, the carbon monoxide concentration in this type of gas is relatively high, generally ranging from 10% to 60%. Once carbon monoxide gas leaks from the furnace or transportation air pipe, it is very easy to cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning accidents in steel plants often occur when working around blast furnaces or during equipment maintenance.

 

3) Smoke and dust

During smelting and sintering operations, a large amount of smoke and high-concentration dust will be generated in front of the blast furnace and steel-making furnace. Dust containing a large amount of silicon is found in smoke and dust. If dust containing silicon is inhaled for a long time, it is easy to form silicosis and increase the chance of pneumoconiosis.

 

4) Mechanical damage

Mechanical injuries often occur during steel transportation. Some large steel plants do not use manual transportation but special locomotives and tracks. Once equipment failure or personnel negligence occurs, serious mechanical casualties may occur.

With the development of Industry 4.0 in the steel industry, many dangerous positions can be performed by robots or intelligent systems. Workers only need to stay in the control room to observe and operate instruments, so most injuries can be avoided. The specific distribution of hazard factors in various systems of steel enterprises is as follows:

 

1. Smelting system

Dust

Silica dust, coal dust, graphite dust, limestone dust, dolomite dust, silicon carbide dust, refractory dust (refractory fibre dust, clay dust, alumina dust, clay dust, diatomite dust, etc.) and other dust (iron ore stone, serpentine, iron oxide dust), etc.;

Chemical poisons

Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, coke oven fugitive gas (benzene solubles, 3,4-benzopyrene), hydrogen fluoride, tar, asphalt, etc.

Physical factors

Noise, high temperature, radioactive isotopes.

 

2. Steel rolling system

Dust

Silica dust, other dust (mixed dust, iron oxide dust), etc.

Chemical poisons

Carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, zinc oxide, chromate, benzene series, gasoline, acetone, etc.

Physical factors

Noise, high temperature, radioactive isotopes.

 

3. Thermoelectric system

Dust

coal dust

Chemical poisons

Carbon monoxide, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide

Physical factors

Noise, high temperature, radioactive isotopes.

 

4. Coal chemical system

Dust

Coal dust (asphalt coke dust), limestone dust and other dust (organic dust: naphthalene, ammonium sulfate, coumarin resin dust), etc.

Chemical poisons

Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, cyanide, sulfuric acid, ammonia, benzene series, phenol, naphthalene, pyridine, tar, asphalt, etc.

Physical factors

Noise, high temperature, radioactive isotopes.

 

5. Logistics transportation system

Dust

Silica dust, coal dust, graphite dust, limestone dust, dolomite dust, silicon carbide dust, refractory dust and other dust, etc.

Chemical poisons

Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, ammonia, tar, asphalt, etc.

Physical factors

Noise, high temperature, vibration, etc.

 

6. Energy decomposition system

Dust

Other dust (mixed dust such as water treatment sludge, chemicals, etc.)

Chemical poisons

Carbon monoxide, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, etc.

Physical factors

Noise, high temperature, etc.

 

7. Production assistance systems such as maintenance and waste recycling

Depending on the nature of the work and the location (region) of the work, it may be consistent with one of the occupational disease hazard factors present in the above six systems; equipment manufacturing and maintenance also include welding dust, manganese oxide, formaldehyde, and ultraviolet rays.

 

8. Logistics support system

Dust

Coal dust, welding dust and other dust (mixed dust), etc.

Chemical poisons

Carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, gasoline, benzene series, organophosphorus pesticides, etc.

Physical factors

Noise, high temperature, ultraviolet rays, radioactive isotopes, etc.

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