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Beyond Dust and Noise...
SAIOH Conference
29 - 31 October 2014
North-West University, Potchefstroom
General Information
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President of SAIOH, Peter-John Jacobs
The “have to attend” event on the annual HSE calendar in South Africa and on the African continent is the annual SAIOH
conference. This conference and what it offers in terms of cutting-edge developments in the health and occupational hygiene
space from around the world lends itself to being the conference of choice. Each of SAIOH’s six branches is afforded the
opportunity to host the conference. This year it’s the turn of SAIOH’s North-West branch, and what better place to stage the
conference than the North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus. This university has a rich history in training occupational hygienists and is currently developing the first ever undergraduate degree in occupational hygiene in South Africa.
With the world economy still not out of the 2008 slump, and excessive work demands, finding the time and money to attend the conference is not easy. I would personally like to thank each of you for making the effort to be
here. In doing so, you are not only supporting SAIOH and the profession but, more importantly, you are enhancing your abilities to look after the health of workers and make South African and African workplaces healthier.
Work-life balance is also important and I invite you to join us at the SAIOH dinner for a relaxing evening where those
hygiene professionals that have significantly contributed to the profession over the last year will be rewarded for their
dedication and efforts.
Welcome and enjoy!
Peter-John Jacobs
Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus,
Prof. Awie Kotze
As Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU, I want to welcome SAIOH and
its members to our beautiful campus. It is a privilege and honour to host the conference and I trust that you will find the
scientific programme thought provoking.
The roots of Occupational Hygiene related teaching and learning, and research can be traced back to the
1960s’ when the then Department of Physiology offered, amongst others, a Bachelors of Science (Honours) in Industrial Physiology. Strong ties existed with the Chamber of Mines as well as the National Defence Force. In 1997, the above mentioned degree, evolved into a Master of Science degree in Industrial Physiology which was in turn replaced by the current Master of Science degree in Occupational Hygiene in 2001.
Occupational Hygiene at the North-West University has grown tremendously. This is evident in the number of postgraduate students completing their degrees, research collaboration with national industry, community involvement and
research outputs achieved.
The growing international need for adequately and quality trained Occupational Hygiene Professionals have
spurred the North-West University to commit and invest in the long term growth of Occupational Hygiene as profession through teaching learning and research. To that extent, a brand new Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene degree has been submitted to the South African Qualifications Authority for approval. The degree
will take the format of a structured, four year, professional qualification, a first and only of its kind for South Africa.
Occupational Hygiene Research is also set to flourish and is awaiting approval for the establishment of a Research
Niche Area from the Senate and Council of the University.
To conclude, the slogan of the Faculty of Health Sciences reads: “Your health is my future” and I truly believe that the
slogan is also applicable to the profession of Occupational Hygiene, where the protection of the health of workers in the
workplace is reliant on your expertise.
Prof. Awie Kotzé
Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus
The Conference is hosted by the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus.
Address of Conference
Lecture Hall G01, Building G20, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University.
The average minimum temperature for the month of October is 12 °C and the maximum temperature 27 °C. However,
maximum temperatures exceeding 30 °C is likely. Late afternoon thunder showers may possibly occur.
Conference Language
The official language of the conference is English.
Food and Refreshments
Coffee/ tea and lunch is provided during official breaks in the designated area. This is included in the registration fee.
Posters will be displayed during the entire conference, however presenting authors are requested to be present at
their posters during poster viewing breaks (indicated on the program).
The registration desk is located in the foyer of Building G20. The registration desk will be open:
Wednesday 29 October
Thursday 30 October
Friday 31 October
Upon registration you will receive a name tag, programme information (including the abstracts), PDC admission ticket
(if registered) and Awards Dinner ticket (if registered).
We kindly request you to wear your badge during the entire conference.
SAIOH Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of SAIOH is scheduled to take place on 30 October from 15:45 to 17:00 in Building G20,
Lecture Hall G01.
Directions to Parking Area
Directions from Johannesburg (N12 South) to Hockey field parking (Gerrit Dekker St) Potchefstroom
Follow N12 towards Potchefstroom.
Turn right into MC Roode Street.
Follow MC Roode Street for about 4.5km and turn left at the T-junction into Thabo Mbeki Rd (R501).
Follow Thabo Mbeki Rd (R501) for 1.6km and turn right into Gerrit Dekker Street.
Follow Gerrit Dekker Street for about 280m until you reach the Astro Hockey field parking located on the right at
the corner of Steve Biko Street and Gerrit Dekker Street.
Directions from Johannesburg (N12 South) to Hockey field parking (Gerrit Dekker St) Potchefstroom
1. Follow N12 towards Potchefstroom.
2. Turn right into MC Roode Street.
3. Follow MC Roode Street for about 1.6km and turn left into Govan Mbeki Avenue, Pick and Pay Shopping Centre
will be on the left side.
4. Take first right after passing Shopping Centre approximately 350m from the Shopping Centre into Hennie Bingle
5. After 800m turn left into Oudebrug Street.
6. At T-junction turn left into Thabo Mbeki Road (R501) and take first right onto Gerrit Dekker Street.
7. Follow Gerrit Dekker Street for about 280m until you reach the Hockey field parking located on the right at the
corner of Steve Biko Street and Gerrit Dekker Street.
Directions from R501 (Carletonville) to Hockey field parking (Gerrit Dekker St) Potchefstroom
1. Head west on the R501 from Carletonville for 54.7 km.
2. As you enter Potchefstroom, turn right after the second stop street into Gerrit Dekker Street.
3. Drive for 280m until you reach the Astro Hockey field parking located on the right at the corner of Steve Biko
Street and Gerrit Dekker Street.
Directions from Klerksdorp (N12) to Hockey field parking (Gerrit Dekker St) Potchefstroom
1. Continue on N12 into Potchefstroom until you reach the traffic light with the Road lodge hotel on the opposite
corner on the left.
2. Turn left into Govan Mbeki Ave and drive for approximately 1.6km then turn left at the traffic light into Chief Albert
Luthuli St/R53.
3. Continue on Chief Albert Luthuli St/R53 for 650m turning right into Thabo Mbeki Way at the traffic light.
4. Continue on Thabo Mbeki Way for 1.7 km turning left into Gerrit Dekker Street at the stop street.
5. Follow Gerrit Dekker Street for 280m until you reach the Astro Hockey field parking located on the right at the
corner of Steve Biko Street and Gerrit Dekker Street.
Directions from Astro Hockey fields to G20 building
Exit Astro Hockey field parking at Gate located on Gerrit Dekker Street.
Enter Campus gate indicated as T1 on Campus map.
Follow road to the left side, and passing parking lot on left side.
Cross the road to the right side to Building G20.
Vivarium visit
The NWU Vivarium is part of the Pre-clinical Drug Development Platform that is responsible for the production of pharmaceutical drugs, phyto-medicines and other botanically-derived medicines. The vivarium (Latin, literally for “place of life”) host
animals of selected genetic background and physiological well-being for breeding and breed small animals to answer to
the need of researchers involved in safety/tolerance studies, behavioural studies and in vivo and in vitro toxicity evaluation.
SAIOH Awards dinner
The annual SAIOH awards will be presented at the Awards Dinner, 30 October, 18h30 ‘till late. The evening will also
include live entertainment.
Directions to SAIOH Awards dinner (from Hockey field parking)
1. Turn left into Gerrit-Dekker Street.
2. Turn left at Stop street (R501/van der Hoff Road).
3. Continue 1.5 km to Venue on left hand side.
The Dinner will be hosted at the Crista Galli Venue:
Tel: 018 294 6357
S 26˚ 40.416’
E 27˚ 06.341’
Chemtech Laboratory Services
Chemtech Laboratory Services was founded in 1998 specialising in the analysis of occupational hygiene, stationary
emission sources, as well as environmental samples, soil and water.
Chemtech Laboratory Services has currently 16 employees of which 7 holds technical qualifications relevant to analytical chemistry. The management staff of Chemtech has over 20 years’ experience in the analysis of occupational
hygiene, stationary emission and environmental samples.
Technical Capability
Chemtech Laboratory Services invested in state of the art analytical instrumentation for the analysis of inorganic and
organic contaminants.
Inorganic Analysis
The laboratory employs ICP-AES and ICP-MS for the analysis of metals in various types of matrices. Ion chromatography is used to determine inorganic acids and inorganic gasses - nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide
and chlorine. Diesel Particulate Matter, Alpha Quartz and Fallout Dust samples are also analysed on a routine basis.
Organic Analysis
The laboratory is equipped with Gas Chromatographs and Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometers to identify and
quantify unknown organic compounds in several of sample matrices. Volatile Organic Compounds, Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (PAH’s), Phenol & Cresol, Aldehydes, PCB’s , Gasoline Range Organics and Diesel Range Organics
are analysed on a routine basis.
Microbiological Analysis
Chemtech Laboratory Services has a service level agreement with a sub-contracting laboratory for the analysis of microbiological samples.
Quality System
Chemtech Laboratory Services has been accredited according to ISO 17025 since November 2007 and adhere to very
stringent quality standards.
Physical Address:
732 Makou Street, Monument Park, Pretoria
Postal Address:
P.O. Box 25825, Monument Park, 0105
+27(0) 12 347 4979
[email protected]
This Programme has been proudly sponsored by Chemtech Laboratory Services
Day 1, Wednesday 29 October 2014 - Professional Development Courses (PDC’s)
8h30 - 9h00
Registration for PDC’s
Venue - Building G20 (foyer)
PDC-1: Total aerosol sampling - established but PDC-2: Considerations for risk assessment, exoutdated technology for respiratory exposure as- posure monitoring and control of dermal exposessment (Building G20, 109)
sure in the workplace (Building G16, 237)
Presenter: Dr. Aleksandr Stefaniak, NIOSH (USA) Presenter: Prof. Johan du Plessis, North-West
9h00 - 10h30
Opening and Introduction PDC-1
Opening and Introduction PDC-2
Session 1 (1.5 hours)
Session 1 (1.5 hours)
10h30 - 10h50
10h50 - 12h20
Tea Break
Session 2 (1.5 hours)
Session 2 (1.5 hours)
12h20 - 13h20
13h20 - 14h20
Session 3 (1 hour)
Session 3 (1 hour)
14h20 - 14h30
Summary and Closing
Summary and Closing
14h30 - 14h50
Tea Break
15h00 - 16h00
NWU Vivarium visit
Day 2, Thursday 30 October 2014 - Conference
7h30 - 8h30
Registration for Conference
Venue - Building G20 (foyer and G01)
8h30 - 8h50
Welcome and opening: Mr. Jakes Jacobs (President, SAIOH) and Prof. Amanda Lourens (ViceRector Research, Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU)
Session 1: Occupational Hygiene practice
Session chair
8h50 - 9h35
9h35 - 10h00
10h00 - 10h25
10h25 - 10h50
Prof. Fritz Eloff
Keynote Address 1: A business case for Occupational Hygiene beyond the prevention of occupational disease – Prof. Cas Badenhorst (AngloAmerican and NWU)
Presentation 1: A breakthrough approach for personal noise exposures, using dosimetry, SEG’s
and statistics – Garth Hunter (Engen Petroleum Ltd.)
Presentation 2: Ventilation Engineering and Occupational Hygiene: Uncomfortable bedfellows or a
recipe for success – Marco Biffi (MVS and AngloAmerican)
Tea and Poster Viewing
Session 2: Airborne particulates
Session chair
Dr. Ivan Niranjan
10h50 - 11h35
Keynote Address 2: Occupational hygiene and nanomaterials – Dr. Aleksandr Stefaniak (NIOSH,
Presentation 3: Characterisation of airborne dust in a South African opencast iron ore mine Petrus Laubscher et al. (NWU)
Presentation 4: Performance of aerosol samplers for the assessment of soluble platinum exposure – Cynthia Ramoteshoa et al. (NWU)
Presentation 5: Characterization of respirable crystalline silica dust in the abandoned mines
around Roodepoort, Central Rand Johannesburg - Thingahangwi Madzivhandila (NIOH)
11h35 - 12h00
12h00 - 12h25
12h25 - 12h50
12h50 - 13h50
Session 3: Airborne particulates, noise and statistics
Session chair
Dr. Andrew Swanepoel
13h50 - 14h15
15h05 - 15h30
Presentation 6: Occupational exposure assessment to iron oxide nanoparticles in a research laboratory in South Africa – Muriel Mogane (NIOH)
Presentation 7: The combined exposure to chemicals and noise on hearing – Dr. Ivan Niranjan
Presentation 8: Noise induced hearing loss and hearing conservation in the iron and steel Industry
in South Africa – Gaby Mizan et al. (NIOH)
Presentation 9: Occupational hygiene measurements: Do we need them? – Kevin Renton (NIOH)
15h30 - 15h45
Tea and Poster Viewing
15h45 - 17h00
14h15 - 14h40
14h40 - 15h05
18h30 - late
SAIOH Awards Dinner
Day 3, Friday 31 October 2014 - Conference
7h30 - 8h30
Registration for Conference
Venue - Building G20 (foyer and G01)
Session 4: Keynote address session
Session chair
8h30 - 9h15
9h15 - 10h00
10h00 - 10h25
10h25 - 10h50
Prof. Cas Badenhorst
Keynote Address 3: Sun exposure and outdoor work: a South African perspective – Dr. Caradee
Wright (CSIR)
Keynote Address 4: Occupational skin disease: an overview – Dr. Hilary Carman (NIOH)
Presentation 10: Exposures to volatile organic compound from the use of cleaning and disinfecting products in healthcare settings – Dr. Aleksandr Stefaniak et al. (NIOSH, USA)
Tea and Poster Viewing
Session 5: Emerging stressors and legislation
Session chair
Dr. Nico Claassen
10h50 - 11h15
Presentation 11: Farm workers’ exposure to high percentage of ambient UVR in Limpopo – a pilot
study – Karlien Linde et al. (UL)
Presentation 12: The selection of different averaging approaches on whole body vibration exposure levels of a driver utilising the ISO 2631-1 standard – Duane Bester (UP)
Presentation 13: The influence of pH on skin permeation of rhodium – Sané Jansen van Rensburg
et al. (NWU)
Presentation 14: Review of the South African Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances
and Asbestos – Elize Lourens (Department of Labour)
Presentation 15: The development of ergonomics regulations for South Africa – Bulelwa Huna
(Department of Labour)
11h15 - 11h40
11h40 - 12h05
12h05 - 12h30
12h30 - 12h55
12h55 - 13h50
Session 6: SAIOH feedback and Conference closing
Session chair
Jakes Jacobs
13h50 - 14h10
Presentation 16: SAIOH Salary Survey – Jannie Els (Consulta Research)
14h10 - 14h50
Presentation 17: SAIOH PCB – Deon Jansen van Vuuren and Julie Hills (SAIOH PCB)
14h50 - 15h00
Conference closing session and summary
15h00 - 15h20
Professional Development Courses (PDC’s)
PDC 1: Total aerosol sampling - established but outdated technology for respiratory exposure assessment
Presented by: Dr. Aleksandr Stefaniak (Ph.D.), NIOSH (USA)
Traditional instruments for monitoring total dust exposures include 37-, 25, and 45-mm open- and closed-face filter cassettes. However, these samplers may not provide a biologically-accurate approximation of particle inhalation efficiency.
Progress in our understanding of interactions between aerosolized particles and different regions of the human respiratory system spurred development of the ACGIH/ISO/CEN particle size-selective health-related aerosol size fractions
and conventions (respirable, thoracic, and inhalable). Several personal samplers have been developed to mimic healthbased inhalable, thoracic, and respirable sampling conventions. Performance characteristics of these size-selective
samplers will be discussed and compared to those of total dust samplers such as traditional 37-mm cassettes. Issues
related to use of these samplers will be reviewed and several novel size-selective sampling applications (e.g., bioaerosol enumeration, abrasive blasting) will be discussed.
This course aims to provide Occupational Hygienists with an improved understanding of size-selective aerosol sampling
concepts and technology. Using lectures and group discussions, the following course objectives will be achieved:
• Critically discuss advantages and disadvantages of total aerosol sampling.
• Introduce the concept of aerosol size-selective sampling and its relation to human health.
• Introduce and discuss instrumentation for inhalable, thoracic, and respirable sampling.
• Present application-specific size-selective sampling.
• Review analytical considerations for particle size-selective sampling.
PDC 2: Considerations for risk assessment, exposure monitoring and control of dermal exposure in the workplace
Presented by: Prof. Johan du Plessis (Ph.D.), North-West University
Although the skin is the largest organ in the body, the skin as a potential route of exposure is often neglected in occupational hygiene risk assessments, exposure monitoring and in control measures recommended or implemented to
eliminate or reduce exposure.
By making use of lectures, practical examples, demonstrations and problem solving this PDC aims to achieve the following objectives:
• to provide an overview of skin anatomy and physiology as well as important occupational skin diseases.
• to convey a conceptual model for dermal exposure in the workplace.
• to provide considerations for risk assessments.
• to demonstrate different dermal exposure monitoring methods.
• to convey effective strategies for control of dermal exposure in the workplace.
Conference Presentations
Keynote 1: A business case for occupational hygiene beyond the prevention of occupational disease
Author: Cas Badenhorst
Affiliation: Anglo American, S & SD Department
Email: [email protected]
The overall value of occupational hygiene beyond measuring airborne dust concentrations and personal noise exposure will be discussed. The audience will be introduced to the concept of an “occupational health life cycle”, defining
a back to basics approach with the emphasis on keeping it simple where possible and cost effective, whilst expanding
the “conventional thinking” in occupational hygiene to hazards and processes beyond dust and noise. The discussion
will provide some understanding that health management in the workplace has value to individuals as well as business. Thoughts will be shared on the importance of collaborations between business, academia and other stakeholders across discipline and country borders. The attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how and why
(and why not) we measure hazards such as dust, noise and diesel particulate matter (DPM), how these hazards can be
managed in the workplace, how they (the audience) as individuals can assist in this process, and the long term value
to their health.
Presentation 1: A breakthrough approach for personal noise exposures, using dosimetry, SEG’s and statistics
Author: Garth Hunter
Affiliation: Engen Petroleum Ltd.
Email: [email protected]
The understanding of the practice of noise dosimetry is still evolving. This is partially due to noise dosimetry measurements, both nationally as well as internationally, not been legally required. In turn this has led to a lack of understanding
in aspects of noise dosimetry which are revealed in the following questions: Can you adequately assess noise exposure without undertaking systematic noise dosimetry? How much interday variability is there between noise dosimetry
measurements taken on the same worker? How many noise dosimetry measurements do you take per worker to get
reliable results? Should you, or can you apply statistics to dosimetry measurements, and if so how? Do you map your
workforce according to noise SEG’s? Do chemical SEG’s and noise SEG’s have to contain the same workers? How do
you systematically use noise dosimetry measurements to drive audiometric testing? Answers to these questions will be
explored, which are based on a large scale dosimetry project undertaken at a Petrochemical refinery in Durban.
Presentation 2: Mine ventilation engineering and occupational hygiene: partners for modern mining
Author: Marco Biffi
Affiliation: Anglo American, S & SD Department
Email: [email protected]
The promulgation of the Mines Health and Safety Act (MHSA) (Act 29 of 1996) brought about a number of changes as it
aligned itself with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, its precursor. Amongst the many changes, the least of which
was a self-regulating approach to mining activities, was the focus placed on the health of the worker through a series
of health-based considerations and interventions. These required the taking of “…Occupational hygiene measurements…” in line with risk-based considerations and analyses. This phrase opened a sizeable Pandora’s box within the
South African Mining Industry, the repercussions of which are still affecting mine ventilation and occupational hygiene
professionals eighteen years after the adoption of the MHSA. The reality, discussed in this presentation, is that opportunities were lost to grow what was at the time a rudimentary but yet fit-for-purpose dispensation into an effective means
of improving mining occupational environments while reducing worker exposure to a number of health and safety stressors. This paper briefly discusses a new perspective as to how the two professions may operate in a more co-operative,
organised and structured manner to achieve those objectives. It argues that taking cognisance of the respective origins
and of the difference of the roles each has to fulfil within a modern mining industry are the first steps in building a new
and effective partnership.
Keynote 2: Nanotechnology: The big problem of making small measurements
Author: Aleksandr B. Stefaniak
Affiliation: Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown
Email: [email protected]
Nanotechnology can be defined as the manipulation and control of matter in the nanoscale in order to exploit size- and
structure-dependent properties that are distinct from those associated with the bulk material. Nanotechnology is poised
to be the next industrial revolution, with promises of newer, faster, and better performing products. Virtually all aspects
of our economy will be touched by nanotechnology, with applications in healthcare, automotive manufacturing, food,
clothing, sporting equipment, personal care products, and construction materials already in commerce. One of the biggest challenges that occupational hygienists face is how to measure exposure to a nanomaterial and characterize its
physicochemical properties. There are numerous real-time instruments available to determine airborne particle number,
mass, size, and surface area; however, they all lack specificity for a nanomaterial of interest. Traditional approaches
such as dust collection on a filter with off-line analysis using electron microscopy to identify the nanomaterial of interest
are feasible, but are time-consuming and expensive. Methods for assessment of dermal exposure to nanomaterials do
not exist. In addition to size, nanomaterial surface area, surface chemistry, and surface reactivity may be toxicologically
relevant. Further complicating matters is the paucity of occupational exposure limits for nanomaterials. As such, even
when the hygienist can measure a nanomaterial exposure, interpretation of the result is unclear. In this presentation, an
overview of health effects from exposures to nanomaterials will be described and available techniques for exposure assessment will be critically evaluated to provide occupational hygienists with a state-of-the-art perspective on measurement challenges, and an international perspective will be provided on legislative and standards development.
Presentation 3: Characterisation of airborne dust in a South African opencast iron ore mine
Authors: Petrus Laubscher, Rehan Badenhorst, Alicia van der Merwe
Affiliations: Subject Group Physiology (Occupational Hygiene), Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University
Email: [email protected]
Background: The physical and chemical characteristic’s as well as the particle size distribution of airborne dust influences its toxicology and is thus important factors that must be taken into account in the designing of a monitoring program.
Aims and Objectives: This study was aimed at the physical, chemical, and particle size distribution characterisation of
the airborne dust in various areas in an opencast iron ore mine. Method: Static inhalable and respirable samples were
taken at the Primary-secondary crusher, the Tertiary crusher, the Quaternary crusher and the Sifting house in conjunction with an optical and condensation particle counter measurements. Physical and chemical analysis was done by
scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Results and Discussion: High
levels of inhalable and respirable dust exist in the workplaces. Integration of the results obtained with the optical and the
condensation particle counters indicated that the majority of the airborne particles found are in the size fraction ˂0.3 µm.
The dust consists essentially of iron, oxygen, carbon, aluminium, silicon, potassium and calcium. The SEM indicates
the presence of agglomeration and thin splints in the dust. Conclusion: The large percentage of ultra-fine particles in the
airborne dust opened up the question as to whether the present sampling regimen is adequate to protect the workers
against lung and other diseases caused by exposure to iron containing dust.
Presentation 4: Performance of aerosol samplers for the assessment of soluble platinum exposure
Authors: Cynthia Ramotsehoa1, Petrus Laubscher1, Fritz Eloff1, Cas Badenhorst2
1. Subject Group Physiology (Occupational Hygiene), Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University
2. Anglo American, S & SD Department
Email: [email protected]
Background: The study was carried out at a base metal refinery in South Africa. Inhalation remains the major route of
occupational exposure to soluble platinum salts. These are more toxic than the metal itself and platinum also occurs
at higher concentrations than other PGMs. Therefore, having an efficient sampler to monitor exposure is in the best
interest of worker health. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the performance of inhalable
aerosol samplers (Button, Closed Face Cassette, GSP, IOM, PAS and Seven Hole) in the collection of inhalable soluble
platinum salts. Method: Area sampling was used. Positions were identified in high exposure areas to which samplers
were randomly allocated and rotated. A total of 108 samples were collected over 3 cycles. Results and Discussion: No
statistically significant differences were found amongst the samplers. The hierarchy of samplers was as follows; Seven
Hole, IOM, GSP, Button, PAS and CFC. The IOM however collected 98% of Seven Hole sampler averages albeit with
greater variations. Furthermore, results from all other samplers produced lower variations than IOM. Conclusion: The
absence of significant differences found in this study has to be validated in a controlled environment with known particles
Presentation 5: Characterization of respirable crystalline silica dust in the abandoned mines around, Roodepoort, Central Rand Johannesburg, South Africa
Authors: Thingahangwi Madzivhandila¹,4, James Larkin3, Boitumelo Kgarebe2,6, Sekobe Gopolang1,5
1. Occupational and Hygiene Section, National Institute for Occupational Health
2. Analytical services, National Institute for Occupational Health
3. Radiation and Health Physics Unit, University of Witwatersrand
4. Geological Society of South Africa
5. British Occupational Hygiene Society
6. Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences
Email: [email protected]
Introduction: The Central rand mining areas have been extensively mined since 1886 to depth up to 3500m below earth
surface and are the one of nine district gold mining areas (Gold Fields) that has developed in the greater Witwatersrand
basin. The issue of abandoned mines is important because it represents thousands of former mining sites that continue
to pose a real or potential threat to human safety and health and/or environmental damage, (MMSD, 2002). Crystalline
silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen (IARC, 2002). Additionally, breathing crystalline silica dust can
cause silicosis, which in severe cases can be disabling, or even fatal. There is no cure for silicosis. Since silicosis affects
lung function, it makes one more susceptible to lung infections like tuberculosis. Purpose: To prepare the calibration
curve for characterizing respirable crystalline silica from abandoned mines around Roodepoort. Method: The Method
for the Determination of Hazardous Substances (MDHS) 101 developed by the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) in
the UK was used for preparation of calibration standards which involves deposition of pure Respirable Crystalline Silica
(alpha quartz 1878a) on PVC filters from a cloud dust chamber.
The sampling pump was attached to dust chamber to suck the air into the cyclone and filter attached. The mass of silica
deposited was determined using gravimetric method. Results: Standards of 30 concentrations were prepared over
the range of (15- 720) µg/filter. The calibration curve was formed. The silica peak at 26.6502θ of X-Ray Diffraction was
found. The correlation was 0.997 which is acceptable by HSL. Discussion and conclusion: The obtained results will be
used to further the studies on characterization of respirable crystalline silica dust.
Presentation 6: Occupational exposure assessment to iron oxide nanoparticles in a research laboratory in South Africa
Author: Nthabiseng Muriel Mogane1,2, Kuku Voyi2
1. National Institute for Occupational Health, NationalHealth Laboratory Service
2. Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Health System and Public Health, Faculty of Health
Sciences, University of Pretoria
Email: [email protected]nhls.ac.za
The synthesis and use of iron oxide nanoparticles is increasing but there is limited information on preventing occupational exposure to these particles in research laboratories in South Africa. The study aims to assess potential emission
points of iron oxide nanoparticles in the air and assessment of exposure to these particles during their synthesis in a
South African research laboratory. Condensation particle counters were used to measure the particle number concentration and size distribution over time, in a research laboratory. Area and personal filter-based samples were also collected for analysis, using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for elemental iron analysis and
scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for size, shape and chemical composition. Microsoft, Excel, Stata and TSI data
merge software, were used to analyse the data. The number of particles in the laboratory increased during synthesis.
The particles ranged from a minimum of 321 particles/cc for background level to a peak of 51000 particles/cc during synthesis. Variations in particle number concentration and size distribution were observed with different stages of synthesis.
Elemental iron was found in the filter-based samples with the highest concentration (0.09 mg/m3), positioned closest
to the emission source. Iron oxide nanoparticles were emitted during synthesis, resulting in workers being exposed to
short-term high concentration of these particles. In the absence of exposure limits, exposure prevention should be emphasized to minimise possible adverse health effects.
Presentation 7: The combined exposure to chemicals and noise on hearing
Author: Ivan Niranjan
Affiliation: Department of Community Health Studies, Durban University of Technology
Toxic noise is no longer sighted as the only source of work-related hearing damage. Cognizance needs to be given to
the combined risks for workers exposed to high-level noise with work related substances. Workers who are exposed to
noise above 85 dBA are required to have their hearing tested periodically, by means of pure-tone air-conduction audiometry. Pure-tone audiometric test only identifies the extent of the hearing disorder and not the cause. The audiometric
shape in cases of noise-induced hearing loss and ototoxicity can be similar. If careful analyses of these results are not
performed and attention not given to all the exposure conditions, it is possible that the observed hearing disorders may
be attributed solely to noise. These factors could explain the scarcity of research conducted until recently on ototoxic
properties of chemicals present in the environment and in the workplace. Workers are exposed to multiple agents.
Physiological interactions with mixed exposures may lead to an increase in the severity of a harmful effect. The joint action of chemicals and noise on the hearing mechanism presents much higher risk to workers. Coupled to this exposure
the intake of certain types of medication that are ototoxic presents a serious threat to the health and safety of workers.
Workers are exposed to a combination of low- dose substances that interact with other occupational risks such as noise,
vibration, radiation and psychosocial factors. Currently there are gaps in legislation in that employers are not required
to conduct audiometric testing of workers hearing who are exposed to ototoxic chemicals or who are taking medication
that are ototoxic. The precautionary principle should be applied in that hearing protectors should be provided to workers
from an exposure of 80dBA in a complex occupational environment (noise plus ototoxic chemicals).
Presentation 8: Noise Induced Hearing Loss and Hearing Conservation in the Iron and Steel Industry in South Africa
Authors: GE Mizan1,2; O Abrahams; N Ndaba; J Manganyi; K Renton; A Greyling; K Wilson; S Kgalamono; G Sekobe;
D Rees
1. National Institute for Occupational Health, National Health Laboratory Service
2. University of Witwatersrand, School of Public Health, Johannesburg, South Africa
Email: [email protected]h.nhls.ac.za
Background and Purpose: The primary iron and steel industry in South Africa has been identified among the highest
risk industries in terms of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) incidences. The National Institute for Occupational Health
(NIOH) was commissioned by the Department of Labour (DoL) to audit the current noise exposure levels and hearing
conservation practices in 8 major producers of iron and steel, and make recommendations regarding prevention strategies. Methods: The audit was conducted in two parts: the Occupational Hygiene department of the NIOH was tasked with
assessing the noise exposure levels and hearing conservation practices at the 8 factories, and the Occupational Medicine department assessed the hearing conservation policies and procedures, reviewed employees’ medical records to
ascertain the number of NIHL cases, as well as conducting verification of audiograms on a sample of employees working
in noise zones. Results: In all eight workplaces area and personal noise exposure levels were found to be equal to or
above the 85 dB(A) limit. Area noise levels exceeding 105 dB(A) were measured in four of the eight workplaces. The
estimated average annual incidence of noise induced hearing loss varied from 0.6/1000/year to 8.3/1000/year. COID
Act submission on determination of a 10% loss of hearing (PLH) was adhered to in all eight companies. All companies
did baseline, periodic and exist audiometric testing, but full compliance with scheduled testing was not reached. There
were notable differences between in-house and external audiograms and differences of more than 20 dB(A) were found
in two companies. Although information and training on noise was done in all worksites, a high proportion of workers
could not demonstrate correct fitting of hearing protection devices. Recommendations: A detailed Standard Operating
Procedure should be put in place with regards to medical surveillance for NIHL and this should have action timelines
that initiate remedial processes prior to the employee developing compensable disease. Aggregated audiometric testing results should be communicated to managers and health and safety teams/committees to complement health risk
assessments in order to provide guidance to prioritise areas for control measures. Workers and contractors must be
trained on all aspects of noise exposure and hearing conservation, including the correct wearing of hearing protectors.
An evaluation tool to measure the effectiveness of the training should be adopted. Quality assurance programmes for
audiometric testing should be considered.
Presentation 9: Occupational Hygiene Measurements - Do we need them?
Author: Kevin Renton
Affiliation: National Institute for Occupational Health, National Health Laboratory Service
Email: [email protected]
Purpose: To review anonymous sampling results from several occupational hygiene surveys reports using Industrial
Hygiene Data Analyst Light Edition Software (IHDA-LE). The IHDA-LE is designed to assist occupational hygienists
and other similarly trained EHS professionals to make decisions with respect to safety and health. Methods: To analyze
the results using the Industrial Hygiene Data Analyst Light Edition Software and to discuss the need for and number of,
measurements required to make valid judgments and helpful recommendations. Results: The presentation will focus on
why we need measurements and if we do how to make a decision using the IHDA-LE tool.
Keynote 3: Sun exposure and outdoor work: a South African perspective
Author: Caradee Y Wright
Affiliation: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Climate Studies, Modelling and Environmental Health Research Group
Email: [email protected]
Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure has both beneficial and harmful human health effects. Sufficient exposure
stimulates vitamin D production; however, excess exposure is associated with skin cancer, cataracts and immune suppression. In South African, about one third of all histologically-diagnosed cancers are skin cancers, however, the proportion of occupational skin cancers is unknown. South Africa generally receives relatively high solar UVR levels during
summer, late spring and early autumn; hence chronic occupational exposure may pose health risks. Outdoor workers’
solar UVR exposure depends on, among other factors, the occupational environment in which they work, the geographic
location, the personal protective equipment that is worn and skin type. The International Commission on Non-Ionising
Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) mean daily exposure limit guideline is 1.08 SED/day (Standard Erythemal Dose units, 1
SED = 100 Jm-2) or 30 Jm-2 per 8-hour period. No South African studies have published occupational sun exposure
patterns, personal sun protection worn and workers’ sun-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. International
studies suggest that outdoor workers may be amenable to using sun protection in a policy-supported context.
Workplace sun protection interventions have been proven to be effective in other countries; however, local research is
required to determine whether sun exposure interventions in occupational settings may be acceptable and successful
in South Africa.
Keynote 4: Occupational Skin Disease: An overview
Author: Hilary Carman (MBBCh Wits, DTM&H wits, FCDerm SA)
Affiliations: Dermatologist in private practice, Johannesburg, and National Institute of Occupational Health, Johannesburg
Email: [email protected]
Occupational skin disease is an abnormality induced or aggravated by the work environment . The skin is the largest
organ of the body and is the major interface between the body and the environment. Thus occupational skin disease is
common but under-reported, under diagnosed and under compensated the world over. Over 90% patients presenting to
an occupational dermatology clinic have contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis, because it is characterized by itch and
because it is visible to the patient and the rest of the world, is highly distressing to the patient\worker. The differences
between irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria will be discussed briefly and 3 illustrative
cases, including their compensation outcomes will be presented.
Occupational skin diseases other than dermatitis and urticaria will be discussed and illustrated. These conditions include:
1. Folliculitis and acneiform eruptions.
2. Effects of heat on the skin i.e. miliaria, fungal infections and erythema ab igne.
3. Alopecia caused by chemicals possibly present in the work environment.
4. Hyper and hypo pigmentation and chemicals that cause this.
5. Fungal infections of the skin caused by fungal contamination in the workplace.
6. Radiation damage.
7. Skin cancer and ultraviolet light.
8. Systemic disease – systemic sclerosus or scleroderma and its association with silicosis.
Presentation 10: Exposures to volatile organic compound from the use of cleaning and disinfecting products
in healthcare settings
Authors: Ryan F. LeBouf, M. Abbas Virji, Paul K. Henneberger, Aleksandr B. Stefaniak
Affiliations: Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV, USA 26505
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare workers who perform cleaning and disinfecting tasks have a high prevalence of asthma; however, little
is understood with regard to actual exposure levels and factors that influence exposures. The main objective of this
study was to quantify exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from use of cleaning and disinfecting products
among various healthcare workers. Evacuated canisters were used to collect personal (n = 143) and general area (n
= 207) full-shift VOC air samples among 14 different occupations in five hospitals. Fourteen analytes were quantified
and additional compounds were qualitatively identified in the air samples analyzed using gas chromatography-mass
spectroscopy. Exposure profiles differed among occupations; ethanol had the highest geometric mean (GM) among
Nursing Assistants (~4,900 and ~1,900 µg/m3, personal and area) and 2-propanol had the highest GM among Medical Equipment Preparers (~4,600 and ~2,000 µg/m3, personal and area). The highest total personal VOC exposures
were among Nursing Assistants (~9,200 µg/m3), Licensed Practical Nurses (~8,700 µg/m3), and Medical Equipment
Preparers (~7,900 µg/m3). The average amount of time per day spent on cleaning-tasks using cleaning and disinfecting
products were among the highest for Medical Equipment Preparers, Housekeepers, Floor Stripper/Waxers and Endoscopy Technician (range: 108-177 minutes/day). VOC exposures in healthcare settings consist of complex mixtures of
chemicals. Healthcare workers are exposed to a variety of chemicals that vary with tasks and products used during
cleaning and disinfecting. These VOC exposure profiles are being used to develop a job exposure matrix for epidemiological studies of work-related asthma.
Presentation 11: Farm workers’ exposure to high percentage of ambient UVR in Limpopo – a pilot study
Authors: Karlien Linde*, Mahlako Nkogatse* and Dr Caradee Wright#
Affiliations: * Department of Physiology and Environmental Health, University of Limpopo. # CSIR Climate Studies,
Modeling and Environmental Health Research Group
Email: [email protected]
Exposure to high levels of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) results in negative health effects such as the development of
skin cancers and cataracts. A large number of individuals are routinely exposed to this potential danger during their work
activities, including farm workers. However, the exposure of farm workers to solar UVR during their work day has not
yet been determined in South Africa and more specifically in the Limpopo province. The present study determined farmworkers’ exposure to solar UVR during winter in Limpopo. This will form part of a project that will give a comprehensive
view of the danger posed to outdoor workers in the province. Farmworkers’ exposure to UVR was determined by using
data-logging UVR detectors. The downloaded data allowed for the presentation of six farmworkers’ exposure to UVR
in hourly intervals and the calculation of the individual’s daily total exposure. The results indicated that farmworkers
were exposed to UVR levels of less than 1 standard erythema dose (SED) although the daily doses were higher. These
measured levels were lower than those found during other similar studies, most likely due to the winter ambient solar
UVR levels being low. However, the farmworkers received approximately 46 % of the ambient UVR measured on the
day. Although farmworkers were not exposed to very high UVR levels during this study, the large percentage of ambient UVR exposure experienced by the farmworkers suggests that the individuals may experience significant solar UVR
exposures during spring and summer months. Further studies are needed.
Presentation 12: The selection of different averaging approaches on whole body vibration exposure levels of a driver utilising the ISO 2631-1 standard.
Authors: Duane Bester and Nicolaas Claassen
Affiliations: School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universityof Pretoria
Email: [email protected]
Limited research has been conducted on inconsistencies relating to whole-body vibration (WBV) field assessments.
Therefore, this study aimed to investigate a certain possible contributor to inconsistencies in vibration assessment work,
namely averaging intervals. To our knowledge, this was the first study investigating the effect of multiple averaging approaches on WBV results. WBV parameters were measured for a driver operating a vehicle on a preselected test route
utilising ISO 2631-1:1997. This was achieved utilizing a Quest HavPro vibration monitor with a fitted tri-axial Integrated
Circuit Piezoelectric (ICP) accelerometer mounted on the driver’s seat. Furthermore, in an attempt to decrease differences between observed WBV results, an outlier detection method, part of the STATA software package was utilised to
clean the data. Statistical analyses included hypothesis testing in the form of one-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis oneway analysis of variance by ranks to determine significant differences between integration intervals. Logged data timeseries durations delivered W0 = 0.04, therefore indicating unequal variance. Omission of 60 s from statistical analyses
delivered W0 = 0.28. The observed difference occurs when data is averaged over longer intervals, resulting in portions
of data not being reflected in the final dataset. In addition, frequency-weighted root mean squared acceleration results
reflected significant differences between 1 s, 10 s, 30 s, 60 s and SLOW averaging approaches, while non-significant differences were observed for Crest Factors and instantaneous peak accelerations. Vibration Dose Value results reflected
non-significant differences after omission of 60 second averaging interval data. Cleaned data showed significant differences between various averaging approaches as well as significant differences when compared with raw vibration data.
The study therefore outlined certain inconsistencies pertaining to the selection of multiple integration intervals during the
assessment of WBV exposure. Data filtering could not provide a conclusion on a suitable averaging period and as such,
further research is required to determine the correct averaging interval to be used for WBV assessment.
Presentation 13: The influence of pH on the in vitro skin permeation of rhodium
Authors: Sané J Jansen van Rensburg1, Anja Franken1, Jeanetta du Plessis2, Johannes L du Plessis1
1. Subject Group Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University
2. Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University
Email: [email protected]
In the mining industry and PGM refineries, workers may be dermally exposed to rhodium. Rhodium salts may act as
sensitisers, but very little information is available on dermal exposure to rhodium and its permeation. Studies have
proven that nickel, cobalt and chromium undergo ionisation in synthetic sweat and permeate through the skin. The pH of
the solution influences the ionisation. The ability of rhodium to permeate through the skin has not been investigated and
the influence of pH on permeation has not been described. Aim: This study aimed to determine whether rhodium can
permeate through the skin and if differences exist between the permeation of rhodium at a pH of 4.5 and 6.5. Method:
Using the Franz cell method, human abdominal skin was mounted between two compartments. Experimental cells contained synthetic sweat with RhCl3 as donor solution, while blank cells contained no RhCl3. From the receptor compartment a physiological solution was removed after 8, 12 and 24 hours for analysis, along with the donor and digested skin
solutions. Results: At both pH values, rhodium permeated through the skin with a cumulative increase over exposure
time. After 12 hours, rhodium permeation was statistically significantly higher for pH 4.5 than pH 6.5. At both pH values,
more rhodium accumulated in the skin than diffused through the skin with a lag time of less than six hours. Conclusion:
A decrease in the pH of synthetic sweat led to an increase in the permeation of rhodium.
Presentation 14: Review of the Regulations for Hazardous Chemical Substances and Asbestos South Africa
Author: Elize Lourens
Affiliation: Department of Labour
Email: [email protected]
DoL has a mandate to protect workers against occupational diseases and injuries due to workplace hazards such as
chemical hazards. Injuries and diseases caused by chemicals are detrimental to the work environment and not only
cause a possible loss of life but also reduce productivity. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 25%
of workplace deaths worldwide are due to chemical exposures. Currently worldwide there are over 35 million organic
and inorganic substances listed. DoL has identified the importance of chemical risks in South Africa thus the Chemical
Sector has been identified as one of the high risk industries the Department focuses on. Activities such as entering into
a health and safety accord with the sector and reviewing the current relevant regulations had been prioritized. With the
assistance of Organized Business, Organized Labour and technical specialist the DoL are working to bring legislation
governing the use of chemicals at work in line with the assessed risk posed by chemicals to workers and the community.
The benefits of these activities for the parties involve may include:
• DoL: Meeting its mandate to ensure a healthy and safe work environment.
• Business: Reduced disruption to operations, increased productivity and competitiveness as well as decrease
• Workers: continued quality of life and ongoing participation in work and community.
In July 2013 a technical committee was established to review the regulations for hazardous chemical substances, lead
and asbestos regulations. The objectives are to develop new regulations and technical guidelines to address the health
risks know to be held by chemical use within the work environment and protect anyone who may be otherwise affected
by hazardous chemical. The DoL has also developed a 3year work plan with its social partners focused at improving the
knowledge on health risks and legal compliance within the chemical sector. The work plan will aim to assists the various
stakeholders in the chemical sector To promote good relations with social partners, for the benefit of health and safety in
the chemical sector to prioritise matters of occupational health and safety, to promote occupational health and safety of
all persons involved with and affected by chemicals, to eliminate fatalities, injuries and diseases in the chemical sector.
Presentation 15: The development of ergonomics regulations for South Africa
Author: Bulelwa Huna
Affiliation: Department of Labour
Email: [email protected]
DoL has a mandate to protect workers against occupational diseases and injuries due to workplace hazards and risks
including ergonomic risk factors. Injuries and illnesses are a negative aspect of the work environment and not only cause
a loss of life and family income but also reduce productivity and are consequently undesirable. In a recent ILO report
it was estimated that the economic costs of poor occupational health and safety practices is estimated at 4% of global
gross national product per year. DoL has identified the importance of ergonomics in South Africa through the issuing of
Circular Instruction 180 regarding the compensation of work-related upper limb disorders and the concept of ergonomics is embedded in certain sections of the OHSAct and in certain regulations. Despite this, there is still a major gap
with regard to ergonomics understanding and implementation, hence the move towards development of an ergonomics
regulation which will assist employers in addressing ergonomic risk factors by implementing ergonomics programmes
as a control measure with the following benefits:
• Business: Reduced disruption to operations, increased productivity and competitiveness as well as retention of
valued staff and decrease absenteeism.
• Workers: continued quality of life and ongoing participation in work.
In 2013 a technical committee was established to develop ergonomics regulations, consisting of social partners and
ergonomics specialists. The objectives are to develop regulations, code of practice and technical guidelines with the
goal of ensuring that the regulations are as concise and practical as possible, considering the complexity of ergonomics
and the maturity of South African industry. The focus will be on a program approach to manage physical and cognitive
ergonomics in the workplace. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight the work that has been done to date and
the likely implications for employers, employees and cognate disciplines such as safety and occupational hygiene. Furthermore it will help set the platform for future collaboration between the various functions and relevant stakeholders in
occupational health.
North-West University
NWU Organising committee
Christa Galli caterers, PUK Amici, Videotheque
Multistyl, Eli Agencies, GiftsnGadgets
Fishwicks Printers
Aspirata Auditing, Testing, and Certification (Pty) Ltd
ASOH Consulting
Chemtech Laboratory Services
Exco Environmental and Occupational Health Services
HSE Solutions
Occusure (Pty) Ltd
SHE Global
Ebeneaser Environmental
Runrite Electronics
Poster Presentations
Poster 1: The role of body mass index on fit testing and respirator selection
Author: Danisile Vuma
Affiliations: National Institute for Occupational Health
Email: [email protected]
Background : Employees in different industries use respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to prevent work-related
respiratory illnesses such as silicosis, asbestosis and tuberculosis. The current perception in many South African workplaces is that one size respirator fits all. Workplace control to reduce occupational health hazards can be arranged in
order of priority (hierarchy of controls). Elimination of hazards is best while PPE is the least preferable. However, RPE
such as respirators is the first to be used while others are being implemented. Elevated body mass index (BMI) has
effects upon facial dimensions that may potentially have bearing upon respirator fit. Method: Quantitative respirator fit
test was performed on +500 NHLS employees at different laboratories. BMI and respiratory fit testing was done on
same employees who were fit tested. With no shoes on, body weight was measured in light clothing with a scale, height
was measured using a vertical mounted measuring tape, and BMI (kg/m2) was calculated. Three facial dimensions
(face width, face length and nose bridge) were measured on each participant using callipers. Results: Obese people
were associated with facial dimensions, whereby face width and face length were statistically associated with BMI. An
increasing BMI impacted on face width more than face length. Majority of people with small faces failed on the medium
size respirator. Wearing a respirator that does not fit can create additional risk.
Poster 2: In vitro permeation of platinum and rhodium through intact caucasian skin
Authors: A. Franken1, J.L. Du Plessis1, F.C. Eloff1, J. Du Plessis2, C.J. Badenhorst1, C.J. Van Der Merwe1, A. Van Der
Merwe1 and C. Ramotsehoa1
1. AUTHeR, North-West University, South Africa
2. Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, South Africa
Email: [email protected]
Purpose: The possibility of dermal permeation of platinum group metals has come into question as an alternative route of
exposure leading to sensitisation in the workplace. Dermal absorption of nickel, cobalt, and chromium1,2, to name just a
few, has been proven through intact Caucasian skin. The aim of this study was to determine the extent of platinum and
rhodium permeation through intact Caucasian skin. Methods: Abdominal skin obtained after cosmetic procedures from
four female Caucasian donors between the ages of 37 and 52 were obtained with ethical approval from the NWU. During
each experiment 20 Franz cells were used from only one skin donor, and in total four experiments were conducted. Skin
tissue was mounted in a vertical Franz diffusion cell with an exposed skin area of 1.066 cm2. Skin integrity was tested
by measuring the electrical resistance across the skin using a Tinsley LCR Data bridge Model 6401. A donor suspension
(solution) of 32.46 mg K2PtCl4 in 50 ml of synthetic sweat (pH 6.5), and 43.15 mg RhCl3 in 50 ml of synthetic sweat
(pH 6.5) was prepared. The donor solutions were applied to the outer surface of the skin and 2 ml physiological receptor
solution (pH 7.35) was placed inside the receptor phase. The concentration of the metals in the receptor phase was determined by high resolution ICP-MS after extraction at various intervals during the 24 hours of the study. After completion
of the study, the skin was rinsed four times to remove any platinum or rhodium remaining on the skin surface. The skin
was removed from the Franz cell and was digested using H2O2, HNO3 and HCl during different steps in order to determine the concentration of the metals remaining in the skin by ICP-OES. Results and Discussion: Platinum and rhodium
skin permeation was demonstrated using in vitro experiments giving a significantly higher (p = 0.05) mean permeation
flux of 0.12 ng/cm2/h for platinum, and of 0.05 ng/cm2/h for rhodium. Cumulative platinum permeation after 24 hours
of skin exposure was significantly higher (p = 0.05) than rhodium permeation with a mean of 2.57 ng/cm2 and 1.11 ng/
cm2 respectively. Significantly more (p < 0.001) platinum was retained inside the skin (1459.5 ng/cm2) in comparison to
rhodium (757.0 ng/cm2). Conclusions: Both platinum and rhodium are able to permeate through intact Caucasian skin,
with platinum permeation more than double the permeation of rhodium. Although the concentrations that permeate are
extremely low, it raises the concern of sensitisation for platinum and rhodium in the workplace.
The authors would like to acknowledge that the work is based on the research supported in part by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant number 86422) and the South African Medical Research Council.
1. Larese Filon F, Gianpietro A, Venier M, Maina G and Renzi N, In vitro percutaneous absorption of metal compounds, Toxicol Lett. 2007, 170:49-56.
2. Larese Filon F, D’Agostin F, Crosera M, Adami G, Bovenzi M and Maina G, In vitro absorption of metal powders
through intact and damaged human skin, Toxicol In Vitro. 2009, 23:574-579.
Poster 3: Utilising exhaled air as proxy for screening carbon monoxide exposure and other associated gasses
Authors: J.J. van Staden1, F. Slabber2
1. Anglo American Platinum, Rustenburg
2. Bathopele Mine, Anglo American Platinum
Email: [email protected]
What constitutes a gassing? Large numbers of personal continuous monitoring gas detection instruments are distributed
on a daily basis to identified employees. These instruments are generally capable of detecting carbon monoxide [CO]
and flammable gas. In order to determine whether a gassing has occurred and hence hospital admission for clinical
observation is required, limits of exposure to carbon monoxide are investigated. These limits are based on the legislated
Mine Health and Safety Act [MHSA] Occupational Exposure Limits [OELs]. Where exceedences to these OELs are detected it is assumed that a gassing has occurred. However various uncertainties exist: Does an over exposure constitute
a gassing? It is possible for employees to be exposed to excessive gas concentrations, in the absence of gas detection instruments. Decisions are then taken based on a caring core value. The magnitude of the “gassing” can however
not be determined, especially if the person does not present any symptoms. A review of international best practice was
done, which highlighted the possible use of exhaled breath as an indicator for exposure to gases. This is a non-invasive
method where CO in exhaled alveolar air is used as a surrogate for Carboxyhaemoglobin [COHb] concentration, which
provides a more direct sign of CO uptake by individuals.
Poster 4: Occupational noise induced hearing loss and selected noise abatement techniques in a steel making plant
Authors: Vusumuzi Nkosi, Nico Claassen, Kuku Voyi
Affiliations: School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria
Email: [email protected]
A high prevalence of Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) may be observed amongst employees in the steel manufacturing industry. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of NIHL and current noise abatement techniques
implemented at a steel manufacturing plant. Structured questionnaires were completed by permanent employees at
the identified steel industry for the purpose of studying occupational and medical history, noise exposure in and outside the work environment, usage of Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) and currently implemented noise abatement
procedures. A walk-through survey was also conducted to observe implemented noise abatement techniques using the
Noise Induced Hearing Loss Regulations, GN R307 in GG 24967 of 7 March 2003 as guideline. A total of 18.0 % of
workers suffered from NIHL (95% CI 11.8% to 22.5%). NIHL remains a significant hazard in this steel industry despite
the implementation of noise abatement techniques and noise conservation programme with all the required elements
are implemented. The high percentage of employees with NIHL may be indicative that non-occupational exposures may
influence the effectiveness of noise abatement techniques within the work environment.
Poster 5: A retrospective analysis of 1-Hydroxypyrene biological monitoring results of casing welders and
tappers at a chrome smelter
Authors: Tshepo P Moto and Nico Claassen
Affiliations: School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria
Email: tpm[email protected]
Introduction: Coal tars are by-products of the destructive distillationof coal to synthesise coke and/or gas. Coal tarderived substances are combinations that consist of over 100 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).The aim of the
study was to investigate if differences exist in 1-Hydroxypyrene corrected for Creatinine (1-OHP-Cr) urine levelsof casing welders and tappers working within different sections of the smelter. Methodology: Historic data on 1-OHP-Cr and
air borne coal tar pitch volatile (CTPV) exposure levels were obtained from a chrome smelter. The levels were compared
between casing welders and tappers, plant sections, cigarette smokers and non-cigarette smokers. A questionnaire was
used to evaluate employee behaviour, smoking habits, personal hygiene practices, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and washing of PPE. Results: A significant difference was observed between 1-OHP-Cr levels of casing
welders and tappers. A significant difference was also observed when comparing 1-OHP-Cr levels between different
plant sections. Employees used their PPE but the risk perception varied across employees. Washing of PPE was not
consistent, with some employees washing it daily, some weekly and a few on a monthly basis. Discussion: The air borne
CTPV concentrations to which the workers were exposed in this study were within the range of those reported in the
literature for occupationally exposed populations, as well as being below regulated value of South African legislation.
Inconsistent approaches in terms of washing PPE and personal hygiene practises may have contributed towards the
differences observed between the different occupations.
Poster 6: A cross sectional study: Assessment of levels of burnout amongst health care workers in Tshwane
public clinics
Authors: Dithole Moleboge and Nico Claassen
Affiliations: School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria
Email: [email protected]
Introduction: South Africa is a country with the unique quadruple burden of disease and has shortage of health care
workers. This increases health care worker: patient ratio thus creates an excessive workload on the current health care
workers who are trying to compensate for their shortage in-return making them more vulnerable to suffer burnout. The
aim of the study was to measure burnout among HCW at Tshwane clinics, compare the difference in burnout amongst
four clinics and identify possible reasons and root causes of burnout. Method: A cross sectional study was conducted
on Tshwane HCW in four public clinics. A shortened burnout Maslach inventory and basic demographic questions were
used for data collection and a structured interview was conducted with management. Results: A 38% response rate was
achieved. One hundred and nine (n = 109) participants from the four clinics took part in the study. Nurses represented
the majority of the participants in all occupations studied (response rate = 57.8%). High depersonalisation and low
personal accomplishment with a median of 3.29 and 2.77 respectively, were observed. Years of experience had a significant influence on low personal accomplishment. The mostly affected were participants between 6-10 years working
experience followed by those who have worked for 11-15 years. Discussion: Clinics where employees suffered the most
burnout operates for 24 hours. The possible root causes of burnout might be workload and moral constrains and nurses
were the most affected as they are the first line of contact with patients.
Poster 7: A descriptive study to determine the prevalence of obstructive airways disease amongst load haul
drivers (LHD) in trackless mines
Authors: Amukelani P Manyike, Brendan Girdler-Brown and Nico Claassen
Affiliations: School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria
Email: [email protected]
Introduction: Mine related lung diseases depends on the type of commodity mined, aerodynamic size of airborne pollutants, exposure time, environmental conditions as well as the employee’s lifestyle. The aim of this study was to determine
the prevalence of obstructive airway disease amongst LHD drivers occupationally exposed to mineral dusts and diesel
particulate matter in trackless mines and to determine whether a difference exists between day and night shift workers. Methodology: The study population was underground LHD drivers at a platinum mine in Mpumalanga frequently
exposed to mineral dust and diesel particulate matter (DPM) and was further divided into day and night shift LHD drivers. A questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographics; self-reported social and health history, including
respiratory symptoms. Spirometry was conducted to determine FVC and FEV1. Employees with an FEV1/FVC <70%
conducted a second spirometry test after using a bronchodilator. Results: Employees on night shift had significantly
higher prevalence of obstructive lung airway pattern (32.6%) compared to the day shift (12.5%). The night shift LHD
drivers showed a significance change in the measured lung function of FEV1/FVC (p=0.007) when compared to the day
shift LHD drivers (p=0.729). Night shift employees showed to have 3 times higher odds to develop OAD when compared
to the day shift employees (multivariate); OR 3.30, 95% Cl 1.08, 10.04, p=0.036). Conclusion: The night shift LHD drivers presented a marked reduction in lung function. Night shift LHD drivers are at higher risk of developing obstructive
airway disease compared to the day shift drivers.
Sponsors and Exhibitor Profiles
AMS Haden
The core business of the company is the Importation and Distribution of Instrumentation for Environmental Monitoring
and Control, Mine Ventilation, Occupational Hygiene and Process Control. These include Instrumentation to monitor
Airflow, Temperature and Humidity, Pressure, Noise Levels, Gas Detection, Illumination, Dust and Aerosols, Gravimetric
Sampling, Water Quality, Vibration and Weather Stations. The Company offers in-house calibration services for Airflow
and Temperature Measuring Instrumentation . Maintenance and repairs on a wide range of Instrumentation are carried
out in the workshop which is manned by qualified professionals. AMS Haden are Distributors for a number of leading
The·company also markets a range of Underground Tip Filters which are designed and manufactured in-house.
Ashreq Environmental and Occupational Hygiene Consultants
ASHREQ is a Department of Labour Approved Inspection Authority. We assess and monitor occupational hygiene
stressors in the work environments of South Africa and implement Health and Safety Management Systems. ASHREQ
serves both the micro- and macro environment in order to provide our clients with reasonably practicable solutions and
training. Our objective is to ensure compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act.no 58 of 1993) & Mine
Health and Safety Act (Act no. 29 of 1996) and assist employers in keeping their workers safe and free from exposure to
harmful physical, chemical and biological stressors. We believe in sustainable development of our society without
harming our macro environment. To achieve this, we assist our clients in complying with national environmental legislation governing air, water and soil pollution.
ASOH Consulting
ASOH Consulting provides corporate appraisal, strategic guidance and system implementation across a range of occupational health and safety issues, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance. ASOH Consulting has a
deep understanding of corporate responsibility and the crisis management tools necessary to deliver safe operations in
difficult environments – services we make available in the South Africa and Africa. Central to our services is finding pragmatic, rapid and cost-effective solutions to high level, complex and politically sensitive issues. This is achieved through
independent, rigorous critique of the fundamental elements of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) performance,
identifying weaknesses and implementing highly tailored, strategic solutions. Our high level critical appraisal should be
taken as the absolute minimum. What strengthens a brand and elevates reputation is a rounded, strategic solution that
also considers business issues, influences performance and meets the demands of stakeholders.
Aspirata, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd, provides a consolidated programme of health and
safety services. These services include Occupational Health and Safety; Hygiene, Food Safety and Quality; Microbiological and Chemical Laboratory Testing Training and Development . Gained over an extensive period, our far-reaching
experience in health and safety services has allowed us to become a first choice partner to assist clients with adhering
to their legal compliance and moral obligations and to minimise risk for their businesses, employees and the general
public. When you partner with us, you partner with a leading service provider in the establishment of safe and healthy
living, working and recreational environments.
Chemtech Laboratory Services
This Programme has been proudly sponsored by Chemtech Laboratory Services. View more information on Page 7.
Dräger is a leading international company in the fields of medical and safety technology. “Technology for Life” is our
guiding principle. Wherever they are deployed – in clinical settings, industry, mining or emergency services – Dräger
products protect, support and save lives. The safety division offers its customers complete hazard management solutions with a special focus on personal safety and protecting production facilities. The safety division’s current portfolio
includes stationary and mobile gas detection systems, respiratory protection, firefighting equipment, professional diving
gear, and alcohol and drug-testing instruments. The medical division’s product range covers anesthesia workstations,
ventilation equipment for intensive care, emergency and mobile ventilation units, warming therapy equipment for infants,
patient monitoring equipment, IT solutions and gas management systems.
Envirocon Environmental and Occupational Hygiene Instruments
Envirocon Instrumentation was established in 1988 specializing in the Occupational Hygiene market, and has since
expanded to cover the Ambient Air Pollution market. We have established ourselves as a leading supplier of Environmental and OH monitoring instrumentation and offer a fully equipped workshop with factory trained personnel. We hold
stock of spare parts and offer a calibration facility in Northcliff thus ensuring fast efficient turn around times on servicing
and calibration as well as stocking of new instrumentation. We are actively involved in supply and marketing to all our
neighbouring countries. Envirocon is a wholly owned South African Company ensuring that all profits are reinvested in
South Africa. Envirocon actively participates in supporting the Occupational Hygiene market in such as sponsorship and
actively participate in conferences both locally and internationally keeping abreast of new developments.
Exco Services
EXCO Environmental and Occupational Health Services is registered with the Department of Labour as an Approved
Inspection Authority (AIA) in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (No. 83 of 1993). EXCO Services employ
specialists in the OH field and all our consultants are registered with SAIOH, and affiliated with the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA). We provide services in the field of Occupational Hygiene and Environ-mental
Monitoring to a wide range of clients in industry, mining, corporate business and local authorities. In doing so, we assist
our clients to comply with stringent legislation pertaining to occupational hygiene and environmental management.
Hazrisk Consulting
Hazrisk Consulting (CI 087OH), an Approved Inspection Authority by the Department of Labour was established in May
2005. It is a 100% Black Woman Owned company. The principle member, Mrs C.Odayar is an Industrial Chemist and
an Occupational Hygienist having a combination of 16 years experience in the field of chemistry, occupational hygiene
& environmental consulting.
H.A.S.S. Group
The H.A.S.S. Group is a total hearing healthcare solutions provider. Our passion outside the company is the Eduplex,
which Nico van der Merwe Sr started in 2002. The Eduplex is a mainstream school where 20% deaf children are included in the mainstream classes. Here each deaf child has the opportunity to learn in a normal environment and learn
normal spoken language, assisted by modern technology such as cochlear implants, hearing aids and FM communication systems. The school currently consist of a pre-, primary and high school, with a total of 580 learners, of whom 92
are deaf. 45 of the deaf children are from economically disadvantaged homes and are bursary children.
HSE Solutions
HSE Solutions specialises in the provision of premier health and safety solutions. HSE Solutions is the sub-Saharan Africa distributor for Honeywell Safety Products. HSE Solutions is a division of the Sturrock and Robson Group. Honeywell
is the international leader in the development, design and manufacture of personal protective equipment. By applying
their extensive knowledge of their customer’ activities and the latest technologies, Honeywell provides innovative, comfort engineered products that workers want to wear. HSE Technical handles the Technical Range and provides sales
and after sales support via its team of competent sales engineers and technicians. HSE Technical is equipped with a
workshop for service, calibration and repairs. HSE Solutions has national coverage through branches in Johannesburg,
Durban and Cape Town. Our warehousing and distribution facilities are based in Kempton Park. Whilst we target all
end-users directly, we supply all PPE products through a network of distributors.
Occusure (Pty) Ltd
Occusure has been in business for 15 years and comprises a team of trained Occupational Health Practitioners. Occusure specialises in mobile occupational health services, but also staffs several on-site clinics which offer primary
medical, trauma and occupational health care. Occusure also offers paramedic and ambulance care on selected mining
sites, where round the clock trauma care is required. Occusure’s main objective is to provide holistic health care in the
workplace to allow people to remain productive members of society. Occusure has an in-depth knowledge of the needs,
constraints and challenges facing our clients because our mobile teams have operated in various fields of industry. Occusure enjoys a formidable reputation in the Occupational Health field; the close association between the mobile and
fixed teams puts us ahead of other Occupational Healthcare service providers in South Africa
South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Ltd (Necsa)
Necsa is a state-owned company responsible for undertaking and promoting R&D in the field of nuclear energy and
radiation sciences. It is also responsible for processing source material, including uranium enrichment, and co-operating
with other institutions, locally and abroad, on nuclear and related matters. Apart from its main activities at Pelindaba,
Necsa also manages and operates the Vaalputs National Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility in the Northern Cape on
behalf of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute (NRWDI). Necsa engages in commercial business mainly
through its wholly-owned commercial subsidiaries NTP Radioisotopes SOC Ltd (NTP), which is responsible for a range
of radiation-based products and services for healthcare, life sciences and industry, and Pelchem SOC Ltd (Pelchem),
which supplies fluorine and fluorine-based products.
Noise Clipper
Noise Clipper (Pty) Ltd has been in business since 1996 our core business is hearing conservation. Noise Clipper is
part of an international company and our mission is to provide ‘best practise hearing conservation solutions’. We are the
sole suppliers of the following Custom-made Hearing Protection Devices (HPD’s) - Noise Clipper (South African based),
Variphone (Belgium based) and Sonomax (Canadian based). Sonomax is the ‘first’ instant fit, soft custom-made HPD
in South Africa. Noise Clipper also offers a Hearing Coach, a Hearing Conservation Program (HPC), that was awarded
‘Best Practise’ in Europe.
Runrite Electronics
Runrite Electronics cc is a family owned manufacturer, distributor and calibration laboratory specializing in measurement
instruments for the occupational health and hygiene market. Our diverse product range caters to niche markets in the
occupational hygiene sector and the electronics trade. We offer quality measuring instruments for a range of applications; we also offer calibration services for all instruments supplied. Our range includes The Tempstress (RSA), Zenith
Instruments (RSA), Zefon International (USA), Delta Ohm (ITA), Alcolizer Technology (AUS), Pulsar Instruments PLC
SHE Group
SHE Global offers a wide range of Occupational Hygiene Services and Training. We are a registered Approved Inspection Authority with the Department of Labour. We pride ourselves on delivering and maintaining top-quality services nationally and throughout Africa. Our team comprises qualified Hygienists, Technologists and Assistants and we make use
of SANAS accredited laboratories. SHE Global consists of a team of qualified Hygienists, Technologists, and Assistants,
with combined experience of over 25 years in the field of Occupational Hygiene. The team prides itself on professionalism, integrity and ethics. SHE Global offers a variety of services such as Occupational Hygiene services and Training, a
full spectrum of Personal Protective Equipment and safety gear as well as all safety signs, as well as individually-based
client insurance packages. SHE Global also has a separate specialised Safety Department who can tailor make packages to each client’s needs to ensure they are compliant with the latest legislation.