Symposium proceedings: control technology in the plastics and resins industry. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-107, 1981 Jan; :98-106
The relationship between promoting industrial health and the insurance industry was examined. The insurance industry in the United States had 15 laboratories and more than 200 persons working in industrial hygiene to investigate losses due to occupational health which constituted only 3 percent of worker's compensation claims. The insurance engineer's task was to determine whether proposed risks of working in a particular industry were insurable. The insurance engineer also advised management as to what conditions were acceptable and what was required for minimizing exposure to hazardous conditions. The author cites an insurance industry survey of chemical and allied industries which reviewed approximately 3000 large losses filed 10 years earlier. Losses fell into nine major groups. Specific hazard factors and percentage of total losses that they accounted for were facility site problems (3.5), inadequate facility layout and spacing (2.0), structures not in conformity with use requirements (3.0), inadequate material evaluation (20.2), chemical process problems (10.6), material movement problems (4.4), operational failures (17.2), equipment failures (31.1), and ineffective loss prevention program (8.0). Major losses were due to fires and explosions and few cases involved occupational health. A study of 317 case histories placed 38.5 percent in the fire category, 5.0 percent in the explosion category, and 26.5 percent as a combination. The nine specific hazard factors were reviewed with regard to methods of anticipating possible fires and explosions. Loss prevention considerations included equipment reliability, ease of operation, flexibility, chemical storage, chemical transformation, materials handling, emergency shutdown facilities, water supply, traffic flow, location in relation to the public, provisions for the future, and standardization. The importance of working loss control into project economics was emphasized.