Industrial Hygiene Walk-Through Survey Report of Siltec Corporation, Menlo Park, California, Report No. IWS-68-18.
A walk through survey was conducted at Siltec Corporation in Menlo Park, California, to investigate the technology involved in photovoltaic solar energy conversion to direct electrical current. The Siltec facility was composed of six buildings with a total area of 52,000 square feet; the production workforce was approximately 300. The production processes, including silicon ingot growing, ingot preparation and slicing, wafer etching, wafer polishing, and final cleaning and ceramic packaging, were described. About 60 percent of the workers were women. Ingot growing used general ventilation and was a clean operation. Ingot preparation and slicing was the dirtiest operation, and one worker had a hand rash which could have been work related. Wafer etching appeared to be well controlled. Polishing and packaging were also well controlled. The author concludes that most of the operations are well controlled, with few occupational problems; ingot grinding and preparation operations, however, are quite dirty and workers utilize no protective equipment. Recommendations include use of protective clothing and attention to personal hygiene; particulate measurements near the ingot grinders; ventilation tests; checks of the adequacy of fail/safe systems associated with ingot preparation operations; and particulate measurements in the wafer polishing area.
PEDCo Environmental, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, NIOSH Report No. IWS-68-18, 19 pages