A study on the impact of lean six sigma implementation on work environment in a chemical process shop [RETRACTED ARTICLE]

Swaminathan, G S

Abstract

Background: The study was conducted in a Chemical process shop engaged in electroplating operations. The studies were conducted in the Process Shop with varying plating operations. The hazards under study are alkali dust, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, sulphuric acid mists, chromium, zinc fumes and ammonia vapour and studied in selected work stations. Process and engineering control measures were implemented after conducting Lean Six Sigma projects by production team. Another set of study was conducted with the same methodology after 12 – 15 months after the implementations of the Lean Six Sigma methodologies. Aim: This study was initiated to explore and assess the prevailing chemical work environmental factors / hazards in the plant as well as the distribution of these hazards in the plants before and after implementation of six sigma studies. It is to assess the work room air quality by static sampling before and after the implementations of the process and engineering measures by Lean Six Sigma studies and determine the effectiveness. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted with 15 samplings in each sub locations of the main processes like acid pickling zinc plating etc. About 50 workmen are engaged in these operations. Convenient sampling method was adopted to collect 15 static samples in each sub locations/processes in two different conditions. The work exposures were compared for compliance with the occupational standards and for the effectiveness of the implemented Lean Six Sigma measures in these operations. Statistical Analysis: Plant wise and operation-wise hazard distribution analysis was done on the compiled data. The data was analyzed by using the IBM-SPSS version-20 and the Mini-Tab Version-16 and the results were tabulated using p<0.05 as statistically significant. Paired t tests, Chi Square tests and Pearson’s correlation were performed to establish the effectiveness. Results: The measured data on various chemical air borne factors were compared with the Threshold Limit Values. For all the measured hazards like dusts, mists, fumes and vapours under study in two different conditions, Correlation and association analysis were done and it is found to be at 5% level of significance and 95% confidence interval level. Conclusions and Implications: This study has demonstrated that the chemical air borne factors were varying based on the process, operational conditions and control mechanisms. It is concluded that there is a significant level of association (p<0.05) before and after the implemented Lean Six Sigma measures and it is found that the implemented Lean Six Sigma measures were found effective to mitigate the hazard exposures in the process plant.

Keyword(s)

Industrial Hygiene; Chemical Air Borne Facto; Lean Six Sigma; Threshold Limit Values; Control Measures

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