While environment and health and safety may appear to be two different areas, they may be integrated into Environment, Health and Safety (EHS). This study is to investigate the impact of the environment and Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) on health and safety. Three case studies were conducted. The first one is to study the impact of abandoned mines on soils, water and crops. The second one is to examine the effect of OHSMS implementation on reducing occupational safety risk. The third one examines the impact of environment on health. The abstracts of these three case studies are as follows: THE INVESTIGATION OF ARSENIC AND HEAVY METAL CONCENTRATIONS IN SOIL, WATER AND CROPS AROUND ABANDONED METAL MINES. Soils, water and crops around abandoned metal mines can be contaminated by heavy metals from adjacent tailings and waste rocks accumulated during mining operations. The results indicate that the As, Zn, Cd and Cr concentrations exceed the soil contamination standard in many soil samples of the nearby farmlands as well as the tailings sites. In the case of water quality, the As concentrations in the Okgae and Youngchen Mines show a decreasing trend with increasing distance from the mine, which is similar to that of the soil samples. The Cd and Pb concentrations in the crops near the Okgae Mine show a decreasing trend with increasing distance from the mine which is also similar to that of soil samples. In addition, the Cd and Pb concentrations in the rice samples and the Cd concentration in the corn samples increase with the Cd and/or Pb concentrations in the soil. EFFECT OF OHSMS ON WORK-RELATED ACCIDENT RATE AND DIFFERENCES OF OHSMS AWARENESS BETWEEN MANAGERS IN SOUTH KOREA's CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY. The study was conducted to investigate the status of the occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) in the construction industry and the effect of OHSMS on accident rates. Differences of awareness levels on safety issues among site general managers and occupational health and safety (OHS) managers are identified through surveys. The accident rates for the OHSMS-certified construction companies from 2006 to 2011, when the construction OHSMS became widely available, were analyzed to understand the effect of OHSMS on the work-related injury rates in the construction industry. The Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA) 18001 is the certification to these companies performing OHSMS in South Korea. The questionnaire was created to analyze the differences of OHSMS awareness between site general managers and OHS managers of construction companies. The implementation of OHSMS among the top 100 construction companies in South Korea shows that the accident rate decreased by 67% and the fatal accident rate decreased by 10.3% during the period from 2006 to 2011. The survey in this study shows different OHSMS awareness levels between site general managers and OHS managers. The differences were motivation for developing OHSMS, external support needed for implementing OHSMS, problems and effectiveness of implementing OHSMS. Both work-related accident and fatal accident rates were found to be significantly reduced by implementing OHSMS in this study. The differences of OHSMS awareness between site general managers and OHS managers were identified through a survey. The effect of these differences on safety and other benefits warrants further research with proper data collection. THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CHILDHOOD ASTHMA AND RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL RISK FACTORS THROUGH CASE-CONTROL STUDY IN ANDONG, KOREA. Using the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) questionnaire, we surveyed the childhood asthma prevalence and related socioeconomic and residential environment on 887 elementary schoolchildren in Andong, Korea. We selected asthma case group (29) and control group (26) and performed the exposure assessment for the personal exposure for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde level for 3 days. As a result, 814 schoolchildren completed the questionnaire. It was found that the asthma prevalence was 19.9% and gender (male, OR; Odds Ratio=1.55), age (younger, OR=1.60), family history of asthma (OR=3.70), passive smoking (OR=1.53), and odor from nearby house (OR=2.01) were affective factors. There was no significant difference between the case and control groups in VOCs and formaldehyde exposure level. In the logistic regression analysis, family income (aOR; adjusted OR =3.20, 95% CI=1.41-7.24) and amount of house sunlight (aOR=2.14, 95% CI; Confidence Interval =1.00-4.58) were significant after adjusting gender, age, and family history of asthma. In conclusion, socioeconomic factors including family income and residential environmental factors such as passive smoking, odor from nearby household, and amount of house sunlight are associated with the prevalence of childhood asthma.
Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2014
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