Is it Safe Working In a Semiconductor Fab

university wafer substrates

Silicon Wafers for Semiconductor Fabrication

We have a large selection of silicon wafers and other substrates for all your research and production needs.

Get Your Quote FAST!





How Dangerous Are semiconductor Fabs to Workers?

The semiconductor industry is typically characterized by highly specialized processes, rapid technological innovation, heavy use of chemicals, and large-scale investments to support such innovations and mass production, which can affect worker health and safety. Due to rapid changes in the semiconductor industry, manufacturing processes and associated risks undergo radical changes every few years. As with any booming industry, there are concerns that the industry will maintain its safety standards and minimise damage to the environment. 

What Factors Make a Semiconductor Fab Unsafe?

While conditions vary considerably between different manufacturing processes, exposure to untested combinations of chemicals, work stress, and meticulous manual labor results in serious health risks. Semiconductor manufacturing and research and development activities present many potential health and safety risks. Semiconductor operations and manufacturing are subject to potential industrial health and safety hazards such as toxic gases, flammable acids, and other harmful solvents. 

OSHA's Semicondutor Fab Worder Safety Report

For more information on semiconductor processes, risks, and controls, visit OSHA's silicon manufacturing page. As in any technology and manufacturing industry, process safety in the rapidly evolving semiconductor industry requires an assessment of all possible risks in order to ensure safe operation. Without proper precautions, working in a semiconductor manufacturing plant can be dangerous. 

Is Semiconductor Manufacturing Dirty?

Is semiconductor manufacturing dirty? A process to clean up the industry is essential to meet the sustainability goals of the electronics industry. While the semiconductor industry has made some efforts to make its manufacturing facilities more environmentally friendly, many of the processes have become complex and difficult to replicate. A perfect place for a 100 million transistor on a postage stamp sized wafer requires extreme precision and it can take four or five years to develop the perfect recipe.

Today, manufacturing companies use millions of pounds of chemicals and gallons of water. Even a small piece of dust can clog a sensitive circuit, rendering the semiconductor useless. These chemicals are stored in containers made specifically for this purpose. While the pollution-free processes in these facilities reduce the risk of health problems, it's important to remember that they're still a huge source of toxic waste. This means that manufacturers are working in areas where they can't prevent or minimize pollution from entering the environment.

The semiconductor industry continues to ignore occupational health and safety laws, often operating in countries with poor or no regulations. Despite the concerns of environmental and health professionals, the semiconductor industry continues to thrive. A recent study found that workers in the industry suffered higher rates of some types of cancer than those in other industries. This is partly due to the fact that semiconductor production is a high-risk industry for women. Nonetheless, the new technologies and processes are promising for the future of the electronics industry.

The truth about semiconductor cleanliness