Chemical air sampling is an assessment in which indoor air is sampled and analyzed to see what it contains. A direct reading instrument may be used or equipment may be used where samples are collected for laboratory analysis. Sampling can be conducted to determine the concentration in air of a specific chemical or for a…Find Out More
Occupational hygiene testing in an office or industrial environment can be conducted to determine if the quality of air meets or exceeds legislative standards or guidelines. This is a necessary step to ensure all staff are protected against the airborne hazards of different manufacturing operations.
Testing is conducted in many different ways and may include sample equipment which is left in place over an extended period of time (hours or in some cases days). Other equipment is used for only short periods, often only minutes to determine if a specific contaminant in air is an issue.
All sampling events are followed by a professional, detailed report providing relevant site observations and a full explanation of analytical findings. When applicable, recommendations are also provided to help to alleviate any concerns identified.
We have answered a few commonly asked questions below:
What is industrial hygiene?
Industrial hygiene is the science and practice of identifying, evaluating, and controlling workplace hazards to ensure the health and safety of workers. It involves assessing and managing various occupational exposures, such as chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic hazards, with the goal of preventing illness, injury, and long-term health effects.
Why is industrial hygiene important?
Industrial hygiene is crucial for maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. It helps protect workers from occupational hazards, reduces the risk of workplace-related illnesses and injuries, and ensures compliance with occupational health and safety regulations. By identifying and controlling hazards, industrial hygiene contributes to improved productivity, employee well-being, and overall organizational success.
What are some common workplace hazards addressed by industrial hygiene?
Industrial hygiene covers a wide range of workplace hazards, including:
Chemical hazards: Such as exposure to toxic substances, gases, vapors, or harmful dust particles.
Physical hazards: Including noise, vibration, radiation, heat, cold, and other factors that can cause physical harm or discomfort.
Biological hazards: Such as exposure to infectious agents, mold, bacteria, or other biological contaminants.
Ergonomic hazards: Related to the design of workstations, equipment, and processes that may cause musculoskeletal disorders or repetitive strain injuries.
How is an industrial hygiene assessment conducted?
Industrial hygiene assessment involves several steps, including:
Hazard identification: Identifying potential hazards in the workplace through inspections, evaluations, and review of work processes, materials, and data.
Exposure assessment: Measuring or estimating the level of worker exposure to hazardous agents using sampling methods, air monitoring, and other techniques.
Risk assessment: Evaluating the potential health risks associated with identified hazards by considering exposure levels, toxicity data, exposure duration, and other relevant factors.
Control measures: Implementing measures to control and minimize exposure to hazards, such as engineering controls, administrative controls, personal protective equipment (PPE), or process modifications.
Monitoring and evaluation: Regularly monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of control measures, conducting follow-up measurements, and adjusting strategies as needed.
Who is responsible for industrial hygiene in the workplace?
Industrial hygiene is a shared responsibility among employers, employees, and occupational health and safety professionals. Employers are generally responsible for providing a safe work environment, conducting hazard assessments, implementing control measures, and ensuring compliance with regulations. Employees are responsible for following safe work practices, using provided protective equipment, and reporting any hazards or concerns. Occupational health and safety professionals play a critical role in assessing hazards, providing expertise and guidance, conducting monitoring, and helping to establish effective control measures.
What are permissible exposure limits (PELs) and threshold limit values (TLVs)?
Permissible exposure limits (PELs) and threshold limit values (TLVs) are guidelines that define the allowable levels of exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. PELs are established by regulatory agencies, such as OHSA in provincially regulated workplaces in Ontario, and represent the maximum concentrations of substances that workers can be exposed to over specific time periods. TLVs are recommended exposure limits developed by organizations like the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and are intended to assist in the control of workplace hazards.
Reach out to Indoor Environmental today if you have any questions or require Industrial Hygiene Consulting in your Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton, London-Middlesex or surrounding areas facilities.
Measuring noise levels and the exposure to noise by a worker is the most important part of a workplace hearing conservation program. It helps identify work locations where there are potential concerns, employees who may be affected, and where additional noise measurements may need to be collected. A noise survey is also an important component…Find Out More