Industrial Hygiene Surveys / Occupational Health Services
From Industrial Hygiene
Our staff of Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH), Industrial Hygienists and Industrial Hygiene Technicians can perform any conceivable industrial hygiene survey (IH survey). They include:
- Baseline Industrial Hygiene Surveys
A baseline survey is an initial walk-through to understand the processes, materials, work environment and physical layout and job tasking where exposure to chemicals or other agents are involved. The intent is to identify possible risks to worker health and the need for further evaluating and testing to determine if there is a risk of overexposure and OSHA regulatory compliance issues. Risks can include chemicals, minerals, pharmaceuticals, physical hazards (noise, heat, radiation) training, ergonomics and organizational/program deficiencies.
- Health Risk Assessment
A health Risk Assessment is somewhat different than a Baseline Industrial Hygiene Survey. A risk assessment focuses on activities that may pose a potential for an illness or injury to employees, visitors, or anyone who may access the premises that are being assessed. The emphasis is focused on reducing the risk of injury/illness by 1) Eliminating the risk altogether, 2) Substituting a less hazardous substance or condition, 3) Isolating the equipment or process from the person, 4) Isolating the person from the hazardous substance or condition 5) If none of the above are possible – providing worker protection such as respirators, clothes, etc. For example: A hand soldering operating using lead solder. The best approach is to eliminate the lead solder—possibly substituting a silver solder. An alternative approach would be to use an automatic solder or a wave solder machine where the employee does not have to be directed at the solder point and ventilation can also be used. A local exhaust ventilation system may be installed at the soldering station as a third alternative. Notice I have not mentioned personal protection as a risk assessment alternative. Special Note: personal protection does not assure a reduction of the risk of an illness/injury because of the many variables that enter into the process—fit testing, selection, training, cleaning, inspection, storage, range of movement, etc. In some cases, industrial hygiene sampling may be appropriate depending on what is currently in place but this is generally outside the scope of a Health Risk Assessment.
- Monitoring Surveys
During a monitoring survey, testing and sampling are performed by an Industrial Hygienist to determine actual exposure to the agents in the work environment. Results can identify health risks and the need to make changes to the materials, work practices, or personal protection. Some of the more prominent concerns especially those regulated by OSHA (See 29CFR1910.1000 Table Z-1, Z-2, Z-3) and specifically regulated materials (ex. asbestos 29CFR1910.1001 & 29CFR1926.1101)at present include: hexavalent chromium (hex chrome, Chrome 6) resulting from exposure to welding fumes on stainless steel; crystalline silica, cristobalite, tridymite from exposure to sand and gravel, pharmaceuticals during formulation, packaging, exposure trials and animal trials, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for oil & gas drilling or concrete construction projects; isocyanate exposure from paints and plastics; lead and other heavy metal exposure from welding and soldering; anesthetic gases (nitrous oxide, halothane, enflurane) in hospital operating rooms; formaldehyde in furniture finishes, adhesives and even hair care products. We have performed Industrial Hygiene surveys in steel mills foundries, refineries, chemical plants, warehouses, pharmaceutical companies, meat processors, construction, hospitals, assembly plants, vehicle assembly, utilities, laboratories, recyclers, aerospace, packaging, woodworking and many more over our 36 years in business. All IH surveys are either performed by a CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) or by an experienced Industrial Hygienist under the direct supervision of a CIH. All reports are reviewed and signed off by a CIH.
- Noise Surveys
Noise surveys include both a “noise map” and noise dosimeter survey to satisfy the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95 requirement. The noise map uses a floor plan to identify noisy areas and equipment. Noise dosimeters are worn by the worker who may be exposed to levels at or above the 85 dBA hearing conservation level or at or above the 90 dBA regulatory limit for noise reduction and mandatory hearing protection. Noise dosimeters are now so small, they can be clipped to the worker’s collar. If action is required, we will assist in determining the appropriate action to protect workers and/or reduce the noise.
- Exposure Control Surveys
When a workplace hazard has been identified, additional evaluation is often needed to develop specific corrective measures such as material substitution, work practice changes, ventilation, process re-design, training, or personal protection. On occasion, we have performed IH surveys as a follow up to OSHA surveys or OSHA citations – and even sampling/testing side-by-side during OSHA inspections. We have agreed to perform additional monitoring to address OSHA citation situations where worker overexposures have been identified and exposure reduction measures are required. Of course, we can also assist in OSHA citation negotiations related to penalties and corrective measures. We can also measure airflow, air volume, and air changes per hour to evaluate the ventilation system.
An ergonomics consultation is an assessment of the workplace with the ultimate goals of keeping workers healthy and productive by lowering the potential for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). Our field surveys examine individual workstations whether industrial or office to asses repetitive motion or rotational movements that are more rapid or physically intense to possibly result in MSD with reduced worker productivity or excessive absences. We can evaluate your worker’s compensation date for evidence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, repetitive motion injuries and the need for training, education, workplace modification, new equipment, or alternative task performance. We will ensure that all workstations are OSHA and ADA compliant.
- Staffing Service
Atlantic Environmental has fully trained field industrial hygienists that can be assigned to your organization to perform specific technical services such as personnel monitoring, IH project supervisor, emergency site monitoring, for short or long term assignment to fill a specific industrial hygienist, indoor air quality, environmental clean-up, construction or demolition project requiring on-site IH personal. These staffing services can include the necessary monitoring equipment as well.