Industrial Hygiene Audits

Industrial Hygiene Audits

OEHS, Inc. will conduct an unbiased, preliminary, Industrial Hygiene audit of your company’s facilities. The purpose of a preliminary audit is to determine if the need exists for a full formal audit. The preliminary audit will encompass the review and evaluation of the workplace occupational environment for suspect physical, chemical and biological factors which can cause ill health.

The preliminary audit report will classify specific findings that represent out of compliance issues, identify areas that require the collection of tangible information through air monitoring, or other physical sampling methods, discuss anticipated needs for engineering and administrative controls and establish recommendations to initiate corrective actions. Action steps will be established for individual program areas in-order to implement correction plans for identified deficiencies. This will include exceptions to established governmental regulations as well as the good practices that the facility has developed and implemented.

Occupational Environmental Health Solutions, Inc. (OEHS, Inc.) will work with Facilities, Planning and Operations management to develop comprehensive audit objectives. This will be accomplished by reviewing the information and data collected during the preliminary audit.

Areas Examined

Chemical hazards – These arise from excessive airborne concentrations of mists, vapors, gases, fumes, dusts, or solids in the air. The majority of occupational health hazards arise from inhaling chemical agents, skin contact, or ingestion of one or more of these materials.

Physical hazards – These relate to such things as noise, temperature extremes, ionizing radiation, non-ionizing radiation, light, and pressure extremes.

Biological hazards – These include any virus, bacteria, fungus, parasite, or any living organism that can cause a disease in human beings. Diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, as well as by exposure to contaminated water, insects, or infected people. In addition, this includes the Indoor Air Quality issues of fungi and environmental bacteria.

Ergonomic hazards – This requires an evaluation of the physiological and psychological stresses of a task. The human body can endure considerable discomfort while performing many awkward and unnatural movements, but only for a limited period of time. Consequently, when these movements are performed for any prolonged period, the worker may experience fatigue and injury that will reduce his or her performance and efficiency.

In addition, the associated written administrative, engineering, and management control systems will be evaluated for compliance with state, federal, and consensus standards. Control measures can minimize the exposure to a hazard, eliminate the hazard, or provide a barrier between the worker and the hazard. The type and extent of control methods depend on the properties of the contaminant or hazard and the exposure to the worker. Some methods of controlling hazards include the following:

Engineering or Administrative Controls – It is recommended that engineering and administrative controls be used first to reduce or eliminate a hazard, for example, substituting a toxic material with a less toxic form, changing a process to reduce emissions, enclosing a noisy operation, or isolating a hazardous process. Administrative controls might include adjusting work schedules or implementing a job rotation system.

Ventilation – is another possible engineering control that can be used where there is exposure to airborne contaminants. Local exhaust or dilution ventilation can be used to capture or reduce contaminant concentrations. Local exhaust ventilation is used where there is a major, localized source of contamination, particularly highly toxic dusts and fumes. Dilution ventilation is feasible only if the quantity of the air contaminant is not excessive, and if the contaminant is released at a substantial distance from the worker’s breathing zone.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – should be considered as a last resort when considering it as a control method. It does not reduce or eliminate the hazard; it only provides a barrier between the worker and the hazard. Therefore, if the barrier fails the worker is exposed. OSHA does not permit the permanent use of PPE for the control of a hazard. Engineering controls must be provided