The American Board of Industrial Hygiene defines industrial hygiene as the science of protecting and enhancing the health and safety of people at work and in their communities.
In practice, an industrial hygienist is a safety professional who observes and performs scientific measurements to identify and quantify potential hazards. Workplace hazards come in many forms, including chemical, biological, and ergonomic.
Different parameters exist to determine workplace health and safety. The following agencies serve to regulate the established industrial hygiene guidelines:
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes the laws employers are required to follow for providing a safe and healthy workplace.
- The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a federal agency charged with researching and recommending guidelines for work-related injury and illness prevention.
- The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) strives to advance worker safety through occupational and environmental health professional education.
Testing – What Do We Look For?
Once your workplace has identified its industrial hygiene concern parameters, the next step is testing. Be certain to consider the following in your testing:
- Take measurements that will provide analytical results for your concern parameters.
- Use a recognized analytical method/standard to obtain your results.
- Ensure data/samples are collected by a professional familiar with the equipment and testing method.
- Identify workdays as normal, worst case, or abnormal for repeatability purposes.
- Provide all inclusive information to the person performing the evaluation, including safety data sheets, work activity reports, and work practice observations.
Testing is Complete – Now What?
If your evaluation indicates all parameters are in an acceptable range, keep the report for your records. If workplace conditions change, such as new equipment, work practices, or chemical use, conduct a new evaluation. For best management practices, evaluations should be conducted every three to five years.
If the evaluation indicates a concern for employee safety, follow your standard protection methods:
- Engineering Controls
- Administrative Controls
- Employee Training
- Personal Protective Equipment.
Once a control is established and implemented, always retest to confirm its effectiveness.
RETTEW’s industrial hygiene specialists can help your company establish appropriate control parameters, perform testing, and establish controls to mitigate concerns. Contact Kristen Morgret, CSP, at 800.738.8395 to schedule a consultation.
Safety training and consulting are only some of RETTEW’s 600+ services. Our safety team works hand in hand with engineers, scientists, project managers, and other technical experts at places such as manufacturing facilities, drill pads, and commercial construction sites. We are well respected in many industries and known for ensuring workers and equipment remain safe, which keeps your projects on track and your bottom line growing.