Monday, 12 December 2011

Building an Industrial Hygiene Monitoring Program


Develop a new Industrial Hygiene Program or correct deficiencies in the current program for your organization. Just what does that mean, and where do you begin? The time is now! Plan for how your facility will conduct emergency response industrial hygiene (IH) monitoring. What should you be looking for in a provider of this service? Simply stated, the field of industrial hygiene encompasses agents and conditions that can impact employee health and well being in the work environment. Because of the unique challenges surrounding emergency response Industrial Hygiene monitoring choose a provider that is able to develop written protocols/procedures, to deploy teams and equipment quickly, to provide experienced/knowledgeable personnel, quality support staff, and can adapt to ever changing conditions. The list of potential factors or stressors that can impact health and well being include exposure to chemicals, high noise levels, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, biological organisms, temperature extremes and ergonomic hazards.

Workplace Exposure Assessment (WEA) Process


The two options available to you for identifying needed programs and controls.

  1. Spend your time, money and effort putting out fires, i.e. reacting to workplace complaints, concerns and demands.
  2. Conduct a comprehensive, systematic assessment of needs and implement a proactive program to address and manage those needs.

In either case, the assignment can be daunting, but can be made manageable with the right approach. The Workplace Exposure Assessment (WEA) process provides one such approach.

Ultimately, the Workplace Exposure Assessment process is used to drive the need for respiratory protection, hearing conservation, ventilation, medical surveillance, personal protective equipment, radiation protection or other Comprehensive occupational hygiene programs. Where programs are needed, a written program is developed that establishes procedurally the process by which the program will be implemented and managed. The end result of the process may be the determination that a program is not needed or can be eliminated. In this case, the organization has data and documentation justifying the lack of a particular program or termination of an ongoing program.

Support away from the response is required. The provider needs to have a strong support staff provide additional resources to handle issues that may arise during the sampling. Plan now and choose your emergency response IH monitoring provider with these criteria in mind to ensure that your facility is fully prepared for any emergency response.

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