Industrial Recognition Example

Industrial Hygiene Blogs So Far

This is the fourth in a series of blogs on industrial hygiene (IH).  The first one explained that industrial hygiene was the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards in the workplace.  The second blog defined a hazard as a source of danger or an agent which has the potential to cause to harm to a vulnerable target.  Sources of hazards were identified in manufacturing, construction, maritime, office, and other workplaces.  Different types of resources were identified such as guidelines provided by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA, www.osha.gov) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH, www.cdc.gov/niosh).  The third blog focused on the recognition or identification of hazards.  And, this blog will walk you through an example of hazard recognition for a specific operation.

IH Hazard Recognition Example

Industrial RecognitionLet’s say the operation is spray painting a finished metal part before shipping.  The part comes into the paint spray booth already deburred and sanded.  It is ready to paint.  The operation involves the following tasks:

  1. Clean/degrease the part
  2. Allow part to dry
  3. Fill paint pot with primer
  4. Spray part with primer
  5. Allow part to dry
  6. Sand primed surface to smooth it before final coat of paint
  7. Clean sanding debris from part
  8. Fill new paint pot with finishing paint
  9. Spray paint with finishing paint
  10. Allow to dry then send to shipping department
  11. Clean out spray guns and paint pots

So what are the hazards that you can identify?  Steps 1 and 2 could present an inhalation and skin absorption hazard due to the use of solvents containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  This could also be true for Steps 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, and 11 depending on the chemicals present in the primer and finish paint.  Additionally, during spraying, there could be a hazard associated with particulates.  This is also true of the sanding and cleanup in Steps 6 and 7.  There also may be metals of concern in the sand paper.

In terms of recognizing the specific potential hazards of most concern, that will depend on the constituents in the cleaner/degreaser, primer, sandpaper, and finish paint.  Without that information, the potential hazards of most concern will likely be vapors and particulates from the spraying steps.  How can you know?  That is where the industrial hygiene evaluation comes in.  But that will be covered in our next blog.

esc Industrial RecognitionSo that concludes our discussion of hazard recognition in industrial hygiene.  In our next blog in this series, we will discuss the evaluation of potential industrial hygiene hazards.  That process often includes industrial hygiene testing.  In the meantime, if you need any help, Environmental Safety Consultants (www.escflorida.com) is here.  We are a Florida licensed environmental engineering company with a CIH on staff.  We have the credentials and experience to help you complete your industrial hygiene project.  We have a proven track record with a Florida licensed environmental engineer and mold assessors, plus degreed environmental scientists on staff.  We specialize in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead paint, silica, noise, and more.  We are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (escinc@verizon.net).  Contact us today!

Hazard Recognition in Industrial Hygiene

Industrial Hygiene Recap

This is the third in a series of blogs on industrial hygiene.  The first one explained that industrial hygiene was the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards in the workplace.  The second blog defined a hazard as a source of danger or an agent which has the potential to cause to harm to a vulnerable target.  Sources of hazards were identified in manufacturing, construction, maritime, office, and other workplaces.  The current blog will focus on the recognition of hazards.

What is Hazard Recognition?

hazard recognitionThe application of the term recognition in the industrial hygiene field is the identification of a hazard.  It may be one that is obvious and you are familiar with or it may be hidden and unknown to you.  An example of a known obvious hazard would be a dust cloud surrounding a worker dry sawing concrete.  Most people would recognize the dust as being a potential respiratory hazard and many would take it a step further and recognize that the silica most likely in the dust can cause silicosis.  On the other hand, a hidden hazard may be an oxygen deficient atmosphere in a confined space.  You cannot see the oxygen deficiency and you may not be aware that it is a potential hazard.  However, the atmosphere could result in asphyxiation and death.

How Do You Recognize Hazards?

First, review the task or operation.  Analyze each step from start to finish.  Begin with the materials, equipment, and procedures.  Review available information and data on Safety Data Sheets, Technical Data Sheets, hazardous materials guides and handbooks, and peer reviewed published literature.  Of particular assistance are the guidelines issued by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA, www.osha.gov) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH, www.cdc.gov/niosh).  You should also discuss the operation with peers, cohorts, agency personnel, laboratory directors, and others.  Identify regulatory and industry limits for chemicals and dust in the air.  Break the task or operation down into sequential steps (i.e., like a manufacturing method).  Identify the hazards associated with each step and determine which ones are most important in terms of the likelihood of their occurrence and the severity of their hazards.

What Does All That Mean?

Well, a picture (aka an illustration) is worth a thousand words.  So, you need an example.  And that will be the subject of our next industrial hygiene blog.

esc Hazard RecognitionSo that is what hazard recognition in industrial hygiene is.  In our next blog in this series, we will walk you through an example of identifying the potential hazards in an actual industrial operation.  After that, we will delve into evaluating the hazards.  That process often includes industrial hygiene testing.  In the meantime, if you need any help, Environmental Safety Consultants (www.escflorida.com) is here.  We are a Florida licensed environmental engineering company with a CIH on staff.  We have the credentials and experience to help you complete your industrial hygiene project.  We have a proven track record with a Florida licensed environmental engineer and mold assessors, plus degreed environmental scientists on staff.  We specialize in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead paint, silica, noise, and more.  We are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (escinc@verizon.net).  Contact us today!

Industrial Hygiene Hazards

What is a Hazard in Industrial Hygiene?

In our last blog on industrial hygiene and a CIH (Certified Industrial Hygienist) we explained that industrial hygiene concerns the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards in the workplace.  This is best handled by a CIH who has the education, training, experience, and credentials.  Further, the courts recognize a CIH as an expert in the field.  This blog deals with the recognition of hazards.

Definition of Hazard

Merriam-Webster dictionary (www.merriam-webster.com) defines hazard as a source of danger.  Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org) says that a hazard is an agent which has the potential to cause harm to a vulnerable target.  In occupational health and safety, it concerns the potential to injure workers or cause health problems.  Therefore, in industrial hygiene the hazard could be due to the operation or task, the materials, and the work environment.  Sources of hazards can be chemical, biological, physical, electromagnetic, or radioactive, among others.  Examples are solvents, viruses, mold, bacteria, particulates, ultraviolet light, microwaves, heat, absence of oxygen, and more.  They can be of natural origin or manmade.  Ultraviolet rays from the sun are natural and present an occupational health hazard for lifeguards.  The use of solvents to clean machine parts represents a manmade hazard source.

Manufacturing Hazards

Since industrial hygiene began with manufacturing, we will start there.  Hazards can occur from operations, raw materials, chemicals used, noisy equipment, heat, and the workplace atmosphere.  Operations creating hazards include cutting, grinding, blasting, fabricating, cleaning, and painting.  Chemicals with hazards can be solvents, epoxies, cleaners, pesticides, and paint.  Particulates can be generated from blasting, sanding, painting, welding, and soldering.  Noise can be generated from machines, compressed air usage, boom boxes, airplanes, trucks, and more.  And there are certainly more which we have not even mentioned.

Construction Hazards

Industrial Hygiene HazardsMany of the industrial hygiene hazards in construction are the same as in manufacturing.  However, certain sources are more unique or prevalent due to the nature of construction.  Examples are concrete installation, finishing, and removal; paver installation; remodeling and demolition involving lead based lead paint, asbestos containing materials, bird feces, mold, and bacteria; digging in soil; and painting.

Maritime Hazards

The focus here is in shipyards and boatyards.  Sources of hazards could include all of the above.  Further, heat and oxygen deficient atmospheres can be even more prevalent than in manufacturing or construction.  Asbestos and lead based paint are often common sources.  And of course noise inside boats and ships can be major due to tight quarters.

Office & Other Workplace Hazards

And finally, there are sources of hazards in offices and other workplaces.  These sources can affect indoor air quality on a short term or long term basis.  Janitorial chemicals and vacuums can have an immediate effect on workers.  The health effect may be acute or immediate, or chronic or long term.  Damp buildings and mold can affect hyper-sensitized individuals.  Office machines can be sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde.  Adjacent industrial operations or remodeling can be sources of the construction and manufacturing hazards listed above.

ESC - Industrial Hygiene HazardsSo there are the details on industrial hygiene sources of hazards in various workplaces.  Stay tuned for our next in depth blog on the process of identifying specific hazards from given operations.  In the meantime, if you need any help, Environmental Safety Consultants (www.escflorida.com) is here.  We are a Florida licensed environmental engineering company with a CIH on staff.  We have the credentials and experience to help you complete your industrial hygiene project.  We have a proven track record with a Florida licensed environmental engineer and mold assessors, plus degreed environmental scientists on staff.  We specialize in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead paint, silica, noise, and more.  We are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (escinc@verizon.net).  Contact us today!

Environmental Permits Overview

Environmental Permits Overview: What do You Mean Environmental Permits?

Environmental Permits OverviewThere are a lot of different kinds of environmental permits.  Here are just a few:

  • Wetlands
  • Endangered Species
  • Air Permits for Air Discharges from Industry
  • Wastewater Discharge, Sanitary and Industrial
  • Stormwater, Retention Ponds, Detention Ponds, Stormwater Runoff – Construction and Industry
  • Septic Tanks
  • Drinking Water, Private Wells and Community Supplies
  • Solid Wastes, Landfills & Incineration
  • Hazardous Wastes, Transportation, Disposal & Storage

Who Gets the Permit?

The list is as long as the types of permits.  It can include developers, builders, banks, attorneys, manufacturers, industrial facilities, hospitals, crematories, municipalities, and many more!

Do You Need a Permit?

You have to review your planned operation to see if it will require an environmental permit.  Second, you have to decide what part of the environment it may impact.  Will it impact air, water, or land?  Will it be changing the existing site?

For example, if you are going to construct a building and pave the site, it will decrease percolation of rain water into the ground.  More water will run off the site.  You will increase stormwater runoff.  You will have to address how this will be handled before you build.  You will need a stormwater pond permit and an NPDES  permit for industrial sites, along with a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

Another example is if you are building an industrial facility.  You may have to look into stormwater runoff, NPDES (industrial wastewater discharges and stormwater), air permit requirements.  You may also face requirements for used oil and hazardous waste.

The Players

Who do you call?  Your associates and their knowledge base can be a good starting point.  That includes your attorney, professional colleagues, and environmental engineering companies.  They may direct you to agencies or contact the agencies themselves on your behalf.

There are several key agencies which typically administer the various types of environmental permits.  Locally, these include the Water Management Districts, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP , www.fdep.gov), counties, and cities.  And, at the federal level, they include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, www.epa.gov) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  All of them have web sites and are generally helpful.  Just be careful what you say.  It is all in the presentation!

ESC Environmental Permits Overview So there is an overview of Environmental Permits!  If you need any assistance, Environmental Safety Consultants (www.escflorida.com) is here.  We are a Florida licensed environmental engineering company.  We have the credentials and experience to help you get your permit.  We have a proven track record with a Florida licensed environmental engineer and environmental scientists on staff.  We specialize in air permits, industrial discharge permits, NPDES stormwater, and more.  We are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (escinc@verizon.net).  Contact us today!

Certified Industrial Hygienist & Industrial Hygiene

What is Industrial Hygiene?

Certified Industrial HygienistThe term raises a lot of questions from the general public.  They often include whether it is similar to dental hygiene or if it is a prescribed procedure for manufacturers to wash their hands?  It has been suggested over the years that perhaps industrial hygiene be replaced with occupational hygiene.  Maybe so, but that is not self-evident either.  Industrial hygiene concerns the recognition, evaluation, and control of hazards in the work environment.  It has evolved over the last couple thousand years and like a lot of things, exploded with the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800’s.  It involves identifying hazards on the job that can affect the health of workers.  It has grown out of the manufacturing sector, was applied directly to the construction and maritime industries, and now includes virtually any work environment with the recognition of hazards from asbestos, radon, mold, silica, indoor air quality, and, yes, most recently the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is a CIH?

A CIH is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, or a credentialed industrial hygienist.  Although anyone can label themselves an industrial hygienist, not everyone can say they are truly a CIH.  It takes a bachelors or masters degree in industrial hygiene, or in biology, chemistry, or engineering, with the core science and industrial hygiene courses to become a CIH.  Then, one must work under another CIH for five years.  After that, an application is completed and submitted to the Board for EHS Credentialing, www.EHSCredentialing.org (formerly American Board of Industrial Hygiene, www.abih.org).  The final step is to take the examination which covers core competency and actual practice.  But wait, there is more!  Continuing education is required and quite rigorous.  Upon satisfactory completion of that requirement, re-certification is required every five years.

Why use a CIH?

The reason is because a Certified Industrial Hygienist has the education, training, experience, and credentials to properly complete your industrial hygiene work.  The work should be court defensible.  What?  Not planning on going to court?  Unfortunately, in today’s litigious society, it doesn’t matter.  Especially in the world of employee exposure to hazards.  Since the CIH credential came about in 1956 from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH), courts have come to recognize the expertise and credibility associated with that credentialed professional.  I have personally been allowed to testify in a case in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in Florida while the non-CIH was denied.

ESC Certified Industrial HygienistSo there is an overview of industrial hygiene and what a CIH is!  Stay tuned for our next in depth blog on industrial hygiene testing.  If you need any assistance, Environmental Safety Consultants (www.escflorida.com) is here.  We are a Florida licensed environmental engineering company with a CIH on staff.  We have the credentials and experience to help you complete your industrial hygiene project.  We have a proven track record with a Florida licensed environmental engineer and environmental scientists on staff.  We specialize in industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead paint, silica, noise, and more.  We are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (escinc@verizon.net).  Contact us today!

COVID-19 Business Reopening Plans

COVID-19Now that you and your business have survived COVID-19, how do you reopen?  What are the considerations for your office, manufacturing plant, industrial shop, retail store, or any other type of business?  You have to include the bricks and mortar, personnel, customers, vendors, clientele, patients, and umpteen other things.  There is a lot to consider.  Take a deep breath, and Environmental Safety Consultants, Inc. (ESC) will get you through the process.

As you are more than well aware of, COVID-19 has been, is currently, and will continue to be a moving target.  We learn new things about it every day.  The message is obvious, stay tuned in and keep learning!  Monitor new information and developments from federal, state, and local governmental agencies.  Listen to reliable media sources (the emphasis is on reliable!).  Finally, prepare a Business Reopening Plan.  This should take a lot of thought and preparation.  It should be gut wrenching.  It should be more painful than your Business Plan.  However, like your Business Plan, it should be a living document.  As new information and data become available, revise your Plan – add, delete, or modify as required.

COVID-19 SickWhat are the concerns or considerations to address in your Business Reopening Plan?  First things first – what is the goal or objective of the Plan?  That is quite simple – to make sure no one entering your business facility comes in with the COVID-19 infection, or leaves with it.  You do not want your business to become a source of the virus.  You want to keep everyone as healthy as possible.

To meet the objective, you have to understand how it is spread.  Surely, you recall how that has changed over the last few months.  We went from “it comes from touching contaminated surfaces, then your eyes or nose” (even though they said from the start it is in respiratory droplets) and “there is no need for masks” (which I never believed as a Certified Industrial Hygienist, CIH, typically focused on exposure via inhalation) to “masks should be worn”, because?  Because it comes from respiratory droplets!  And of course the type of mask is important.  Are you trying to protect yourself or others?  What about the eyes?  The eyes have still not been fully addressed.  And now the CDC says not to worry about surfaces!  That is enough to make your head spin.  That is why you have to monitor the developments and recommendations.

So what should be included in your Plan?  Following are a few items to include:

  • Deep Cleaning & Disinfection before Reopening
  • Daily Cleaning & Disinfection after Opening
  • Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioning System On? Clean? Add Air Purification Device?
  • Requirements before Allowing Entry by Employees, Customers, Vendors, Visitors, etc.
  • Sign on Front Door & All Entries
  • Sign in Foyer or at Front Counter
  • Sign-in Log requiring Detailed Information
  • Supplies at All Points of Entry – Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant, Masks, Gloves, Infrared Thermo Gun, etc.
  • Social Distancing Details & Aids such as Lines on Floor, Plastic Partitions, Proximity Devices, etc.
  • Shifts – Staggered? Four Day Week?

So there is an overview of COVID-19 Business Reopening Plans.  If you need any assistance, Environmental Safety Consultants (www.escflorida.com) is here.  We have the credentials and experience to prepare your Plan, review your Plan, or provide consultation on your Plan.  We are a Florida-licensed Engineering business with a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH, Board for EHS Credentialing, www.EHSCredentialing.org formerly American Board of Industrial Hygiene, www.abih.org) which is critical for your Plan.  We also have degreed, experienced technical professionals on staff.  We are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (escinc@verizon.net).  Contact us today!

What is Lead?

Environmental Safety Consultants (ESC) has been in the lead field for twenty years which is nothing compared to the 8,000 plus years of lead use by mankind.  So what is lead?  It is a natural element mined from the earth and is malleable, blue, and a heavy metal.  Malleable means that it is pliable or able to be hammered or pressed permanently out of shape without breaking or cracking.  Any fisherman who has pressed small lead weights on a fishing line, knows how easy the weights are to open and close on the line.  Lead was historically discovered as a byproduct when silver was being smelted.

Lead has been mined, smelted, and used to make products for thousands of years.  Some of the first products were artifacts and money.  The reported oldest artifact discovered was an Egyptian statue which was made 8,000 to 9,000 years ago.  It was also used to make rods and money used in the Middle East.  The Roman Empire used lead for its aqueducts and pipes which distributed potable water to the citizens.  Other uses have been in solder used on potable water pipes, X-ray shields in walls and aprons, collectible figurines, printing presses, shotgun pellets, glazing on pottery, and on an on.

what is leadThe use of lead greatly increased over time, especially after the industrial age began in the 1800’s.  It was a versatile element with unique physical and chemical properties.  Its uses appeared endless.  It is soft and easily worked.  It was rolled into sheets and pipes and was combined with other metals.  It was used in the construction industry for roofing, paints, flashing, electrical conduit, and pipes conveying drinking water and sewer.  And do not forget it was used in gasoline supposedly for anti-knock in automotive engines, although with its introduction, cars no longer lasted a lifetime!  From all of these uses, tons of lead were released to the environment.  Fortunately, it was banned from gasoline in the 1970’s, which eliminated a big portion of the environmental load.

Along with the many uses of lead, production greatly increased over time.  As this occurred, certain exposures were found to affect human health.  This occurred both in workers producing the lead and related products and in consumers who were using or were around lead products.  As this became known, agencies began addressing the hazards.  That included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).  But that is a subject of another blog.  Stay tuned!

So there is an overview of lead.  If you need any more information, Environmental Safety Consultants (www.escflorida.com) can assist.  We have the credentials and experience to answer your questions and steer you in the right direction.  We are a Florida-licensed Engineering business and are licensed by the U.S. EPA in Lead Based Paint Inspections and Risk Assessments.  ESC also has a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH, Board for EHS Credentialing, www.EHSCredentialing.org formerly American Board of Industrial Hygiene, www.abih.org) which is critical for lead work.

We are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (escinc@verizon.net).  Contact us today!