Industrial Hygiene Articles So Far
This is the sixth 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 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. The fourth one walked you through an example of hazard recognition for a specific operation. The fifth blog provided an overview of the evaluation of industrial hygiene hazards. And finally, this blog will round out the series with an industrial hygiene testing overview as one method to complete the evaluation of potential industrial hygiene hazards.
The testing method selection depends on the type of hazard. So you may have an inhalation hazard due to the presence of one or more of the following:
- Oxygen Deficiency
- Toxic Gases
- Biological Organisms
Or, you may have a noise hazard. Alternatively, you may have a heat stress hazard. Finally, you may have a radiation, biological, or any of several other hazards. It should be obvious that different testing methods are used for different types of hazards.
So testing methods are varied. For airborne hazards, there are sampling pumps and collection media analyzed in a lab. There are also badges that can be worn for certain time periods which are then analyzed in a lab for volatile organic compounds, radiation, or other constituents. Electronic meters are available to instantaneously measure certain chemicals, particulates, toxic or explosive gases, noise, radiation, or other parameters. These devices may also measure the oxygen concentration in the air to determine if it is deficient. Air samples can also be collected and analyzed in a lab for bacteria or mold.
Those are just some of the testing methods. And again, they are selected based on the potential hazard and the operation. The actual selection is part of testing design which is covered in our next blog.
So that concludes our overview of 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 are just a telephone call (800-226-1735) or an e-mail away (firstname.lastname@example.org). Contact us today!