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Understanding Industrial Hygiene

  • Aug 10, 2018

What is industrial hygiene?
Workers are exposed to chemical and physical hazards in the workplaces. Some of these hazards cause reproductive health problems, cancer, hearing loss and other chronic diseases. Industrial hygiene programs reduce worker’s exposure as much as reasonably possible and minimize the occurrence of any of the above exposure outcomes.

What are the services within industrial hygiene?

  • Chemical exposure assessment: welding fumes, hexavalent chromium, silica, lead, cadmium, etc.
  • Physical hazard assessment: noise
  • Regulatory written program development: hearing conservation programs, respiratory protection programs, etc.

What are the benefits of industrial hygiene services?

A company that signs up for industrial hygiene services:
  • Assures compliance with workplace health and safety requirements
  • Decreases the possibility of employees developing chronic diseases and noise induced-hearing loss from workplace exposures
  • Conveys an unequivocal message to the employees that their health and safety are paramount to the employer
  • Improving employee productivity
  • Reduces the risk of lost productivity, future liability and annual health care costs

What are the components of the program?

There are two major components to evaluating a workplace, including:
  • Qualitative assessment: uses process, safety data sheet (SDS) review, a worker’s interview and professional judgement
  • Quantitative assessment: uses sampling equipment to determine employee’s exposure to chemicals and physical hazards

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