The practice of industrial hygiene is defined as the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of hazards in the workplace, especially industrial. These skills are being applied outside the industrial workplace more and more to places such as offices, homes, apartments, cars, airplanes, etc.
Anticipation and Recognition of Hazards
The adept anticipation and recognition of hazards comes from years of experience in the field. Walsh Certified Consultants, Inc., has this experience. For example:
1) A common hazard not normally thought of in a foundry is silica from the molds into which the metal is poured;
2) Demolishing buildings does not only hold the potential for asbestos exposure but also silica from the concretes, grouts, and soils;
3) Welding stainless steel can lead to hazardous chromium and nickel exposures as well as carbon monoxide and ozone;
4) Tearing down old cooling towers can result in chromium and arsenic exposures from the wood preservatives, etc.
The evaluation of the hazards is an art form in itself. The decision to use traditional industrial-hygiene sampling methods using pumps, sorbent tubes, filters, etc. – or to do so using more complicated EPA methods, or even direct reading instruments – requires extensive training and experience. Some of the hazards that Walsh Certified Consultants, Inc., has evaluated include:
- Heavy Metals
- Heat Stress
- Non-Ionizing Radiation
- Repetitive Motion
After conducting an assessment of the workplace to recognize potential hazards, Walsh Certified Consultants, Inc., can prepare an industrial-hygiene sampling plan to evaluate the identified potential hazards.
Once identified and evaluated, Walsh Certified Consultants, Inc., can provide recommendations for the control of the hazards. The primary control method is engineering out the hazard. This can be done by ventilation, substituting less hazardous materials, shielding the area (e.g., noise reduction materials), etc. Other options for control can include improving work practices to prevent hazard accumulation and limiting employee exposure to the hazards by limiting the employee’s time of exposure. The least preferred control is personal protective equipment (PPE). If PPE has to be used, Walsh Certified Consultants, Inc., can help the client choose the appropriate equipment, train their employees, and evaluate the PPE effectiveness. PPE that Walsh Certified Consultants, Inc., has experience with include respirators, gloves, suits, hearing protectors, boots, UV / light-protective eyewear, and hardhats, among other types of PPE.