/Industrial Hygiene
Industrial Hygiene 2022-08-15T21:17:41+00:00

Industrial Hygiene

Is defined as a science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace, which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being, or significant discomfort among workers or among citizens of the community

Industrial Hygiene Services are the services that monitor, test and analyze the specified environment for air quality factors that may impact the working environment.

Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)

OSHA Definition –The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control; worksite analysis; training; and management commitment and worker involvement. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.

  • Helpful Tips – Envirotest is here to help you and your team in navigating the OSHA processes and requirements. To help in this process we would encourage you to review the following tips;

— Start with getting management’s support and involvement in this quantitative review. Make sure managers understand that as part of their approval, they will have to follow up and address all issues that might be uncovered.

— Emphasize that OSHA is currently testing this audit process – it is not a standard or even a nationwide policy at this point. Plus, the audit addresses areas that are not covered by specific OSHA requirements, such as management leadership and employee participation. Managers also should know that audit results constitute a legal paper trail of their “problems.”

— Make a presentation to senior facility staff outlining the audit steps and their involvement in the process. Ideally, senior staffers would become part of the audit team that goes out to collect the data needed – or at least they support the team’s work.

— Work through safety committees to organize a game plan for implementing the OSHA self-audit. Then see how your performance rates.

  • Application

Envirotest provides our clients with application assistance to help ensure an accurate and efferent application process and approval. Depending on your location (State) your requirements may vary. If you are in a state that operates its own OSHA-approved program, check with your state agency to learn specifics regarding its VPP application process.

Envirotest would also encourage you to review the Federal Register Notice, 74 FR 927, January 9, 2009.

If you need more information, contact our CIH or you can contact your nearest OSHA VPP Manager or Coordinator through OSHA’s Regional and Area Offices.

A strong safety and health program exemplifies commitment to the prevention of occupational illness and injury beyond satisfying the requirements of government standards. It is the central element which qualifies a company for participation in the Voluntary Protection Programs. Companies participating in Star or Merit are expected to have comprehensive programs including elements such as employee participation and annual comprehensive self-evaluation.

  • Audits

– Envirotest provides audit services for all types of environmental programs and processes. Specific audit requirements are identified and outlined with our clients and then documented and findings returned with certified reporting.

  • Annual Program Reviews and Recertification

Star participants are reevaluated between 30 and 42 months following initial program approval.

Star participants are reevaluated between 30 and 42 months following initial program approval. After the first recertification, participants are evaluated every five years,

Envirotest champions a graduated approach including a review material safety data sheets, identification of any hazardous and regulated chemicals, and development of a sampling strategy for the client.

Envirotest Services include

Indoor Air Quality Studies and program planning

  • Welding Operations

In October 2006 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) passed standards on exposure to hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). These include an Action Level of 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) and a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 5 µg/m3. To put those figures into context, the PEL for Cr(VI) is set at one tenth of the PEL for lead. Exposure to Cr(VI) has been linked to significant health effects including: dermatitis and skin ulcers, respiratory tract irritation and sensitization, nasal septum perforation, eye injuries, liver and kidney damage, and lung cancer.

OSHA inspections have revealed that not all employers are in compliance with the standards established. In response, OSHA issued a directive effective on February 23, 2010 establishing a national emphasis program (NEP)

“…to identify and reduce or eliminate the health hazards associated with occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium and other toxic substances often found in conjunction with hexavalent chromium.”

  • Pre-monitoring steps

At the onset of industry-wide monitoring, it is beneficial to conduct a survey to find out what kind of welding and cutting is most prevalent, what materials are used most often, and in what settings the work is performed. Then monitoring can initially focus on the most frequent operations, thus being able to offer early benefit to the largest percentage of the group you represent. While it is likely that shielded metal arc welding (SMAW, or stick) will top the list, your local customers and work settings may alter that perception.

  • Data collection

Collection of the air sample is just one piece of a very large puzzle. As stated in the OSHA standard, the use of an air sample as representative is based on this thought of closely resembling. A welder working near the ceiling of a mechanical room, 20 feet off the ground in a scissors lift stick welding on carbon steel plate, is different than a welder outside in a trench TIG welding on a stainless steel pipe. Documenting such variables as the type of welding, the material specifications, work habits, engineering controls, location, etc., will allow the data evaluator to better assemble data into common groups that contractors say closely resemble their operations.

  • Data evaluation

Is your data reliable? Is it statistically acceptable to OSHA? Guidance to help answer those questions can be found in two documents:

Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual, Publication No. 77-173 (1977) (available at www.cdc.niosh.gov)

A Strategy for Assessing and Managing Occupational Exposures, Third Edition, Stock Number: AEAK06-327 (2006) (available at www.aiha.org)

  • Air Monitoring

Envirotest utilizes both OSHA and NIOSH methods for OSHA compliance purposes. We use a variety of evaluation instruments including sampling pumps, passive dosimeters, direct read instruments, electronic data logging instruments and personal sampling medias.

Our studies have included:

  • Acid mists
  • Airborne silica
  • Asbestos and Mold
  • Carbon monoxide (Forklift tests and general air)
  • Confined space gas measurement
  • Dusts (full scans and simple gravimetric)
  • Formaldehyde (both building and hospital exposures)
  • Gasses (hydrogen sulfide and others)
  • HUD lead inspections
  • Isocyanates
  • Lead clean-up testing services
  • Mercury (airborne and spill tests)
  • Microbiological hazards (bacteria, molds, endotoxins)
  • Oil mists
  • Solvent sampling (full scans)
  • Toxic metals (arsenic, beryllium, lead, etc.)
  • Waste anesthetic gasses
  • Welding fume sampling (toxic metals)
  • Noise Studies

  • Noise level readings in areas with a type 2 sound level meter
  • Cumulative exposure studies with audio dosimeters
  • Noise profiles with octave band analyzers
  • Community noise evaluation
  • Heat Stress – Evaluated with:

    • Simple temperature and humidity
    • Evaluations of physical work load
    • Wet bulb globe temperature measurements (with radiant load)
  • Electromagnetic Fields analyzed with:

    • Low frequency field meter – (power lines)
    • Broadband RF Field meters (microwave welding, cell towers, broadcast towers)
    • UV light exposure studies in sterilization equipment
  • Radiation

    • Contamination surveys with a standard Geiger-Mueller instrument
  • Ergonomic Studies

    • Office and work space lighting
    • Work station ergonomic evaluations
    • OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)

Envirotest IH Teams also Perform

  • IAQ – Baseline and Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) Surveys
    • The respondents presenting with indoor environmentally associated symptoms such as sick building syndrome (SBS) are apt to have been exposed to inadequate indoor air quality (IAQ). The main objective of this study is to determine the association between IAQ parameters and symptoms of SBS
  • Post-construction IAQ Sampling
    • To reduce indoor air quality (IAQ) problems resulting from construction or renovation to promote the comfort and well-being of construction workers and building occupants.
  • Mold & Moisture Assessments
    • Mold is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. Molds cause biodegradation of natural materials, which is unwanted when it becomes damage to property or a danger to humans and pets.
  • Legionella Screening
    • Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a serious form of pneumonia called Legionnaires disease. Legionella drinking water testing detects the presence of the bacteria to help diagnose the cause of a person’s pneumonia.
  • Asbestos – Surveys/Assessments
    • Envirotest identifies suspect asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and characterizes sites for natural geologic deposits are known as Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA). An asbestos containing material or naturally occurring asbestos survey is conducted by a trained and licensed inspector and the scope of work typically involves:
      • A visual inspection for asbestos
      • Sampling for asbestos
      • Asbestos Analysis
      • A summary report
  • Renovation/demolition, property transactions, AHERA 3 Year Re-inspections
    • Under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Envirotest will conduct a full inspection that is in compliance with EPA regulation 40 CRF 763.
  • Asbestos Management and O&M Plans
    • Envirotest can help you create or update your O&M programs. An Operations and Maintenance (O&M) program is a formulated plan of training, cleaning, work practices, and surveillance to maintain asbestos-containing materials (ACM) within buildings in good condition. The goal is to minimize exposure of all building occupants to asbestos fibers.
  • Exposure monitoring
    • Exposure monitoring is a way of measuring the extent of dust or noise levels during a specific task. It has nothing to do with the state of a workers health. That is assessed through health surveillance.
  • Health Surveillance
    • Health surveillance checks that the health risk management system is correctly working. It is a statutory risk based system of ongoing health checks when exposing workers to substances or activities that may cause them harm. It allows you to identify any ill health symptoms early and highlights the controls you need to improve.
  • Abatement Design
    • Like any construction specifications, abatement designs are intended to avoid bidding conflicts, change orders and construction problems. Abatement designs also clarifies the regulatory requirements and procedures for protecting workers and building occupants.
  • Abatement Oversight & Monitoring
    • Oversight and Monitoring are the activities that follow the abatement project design. Envirotest can provide you with the skilled experts to monitor your projects, ensure the proper precautions are taken and that the workers are following the outlined rules for the project.
  • Lead-based paint (LBP) – Inspections & Risk Assessments
    • Buildings constructed prior to 1978 are at risk of containing leadbased paint. It is prudent to obtain an LBP inspection at these facilities when peeling or damaged paint is identified, or when these facilities are occupied by children as they are the most sensitive to lead poisoning by ingestion.
    • XRF Field Testing – is a onsite test for LBP that does not require a laboratory test.
  • OSHA Personnel Exposure Monitoring: Dust/Particulates, Metals, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Silica, Hexavalent chromium (CrVI), Noise Surveys, Radon Testing, Drinking Water Testing, and more

For more information contact us at 1-800-460-1736 or email us info@envirotestllc.com