Industrial Hygiene Services
Industrial hygiene encompasses a broad spectrum of the working environment. Our Industrial hygienists are trained to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and recommend controls for environmental and physical hazards that can affect the health and well being of our client's workers. OSHA has always recognized industrial hygiene as an integral part of a healthy workplace and places a high priority on employers using the findings of industrial hygiene as an effective tool for promotion of on the job safety.
At National Safety Services, our industrial hygienists are well experienced in evaluating jobs for potential health hazards. We also help our clients develop occupational safety and health guidelines and procedures to minimize the extent of employee exposure to hazards at the workplace.
Our Industrial Hygienists analyze, identify and measure workplace hazards or stressors that can cause sickness, impaired health or significant discomfort in workers through chemical, physical, ergonomic or biological exposures.
The First Step: Worksite Analysis
A worksite analysis is an essential first step that helps our industrial hygienists determine what jobs and workstations are the sources of potential problems. During the worksite analysis, we measure and identify exposures, problem tasks and risks. The most effective worksite analyses include all jobs, operations and work activities. National Safety Services' industrial hygienists inspect, research or analyze how the particular chemicals or physical hazards at that worksite affect worker health. If a situation hazardous to health is discovered, our industrial hygienist will provide detailed recommendations on the appropriate corrective actions.
What Are Some Examples of Job Hazards?
Major job risks can include air contaminants, and chemical, biological, physical and ergonomic hazards.
These are commonly classified as either particulate or gas and vapor contaminants.
Gases are formless fluids that expand to occupy the space or enclosure in which they are confined. Examples are welding gases such as acetylene, nitrogen, and helium. Argon and carbon monoxide are generated from the operation of internal combustion engines or by its use as a reducing gas in a heat-treating operation. Another example is hydrogen sulfide, which is formed wherever there is decomposition of material containing sulfur under reducing conditions.
Liquids change into vapor and mix with the surrounding atmosphere through evaporation. Vapors are the volatile form of substances that are normally in the solid or liquid state at room temperature and pressure. They are formed by evaporation from a liquid or solid and can be found where parts' cleaning and painting takes place and where solvents are used.
The most common particulate contaminants include dusts, fumes, mists, aerosols, and fibers.
- Dusts are solid particles that are formed or generated form solid organic or inorganic materials by reducing their size through mechanical processes such as crushing, grinding, drilling, abrading or blasting.
- Fumes are formed when material from a volatilized solid condenses in cool air. In most cases, the solid particles resulting from the condensation react with air to form an oxide.
- Mists are finely divided liquid suspended in the atmosphere. Mists are generated by liquids condensing from a vapor back to a liquid or by breaking up a liquid into a dispersed state such as by splashing, foaming or atomizing. Aerosols are also a form of a mist characterized by highly respirable, minute liquid particles.
- Fibers are solid particles whose length is several times greater than their diameter.
Harmful chemical compounds in the form of solids, liquids, gases, mists, dusts, fumes, and vapors exert toxic effects by inhalation (breathing), absorption (through direct contact with the skin), or injection (eating or drinking). Airborne chemical hazards exist as concentrations of mists, vapors, gases, fumes, or solids. Some are toxic through inhalation and some of them irritate the skin on contact; some can be toxic by absorption through the skin or though ingestion and some are corrosive to living tissue.
The degree of worker risk from exposure to any given substance depends on the nature and potency of the toxic effects as well as the magnitude and duration of exposure.
These include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other living organisms that can cause acute and chronic infections by entering the body either directly or through breaks in the skin. Occupations that deal with plants or animals or their products or with food and food processing may expose workers to biological hazards. Laboratory and medical personnel also can be exposed to biological hazards. Any occupations that result in contact with bodily fluids pose a risk to worker from biological hazards.
These include excessive levels of ionizing and nonionizing electromagnetic radiation, noise, vibration, illumination, and temperature.
National Safety Services industrial hygienists are experts in evaluating on-the-job hazard and recommending effective controls.
Please contact us today for more information.