Industrial Hygiene & Occupational Health and Safety
Industrial hygiene & occupational health and safety is the science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and controlling workplace conditions that may cause workers’ injury or illness. Certified Industrial Hygienists (CIH) have met the minimum qualifications established by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). Industrial hygienists utilize environmental monitoring and analytical methods to assess the extent of worker exposure and evaluate potential engineering, work practice controls, and other methods based on a number of factors. Industrial hygienists utilize engineering, work practice, and administrative controls to reduce worker exposures to occupational hazards.
Engineering controls reduce worker exposures by either reducing or removing the hazard at the source or separating the worker from the hazard. Engineering controls include removing toxic chemicals and substituting non-toxic chemicals, enclosing work processes or confining work operations, and the installation of local exhaust ventilation systems or general/dilution ventilation.
Work practice controls change the way in which a task is performed. Some important and easily implemented work practice controls include:
(1) Modifying existing work practices to follow proper procedures that minimize exposures while operating production and control equipment;
(2) Inspecting and maintaining process and control equipment on a regular basis;
(3) Implementing good housekeeping procedures;
(4) Providing good supervision; and
(5) Prohibiting eating, drinking, smoking, chewing tobacco or gum, and applying cosmetics in areas where exposures can occur.
Administrative controls include controlling employees’ exposure by scheduling production and tasks, or both, in a manner that minimize exposure levels. For example, the employer might schedule operations with the highest exposure potential during periods when the fewest employees are present.
When effective work practices or engineering controls are not feasible or while such controls are being established, appropriate personal protective equipment must be used. Examples of personal protective equipment are gloves, safety goggles, helmets, safety shoes, protective clothing, and respirators. To be effective, employees need to be trained on how to properly wear personal protective equipment. The personal protective equipment must be individually selected, properly fitted and periodically reevaluated refitted; conscientiously and properly worn; properly/routinely maintained; and replaced, as needed.
ECOthink Group’s certified industrial hygienists can establish environmental health and safety (EH&S) programs to prevent issues and minimize risk to employees and environment. ECOthink Group can train staff on EHS programs and hazards. Some of the services offered by Ecothink Group include:
- Health and Safety Management Programs
- Exposure assessments
- Air monitoring
- Compliance Inspections
- Toxic Use Reduction
- Indoor Air Quality Surveys
- Ventilation Studies
- Noise Assessments and Solutions
- Ergonomic studies and solutions
- OSHA consulting
- Assistance with OSHA inspections
- Assistance with Voluntary Protection Programs
- Asbestos and Lead inspections
- Mold Assessments