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Industrial Hygiene Assessment

Industrial Hygiene Assessment is Nothing New

Health hazards that workers are exposed to while they are on the job have invited scrutiny since the time of Hippocrates. In the first century AD, the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder recognized that those working with zinc and sulfur faced risks to their health and devised a mask to help protect them from the lead fumes and the dust. In modern times, industrial hygiene companies employ analytical methods and environmental monitoring to identify and rectify potential health hazards in the work place. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires businesses in the United States to follow elements of industrial hygiene and safety. Industrial hygiene assessments of hazards include:

· Radiation, both ionizing and non-ionizing
· Pathogens
· Noise
· Dusts
· Vapors and gases
· Bio-aerosols
· Ergonomic stresses
· Physical safety hazards

Why are Industrial Hygiene Assessment Services Need?

Physical, chemical and biological agents in the workplace cause adverse effects that can lead to injury and even death to thousands of workers around the world every year. Potential exposures must be identified and characterized so that controls can be put in place to protect individuals from harm. It’s not only the workforce who is at risk from a dangerous workplace condition. In some cases, chemical, biological agents that a worker is exposed to on the job can be unknowingly transported with the employee when the day is over. Home and family can be put at risk, as well as friends and other people and environments that the contamination reaches. Exposure assessments of contaminates that can bring harm through direct contact, inhalation or ingestion can reduce the risk in the occupational environment as well as prevent hazards from being unleashed into the community. Once the hazard is identified, quantified and prioritized, steps can be taken to protect those who are exposed to the conditions of the workplace.

Industrial Hygiene Risk Assessment and the Community

It’s not only the place that you work that becomes safer when industrial hygiene consultants are brought in. Whole communities can be affected by past and present business practices. Industrial hygiene sampling can identify dangerous areas so that the proper steps can be taken to clean up regions that may have been contaminated, improving the lives of countless residents.
· Exposure assessment can protect families who live near manufacturing plants by testing water quality and air emissions and monitoring health problems of segments in the nearby population.
· In some cases it takes years for an employee to show symptoms of a serious illness or injury escalation of a previous workplace. This is especially true in the cases of those who formerly worked railroad, commercial, construction or industrial jobs where they were exposed to physical and chemical agents that are now know to be high risk factors. Retrospective exposures assessments help identify the cause of the health problem so that proper diagnosis and treatment can be made.
· Industrial Hygiene assessments are used extensively in property development based activities and exposure assessments can support litigation, remedial action and implementation of corrective measures in contaminated land.

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