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Workplace exposure monitoring, also known as Sampling, is a term that describes the way of measuring the extent of a Hazard (typically substance or noise levels) during the course of completing a particular task.
Sometimes people think that workplace exposure assessment must be related to the health status of a worker – but that is not the only case here.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations implements a law on employers to assess and examine the risks to workers’ health while having hazardous substances in the workplace. For example working with toxic substances, or for staff completing tasks with inhalable hazards like Welding or Dust.
It also applies to Noise with the Noise at Work Regulations and the Control of Vibration Regulations to name a few.
What Is Workplace Exposure Monitoring?
When workers are working in a hazardous environment, it becomes necessary to monitor exposure to those substances. This lets you know exactly how much concentration exists of the significance of the hazard and the correct level of control needed.
This safeguards employees from the hazard and avoids complications from a business perspective for ill health or on the other side of the scale, overly complicated controls and costs that aren’t needed.
Monitoring workplace exposure ensures that workers are not unnecessarily exposed to harmful substances like chemicals, hazardous dust, vapours and fumes and ensures the same while taking notes from employees if they face any troubles or difficulties regarding the work environment.
Additionally, Workplace exposure monitoring also ensures that engineering controls are efficient enough, and Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) has not been exceeded.
Duties Of Employers In Workplace Exposure Monitoring –
As per the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), employers must monitor exposure to ensure appropriate control of employees’ exposure to hazardous substances to health.
Additionally, COSHH also says that employers must keep a record of carried monitoring for at least 5 years or 40 years for personal exposure of identifiable employees.
According to another regulation of Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulation of 2016, businesses that cause emission to air, land, and water need an environmental permit to operate the business.
Such regulations and permits generally require businesses to monitor and regulate emission levels.
When Is Workplace Exposure Monitoring Required?
Workplace Exposure Monitoring should be carried out at regular intervals with the appropriate procedure.
If the workplace has been changed for the purpose of functions or any other major changes, it is advisable to conduct workplace exposure monitoring.
Businesses that make emission to air, land or water need workplace exposure monitoring quite frequently.
Why Workplace Exposure Monitoring Is Required?
Workplace exposure monitoring helps businesses in many ways.
Workplace exposure monitoring measures workers’ exposure to named substances that may be exposed by inhalation, skin contact or swallowing.
Workplace exposure monitoring helps you with –
→ Selecting the right controls
→ Identifying the presence of the substances and their serious health risk
→ Ensuring that exposure limits are not exceeded, and control measures are working efficiently
→ Choosing the appropriate amount of respiratory protection
→ Identifying the need for health surveillance, if any
→ An assessment when an inspector has issued an enforcement notice asking for monitor exposure
Even when once a workplace exposure monitoring has been completed one should conduct it on a regular basis to ensure that –
→ The initial assessment is still valid
→ Measures are operating properly and effectively
→ Exposure limits are not exceeding
→ Information on trends or modification in patterns of exposure is in place
What Exposures Are Monitored In Workplace Exposure Monitoring?
At Orbis Environmental and Safety, we have comprehensive experience of undertaking Workplace Exposure Monitoring of harmful substances like dust, fume, and vapour in a wide range of industrial, commercial and manufacturing environments.
With the support of the latest sampling methodology and equipment, our team of specialists undertake extensive workplace exposure monitoring for all kinds of projects, including industrial, commercial, and manufacturing environments that match HSE guidelines’ standards.
Workplace Exposure Monitoring measures employee exposure to hazardous dust, vapours and fumes inclusive of –
→ Inhalable Dust → Lead → Amines
→ Solvents → Crystalline Silica → Diesel Fumes
→ Chromium → Respirable Dust → Cadmium
→ Man-made Mineral Fibre → Oil Mist → Aldehydes (inc Formaldehyde)
→ Bioaerosols → Cyanide → Ammonia
→ Welding Fume → Wood Dust → Colophony
→ Isocyanates → Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
How Is Workplace Exposure Monitoring Being Done?
There are multiple ways of monitoring exposure according to how substances or physical hazards such as noise and vibration get into or affect the body.
Some of the most common and recognised methods are –
→ Sampling the air of breathing zone or in the general background where employees work
→ A sampling of the skin with a wipe
→ Biological and biological effect monitoring
→ Assessing noise and/or vibration levels
In order to improve the usefulness of monitoring reports, it is important to be clear about the purpose of exposure monitoring, the things and substances that will be measured and how that information will be helpful to a business in the future.
How A Workplace Exposure Monitoring Report Helps Businesses?
A detailed report of workplace exposure monitoring enables businesses to set the appropriate levels of protection to make sure that the workers are not being exposed to hazardous substances that lead to many health issues resulting in excessive sick leaves of workers.
Our team of environment and safety specialists are well-versed with the standards of HSE guidelines and are experts in all aspects of workplace exposure monitoring including the personal monitoring surveys for employees to measure their level of exposure to harmful substances along with the usage and suitability of provided Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).
How Orbis Environmental and Safety Can Help You With Workplace Exposure Monitoring?
Taking care of employees’ health and safety is the duty of an employer; and to perform that duty, Orbis Environmental and Safety support businesses in meeting the latest legislation’s compliance requirements.
Our monitoring helps you assess the workplace’s risk potential, followed by all the guidelines and rules that should be followed to practice the best.
To conduct effective and cost-effective workplace exposure monitoring, you can visit our website’s service section or drop your information in the comment section below.
You can also drop a mail at [email protected] or call us on – 01656 470 044