Industrial Hygiene

One of the most overlooked, and often more dangerous, hazards in a workplace are invisible contaminants in the air. Our industrial hygiene department coordinates with a nationally recognized laboratory in order to provide accurate results in a reasonable time frame. CS Consulting can perform sampling for hearing conservation programs, airborne contaminant exposures, and ventilation system analysis.

Occupational noise exposure is a widely unrecognized issue in the workplace. Most companies that operate machinery or power tools will find their employees exposed to unsafe levels of noise. If left exposed, employees can suffer permanent damage to their hearing. CS Consulting can collect full shift sampling to assess the time weighted noise exposure levels employees are exposed to.

In most locations that utilize chemicals or machining processes there is also a large risk of exposure to airborne contaminants. CS Consulting has the sampling media and equipment to collect and analyze almost any contaminant that could be present in the worksite. We can also perform sampling for unknown contaminants in the worksite.

If your company utilizes ventilation equipment to help control airborne contaminants, the requirements of the system are very stringent to meet OSHA and EPA regulations. Our industrial hygiene department can perform an assessment of the system to ensure the system meets its requirements. Should the system prove to be outside the required specifications, we can provide recommendations and contacts for adapting or replacing the system.

Types of Workplace Hazards

Air contaminants – air contaminants include dust, fumes, mists, aerosols, and fibers. Air contaminants present an inhalation hazard that varies in severity based on the types of materials you work with in your facility. Hazards can range from mild irritation and discomfort to serious injury and possibly death.

Biological hazards – biological hazards include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other living organisms that can cause acute and chronic infections that can enter the body directly or through breaks in the skin. Occupations at high risk for biological hazards include those that deal with plants or animals (or their products) as well as food processing plants. Laboratory and medical personnel may also be at risk of exposure to biological hazards, as may people in occupations that expose workers to bodily fluids.

In occupations that deal with animals, managing biological hazards involves preventing and controlling diseases in the animal population as well as proper care and handling of sick animals. Proper personal hygiene, especially when it comes to even minor cuts and scratches of the hands and forearms, helps minimize worker risk.

Chemical hazards – chemical hazards include solids, liquids, gases, mists, dusts, fumes, and vapors that can be inhaled, absorbed, or ingested. Chemical hazards can come in the form of solids, liquids, and gases and can range from mildly irritant to potentially lethal.

Physical hazards – physical hazards are unlike airborne, biological, and chemical hazards in that they don’t always involve exposure to hazmats. These include things like excessive radiation, noise, vibration, illumination, and temperature. Time, distance, and shielding are the most effective ways to mitigate risk from radiation. In addition, the industrial hygiene consultants at CS Consultants can design and engineer systems that reduce noise, vibration, and radiant heat exposure.

Ergonomic hazards – ergonomic hazards include activities directly related to work tasks, including lifting, holding, pushing, walking, and reaching. Many ergonomic problems arise from certain technological advancements, such as increased assembly line speeds, adding specialized tasks, and increased repetition; others arise from poorly designed job tasks. Ergonomic hazards can be avoided primarily through effective jobsite design and proper use of tools. Following a thorough worksite analysis, our industrial hygiene consultants can help you set up controls and procedures designed to reduce ergonomic hazards through appropriate engineering controls, correct work practices, employing proper administrative controls, and, if necessary, mandating the use of personal protective equipment such as varying levels of hazmat suits and respirators.