Occupational Hygiene is the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, communication and control of environmental risk factors in the workplace that may result in injury, illness or impairment. The different risk factors are normally divided into the following categories: biological, chemical, physical, ergonomic and psychosocial. Occupational hygienists have training to assess and evaluate a wide range of hazards including chemical exposures, noise, heat and cold, radiation of different types, indoor air quality, ergonomic demands and biological factors.
Identifying and assessing workplace hazards
Dewing Ergonomics and Safety focuses on identifying and assessing workplace hazards and then controlling exposures to the hazards by following the hierarchy of control. Whether a private company or government organisation, we can help with:
- Ergonomics – we conduct ergonomic assessments and training and recommend changes in design.
- Indoor Air Quality – we use a range of instruments to measure different parameters depending on your needs. This may include temperature, air velocity, relative humidity, volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone.
- Dust, Fume, Mist & Vapour Monitoring – we provide air monitoring services for a range of airborne hazards including;
- Particulate dusts – inhalable and respirable sampling. Dusts sampled include respirable crystalline silica (RCS) (quartz and cristobalite), titanium dioxide, talc, milk powder, grain, wood, metals, powders in paints and garnet from abrasive blasting.
- Welding fume.
- Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM).
- Volatile Organic Compounds (voc’s).
- Sulphur dioxide, formaldehyde & hydrogen sulphide.
- Acids including acetic, sulphuric and hydrochloric acids.
- Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide and other vapours in the work environment.
- Fungi & Bacteria – we conduct air and surface fungal and bacterial sampling in a wide range of environments including water damaged buildings and workplaces. The samples are then analysed in a laboratory. Fungal levels are particularly important when there is mould. Following the monitoring, strategies for remediation are also determined.
- Dust Hazard Assessments – for combustible dusts.
- Hazardous chemical risk assessments we conduct hazardous chemical risk assessments using a risk management process. The different aspects addressed include;
- Developing a hazardous chemical register by documenting, reviewing and assessing the specific chemicals in use.
- Determining if the chemicals are classified hazardous and/or dangerous goods.
- Reviewing the storage of hazardous chemicals.
- Reviewing the labelling of hazardous chemicals.
- Determining the signage required for the storage of dangerous chemicals.
- Management in the event of employee exposure.
- Noise surveys – noise surveys are undertaken in the occupational environment to measure background noise levels, sources of noise and personal exposure. The business utilises a range of sophisticated noise monitoring equipment including a sound level meter with an octave band filter to measure frequency levels, a number of dosimeters used for measuring personal noise exposure, a dosimeter to measure noise in the ear canal when for example wearing earmuffs or telephone headsets and environmental monitoring equipment. Noise contouring software is also used as a means of visually displaying the noise in contours.
- Noise training – we deliver training in noise and aim to be practical, informative, interactive and at a level suitable for participants.
- Lighting surveys – lighting surveys occur inboth office and industrial environments to measure the illuminance and also luminance. Dewing Ergonomics and Safety has both illuminance and luminance meters. Illuminance is the usual method which determines the Lux levels. Luminance is used as a means to determine the level of glare. The ergonomic factors associated with lighting levels that are assessed also include glare, reflection, visual fatigue and positioning of the computer workstation.
- Heat stress assessments – a heat stress meter is used to determine The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature and Thermal Work Limit. This is done by measuring wind speed, dry bulb temperature, wet bulb temperature, radiant heat and barometric pressure.