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Occupational Hygiene Surveys

Speak with an Occupational Hygiene Surveys Specialist.  Call us today for an Occupational Hygiene Survey. In Toronto, call 416.575.6111. Free consultation

Occupational hygiene consists of assessing health and safety in the workplace by evaluating and controlling exposure to chemical, physical, ergonomic, and biological hazards.

Within Ontario, the Ministry of Labour under the Occupational Health and Safety Act is the governing body that regulates occupational exposures to workers who may be at risk.  Under the Act, employers are responsible for taking all measures reasonably necessary under the circumstances to protect workers from exposure to a hazardous biological or chemical agent.

Hazard Assessments

Our first step is to conduct an assessment of the hazards at a given worksite. An assessment typically consists of:

  • Evaluating occupational hygiene hazards in accordance with the occupational hygiene program and Provincial Regulations.
  • Performing sample collection of occupational hygiene hazards.
  • Evaluating and inspecting a variety of worksites.
  • Working in a cooperative fashion with our clients to help identify control measures.
  • Writing reports and communicating the results and recommendations with the client groups.

Examples of Hygiene Assessments can include evaluation of exposure to contaminants such as:

  • Solvents
  • Isocyanates
  • Toxic Dust and Metal Fumes
  • Bioaerosols
  • Metal Working Fluids
  • Noise exposure
  • Heat Stress

Monitoring Worker Exposure to Chemicals and Airborne Contamination

After the hazards have been identified and a plan has been drawn up, ongoing monitoring of workers is essential to ensure that the measures taken to limit or reduce exposure to contaminating substances are effective.

Typical monitoring may include:

  • Continuous sampling for contaminants
  • Personal sampling from workers to determine actual exposure (i.e. sampling the immediate area around workers most likely to be exposed)

Cleanroom Sampling

Certain industries require specific and stringently controlled conditions for manufacturing – a pharmaceutical company being a good example. A ‘cleanroom’ is a closed environment where products are manufactured and the standards are often set by legislation.

Naturally, a cleanroom necessitates a higher level of vigilance than most others when it comes to monitoring environmental conditions. In particular, the concentration of airborne particles is most often a crucial parameter. Particle concentrations must be sampled and monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure optimal conditions and reduce the likelihood of any downtime due to contamination.

Maintaining such strict standards involves controlling all the variables, including:

  • Temperature and humidity
  • Ongoing air sampling and monitoring
  • Establishing strict procedures for employees and work processes
  • Ventilation and airflow
  • Identifying and eliminating common and likely sources of contamination

Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) for Ontario Workplaces Table 1 has been updated as of January 2013; it can be found here: Occupational Exposure Limits – Ontario

The table contains information found in the Ontario Table in Regulation 833 (“Regulation”) and the ACGIH Table that is referenced in the Regulation.

In addition, the table includes listings (i.e. Petroleum ether, Rubber solvent and VM&P Naphtha) not included in either the Ontario Table or the ACGIH Table. The Ministry recommends that OELs for those substances be calculated using the recommended method referenced.

Let us help you establish and maintain occupational hygiene standards in your workplace. Call us today for an Occupational Hygiene Survey.  In Toronto, call 416.575.6111. Free consultation