Asbestos Exposure Assessments

Asbestos is a term used to define a group of naturally occurring minerals with high tensile strength flexibility and resistance to heat, chemicals and electricity. The main route of exposure to asbestos is by inhalation of airborne asbestos fibers. Exposure may also occur through ingestion. Although asbestos is no longer installed or used in workplaces, it is still present in may settings.

Exposure to asbestos may result in disabling diseases like:

  • asbestosis, which is an emphysema like condition
  • lung cancer
  • mesothelioma which is a cancerous tumor that spreads rapidly in the cells of membranes covering the lungs and body organs and
  • gastrointestinal cancer.

It is critical that a risk assessment is conducted to determine the level of risk of exposure to asbestos for employees that may be exposed to asbestos.

0ur occupational hygiene team is capable of taking measurement to determine employee exposure to asbestos, and provide training with regard to the use of personal protective equipment & clothing, as well as the drawing up of asbestos health risk assessments, work plans and supervision of asbestos stripping and demolition work.

 

Assessment of Illumination

Good lighting is an important aspect of a productive, healthy and safe work environment. It provides an environment where employees can work comfortably and efficiently. Employees can only be in a position to read clearly labels and safety instructions, e.g., those on chemical containers, if there is adequate illumination.

It is for these reasons that workplaces should be provided with adequate illumination in workplaces. The assessment of lighting will determine if illumination is suitable and sufficient in a workplace. The assessment includes conducting day and night time illumination surveys. Emergency illumination installations are tested and recommendations on workplace illumination are made.

 

Ergonomics Assessments

Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well being and overall system performance.

Ergonomics is concerned with the fit between the user, equipment and their environments. Factors that are considered include the user's capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, functions, information and the environment suit each user.

It is critical that an assessment of the fit between a person  and the used technology is conducted. This is achieved by consideration of the job activity being done and the demands on the user, the equipment used (e.g., its size, shape, and how appropriate it for the task) and the information used (e.g., how it is presented, accessed and changed). We will assist you with the evaluation of workplace design, layout and work heights, task and job analysis and vehicle cabin assessments.

Exposure to Silica Dust Assessments

Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. It may become respirable size particles when workers chip, cut, drill, or grind objects that contain crystalline silica.

Jobs that may put employee at risk of exposure to crystalline silica include blasting, foundry work, stonecutting, rock drilling, quarry work and tunneling. Breathing crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis which may be disabling or even fatal. The respirable silica dust enters the lungs and causes the formation of scar tissue, thus reducing the lung's ability to take oxygen.

There are three types of silicosis:

  • Chronic / classic silicosis which occurs after 15 - 20 years of moderate to low exposures to respirable crystalline silica, is the most common type of silicosis.
  • Acute silicosis which occurs after a few months or as long as 2 years following exposures to extremely high concentrations of respirable crystalline silica.

Measurement of employee exposure to silica is conducted using air filters housed in a filter cassettes, a cyclones as well as air sampling pumps.

Hazardous Chemical Substances

A hazardous chemical substance is any toxic, harmful, corrosive, irritating or asphyxiant substance with a prescribed exposure limit or which has a detrimental effect on health. Examples of hazardous chemical substances include silica dust, benzene and coal dust, Employees are exposed to hazardous chemical substances in various activities at a workplace. Exposure to hazardous chemical substances may occur through various exposure routes which include inhalation, ingestion, skin absorption and injection.  Exposure may result to negative health impact to the exposed employee.

As such,it is important that exposure to hazardous chemical substances is either prevented or controlled. A risk assessment will identify the hazardous chemicals that employees are exposed to. This will result in a program that is aimed at preserving the health of the employee. Various measuring equipment are used to quantify the exposure of employees that will determine if exposure exceeds prescribed exposure limits.

Specific procedures should be put in place to ensure that handling and storage of hazardous chemical does not put the health and safety of the employee at risk of getting exposed. 

Our team of competent occupational hygiene consultants can assist, advise and guide you regarding use of hazardous chemical substnances at your workplace. With the use of specialised equipment we are able to determine the exact concentration of hazardous chemical substances that employees are exposed to.