Workplace Exposure Monitoring

Workplace Exposure Air Monitoring

What is exposure / air monitoring?

Exposure monitoring is where the occupational hygienist conducts measurements to evaluate the risk to people. The people being exposed to the substance will be asked to wear monitoring equipment while they undertake their work. 

The occupational hygienist will observe work practices and from these observations and the results of the monitoring they will determine the risk of both short term and long term harm. Typically by comparing results to the Workplace Exposure Standards.

If harm is likely they will recommend controls (like using a different substance, ventilation, and personal protective equipment) to minimise the likelihood of harm.

What substances can harm my team if they breathe them in?

There are many different health hazards that can harm the short term and long term health of people. Common hazards we see in workplaces include crystalline silica, wood dust, flour dust, welding fume, solvents from paint and glues, and carbon monoxide. Other hazards that aren’t as common include diesel particulate, ozone, sulphur dioxide, ammonia, and glass fibres. If the substance is hazardous read the safety data sheet or contact an occupational hygienist. 

Hazardous dusts, fumes, vapours and gases can be generated from a number of processes in the workplace. Chemsafety can assist you by quantifying the initial hazard, identifying a suitable management system, and by following through to measure and document the effectiveness of control measures to reassure staff and demonstrate HSE compliance.

Why do exposure monitoring?

Some workers face a number of airborne hazards during their working day. These can include respirable dust, gases and vapours from toxic substances from processes like welding, cutting or even cleaning equipment.

Chemsafety will undertake monitoring to assess the level of the hazard. All of our air sampling is undertaken to recognised methodology such as NIOSH Methods, OSHA Methods, or AS/NZS Standards. We use quality sampling media and use local and international laboratories to ensure we are getting accurate and timely results.

After determining the level of exposure we can then help you determine the best way to minimise the exposure, whether through different work practices, installing ventilation or substitutions. Finally we will recommend what PPE is most suitable to use, educate on how to use that PPE and its maintenance.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 places a responsibility on employers to ensure that staff are not exposed to hazardous fume in the workplace. Where the degree of staff exposure to fume is uncertain, air monitoring will quantify any issue you may have.  In most cases, Chemsafety's assistance provides reassurance to management and staff that exposures are below the guideline levels.  However there are instances where air borne contaminants exceed guideline levels, and we will then work with you to find ways of eliminating, isolating or minimising staff exposure.

Why use Chemsafety for Exposure Monitoring?

Chemsafety has extensive experience in the monitoring and analysis of a wide range of workplace air contaminants. We are able to advise you on the most appropriate monitoring and analysis package for your situation, then provide an independent measurement of fume concentration.

Chemsafety carries out monitoring and analysis for a wide range of materials on a routine basis, including...

  • Formaldehyde
  • Isocyanates
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Metals & welding fume
  • Confined space monitoring
  • Solvents
  • Dusts
  • Acid mists

Results are reported clearly in plain language and the significance of any hazards are discussed. If a problem exists we are able to advise you on the appropriate response. Our advice is based on practical and cost effective solutions designed to protect you and your staff from current and future risk. Where necessary we supply supporting information to facilitate your discussion with staff, and if required we are happy to provide answers to staff questions either in writing, or face to face in the workplace. 

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For more information on Exposure Monitoring please read our news articles

Health Monitoring vs Exposure Monitoring

Acute Silicosis - What you Need to Know

Respirable Crystalline Silica Guidance

Welding Ventilation Guidance