WHY HIRE A CIH CONSULTANT?
By hiring a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), you can rest assured that the services you receive will meet and even exceed your expectations. Contracting with Risk Assessment Services establishes the highest level of professional expertise and verified technical background for the majority of projects that may affect employee health. When a CIH performs any professional work, this work is based on an extremely deep technical foundation with an advanced professional college education, training, certification, and ongoing certification maintenance requirements that are all performed under a stringent Professional Code of Ethics and Moral Conduct established by the ABIH.
An industrial hygienist uses rigorous scientific methods to evaluate and control hazards in the workplace, including risk assessment tools and information, such as Safety Data Sheets, which are put together by chemical manufacturers and contain detailed information about each chemical. Industrial hygienists also conduct a worksite analysis to evaluate all jobs, operations, machinery, and work activities at that site, in addition to problem-solving on specific activities or work areas.
After a hazard is identified, Risk Assessment Services will work with your company to control or eliminate the hazard in the most cost-effective manner. This can include substituting a chemical for a less hazardous one, recommending engineering controls to reduce exposure to hazards or possible utilization of personal protective equipment such as hearing protection or a respirator.
TYPES OF HAZARDS
So exactly what types of hazards and stressors can Risk Assessment Services identify and possibly control for you and your company? We evaluate air contaminants, chemical hazards, physical hazards and biological hazards. We use highly specialized equipment and analytical methods to assess potential and actual worker exposure, identify the source of contaminants and determine the effectiveness of the engineering and administrative controls.
Chemical hazards and air contaminants can take many different forms, including gases, vapors, mists, smoke, dust, and/or fumes. Potential chemical exposures also include liquids and solid materials like lead; these chemical hazards can be absorbed, inhaled, or ingested into a worker’s system. A few other examples include formaldehyde, methylene chloride, asbestos, welding fumes, silica, acids, bases, and respirable dust. We can evaluate your chemical hazards and potential exposure routes, and determine the best control methods for your unique situation. This evaluation is commonly referred to as industrial hygiene monitoring, industrial hygiene assessment, or an “IH survey”, or sometimes simply as air testing or chemical testing. After the on-site industrial hygiene assessment is complete, we utilize American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) accredited labs to obtain laboratory analytical results. We then use this data and compare those values to Occupational Exposure Limits to assist with the evaluation. These limits may include OSHA’s published Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) developed by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs).
Physical stressors include noise, vibration, radiation, temperature, lighting, and ergonomics. The most ubiquitous physical hazard is noise. Noise exposure, both chronic and acute, can lead to hearing loss. Once you lose your hearing, it’s gone forever. But a simple noise study and sound level mapping of your facility will answer a lot of questions and give you solid solutions on how to protect your workers’ hearing.
Bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other living organisms are considered biological hazards. OSHA states that such organisms can cause acute and chronic infections either directly via inhalation or through breaks in the skin. Workers who deal with plants or animals, and laboratory or medical workers are particularly at risk for biological hazards. But all workers can be at risk for biological hazards such as mold and bacteria.