Occupational Hygienists protect employees’ health by assessing and controlling their exposure to the chemical, biological or physical agents present in the workplace. Gully Howard Technical employ experienced and highly qualified Chartered Occupational Hygienists to undertake exposure assessment and to provide advice on controlling exposure. We are the only Training provider in the UK to offer all seven of the W500 OHTA Modules
Chemical exposure monitoring typically involves measuring the concentration of airborne hazardous substances in the worker’s breathing zone. The airborne chemical agents can be in the form of dusts (e.g. wood, metals, silica) fibres (e.g. asbestos, MMMF) fumes (e.g. welding), mists (e.g. oil) gases (e.g. carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide) and vapours (e.g. benzene, toluene). Exposure to hazardous substances is regulated by the COSHH, CLAW and COA Regulations.
Inhaling such hazardous substances or absorbing them via other routes into the body can cause a risk of harm to health. Some substances such as carbon monoxide can cause an immediate (acute) risk to health, but more commonly exposure over many years at significant concentrations can cause long term (chronic) detrimental health outcomes. Asbestos is an example of this where the resultant disease (which is normally fatal) can occur long after the initial exposure.
Maintaining control measures
Measures to control airborne hazardous substances need to be correctly selected and then regularly examined and maintained to ensure their continuing effectiveness. Gully Howard Technical staff can conduct the thorough examination and testing of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) and provide quantitative face-fit testing of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).
Exposure to physical agents in the workplace such as noise, hand arm vibration and the thermal environment can also cause a risk of harm to health to employees. Employers have legal duties to control significant staff exposures to such physical agents. Gully Howard Technical’s occupational hygienists can assess exposure to legal requirements and advise on control strategies for noise, HAV and the thermal environment.
Exposure to noise in the workplace can cause noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). Hearing damage can be caused by regular exposure to prolonged loud noise over the working day or a single extremely loud impulsive noise event.
Exposure to vibration via the hand can cause a series of permanent (but preventable) conditions which damage the nerves, blood vessels or joints of the hand, wrist and arm. These conditions are known as Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). HAVS is associated with the regular use of hand-held tools that produce significant vibration exposure.
The thermal environment is typically characterised by exposure to either extreme hot or cold environments. Heat stress is the name given to a range of medical conditions associated with exposure to hot environments. However, in addition to the heat strain imposed by the working environment (actually a combination of the radiant and air temperature, relative humidity and air velocity) heat stress is normally influenced by contributing factors such as the level of physical exertion and the degree of clothing worn (such as personal protective clothing). Gully Howard Technical’s occupational hygienists can measure heat strain in the workplace and also thermal comfort levels.
In addition, to these consultancy services Gully Howard Technical provides a wide range of professional occupational hygiene training courses. This includes all the IOHA international occupational hygiene training modules and BOHS proficiency modules.
Occupational Hygiene Bookings
For further information about any of the Occupational Hygiene services that we provide, please contact us at: Enquiries@ghtechnical.com / 023 9272 8040.