Bringing quality to our qualitative assessments – the microfogger
EEUK’s Occupational Hygiene Technical Manager, Mary Cameron, takes us through how an investigation into employees’ exposures to airborne hazardous substances should be carried out.
Mary says: “Start by applying the strategy under HSE’s HSG173 ‘’Monitoring strategies for toxic substances’’. You may start with an initial appraisal, then leading into a basic survey, and then a more detailed survey if needed.
If a survey is required and personal exposure monitoring is deemed necessary (under COSHH Regulation 10 guidance and your risk assessment), then we would attend site to undertake an occupational exposure assessment which involves monitoring the worker’s exposure to airborne hazardous substances with personal sampling devices.
This data is carefully analysed to judge if compliance to the workplace exposure limit has been achieved. (N.b. WEL compliance may be one reason for undertaking personal exposure monitoring as well as to aid the health risk assessment, help towards the design of exposure control measures, checking the effectiveness of control measures in place, understanding patterns of exposure, etc).
But this personal monitoring, which gives us a quantitative result, forms just one part of our assessment. We also undertake thorough observations of the processes, controls, and working practices in place.
We use several specialist tools to help gather our qualitative data. One such tool is a smoke generator or a ‘microfogger’. The smoke produced (from a glycerine-based fluid) can illustrate the movement of air under the influence of draughts, general and local exhaust ventilation systems, and show what the effects are. This simple qualitative test helps us decide whether there may be a risk to the health of your employees.”
Find out more about our air monitoring and other services https://eeukltd.com/occupational-hygiene/