G2 Provides Industrial Hygiene Services for Medical Supply Manufacturer
Taking employee safety and regulatory standards seriously, a medical supply manufacturing facility outside of Chicago, IL, brought in G2 Consultants to assess occupational exposures to total and respirable dust in multiple areas of the facility.
DUST ZONES: EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT
The manufacturing company mainly produces medical products relating to incontinence management. As such, many of the products contain polyester, which employees are required to handle and process. Currently, no regulatory or recommended occupational exposure limits are established for polyester. However, the production of these products does create airborne dust, which can be measured against regulatory standards. Therefore, with their employees’ safety in mind, our client asked G2 for industrial hygiene services and recommendations to satisfy internal safety and health metrics as well as OSHA compliance.
IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE ON WORKPLACE SAFETY
Ensuring compliance with OSHA and other regulatory standards can be confusing and complicated for companies to sort out independently. That’s where G2 comes in. Not only can we help businesses navigate compliance requirements, but we provide testing services and recommendations if standards are not met. And, in cases like this, where exposure limits for specific contaminants—such as polyester—don’t yet exist, G2 is your reliable expert for employee safety. Consistent industrial hygiene assessments help companies be sure they are covering all of their bases—both regulatorily and as responsible employers.
TOTAL & RESPIRABLE DUST ASSESSMENT & RECOMMENDATIONS
In the facility, there were two production areas of concern for employee dust exposure. Over the course of one business day, G2 Consultants conducted assessments on eight employees, six working in Area 1, and two Area 2 technicians. At the start of the assessment, the industrial hygienist did a visual inspection of the workspaces, which were observed to be clean with no noticeable dust.
Four of the eight employees were monitored for respirable dust levels—three from Area 1 and one from Area 2. Personal air sampling devices were placed in the employees’ breathing zones to monitor personal exposures. All four employees were observed to have respirable dust exposure well below the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 15mg/m3 and the recommended threshold established by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) of 10mg/m3.
The other four employees were monitored for total dust exposure via personal sampling methods. Two operators in Area 1 workstations were observed to have total dust exposure over the OSHA PEL and the ACGIH threshold at 20.88 and 32.54 mg/m3, respectively. The other two employees monitored—one Area 1 line operator and one Area 2 technician—had exposures below the limits.
Based on the findings, G2 Consultants made several recommendations:
- Conduct exposure monitoring if processes, equipment, or production changes that may increase employees’ exposures to hazardous air contaminants.
- Perform additional observational work to determine if the polyester handling process can be modified, with the purpose of increasing the distance between the product and employees’ breathing zones.
- The use of respiratory protection should be instituted and maintained until exposures are reduced to below the PEL for total dust. The company must develop a written program for employees describing the concerns and protection aims.
- Review the results of this evaluation with employees included in the assessment.
G2 CONSULTANTS INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE SERVICES
Recommendations in hand, our customer now has a plan of action toward improving employee safety and limiting future exposure. G2 Consultants’ industrial hygienists are professionally trained and experienced in anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and developing controls for dust exposure. We have a nationwide reputation for creating customized approaches to protect workplace safety and compliance through this exact approach.
Contact us today for your industrial hygiene service needs. Our team, composed of credentialed professionals with extensive experience, can provide the tools, assessment services, and expertise you need to keep your employees, customers, and workplaces safe.