Occupational hygiene applies the disciplines of engineering and science to measure and assess levels of worker exposure to environmental and workplace hazards such as temperature, noise, dusts, fumes, vapours, chemicals and substances such as asbestos, lead, crystalline silica and solvents.
Hazards that are identified and controlled through occupational hygiene interventions, can be found across all industries from ozone and chemicals in printing operations to diesel particulate exposure to chemicals exposure in manufacturing or processing industries.
The main objective is to design and implement appropriate control strategies, to prevent ill-health caused by the working environment. It helps employers and workers understand the risks and required controls and promotes improved working conditions and working practices. The fundamental goal is to protect and promote the health and well-being of workers as well as protecting the general environment, through preventive actions and controls in the workplace.
The classical steps in occupational hygiene practice are:
- the recognition of the possible health hazards in the work environment;
- the evaluation of hazards, which is the process of assessing exposure and reaching conclusions as to the level of risk to human health;
- prevention and control of hazards, which is the process of developing and implementing strategies to eliminate or reduce to acceptable levels, the occurrence of harmful agents and factors in the workplace, while also accounting for environmental protection; and
- Monitoring the effectiveness of the controls that are in place.
The importance of anticipating and preventing hazards through the application of occupational hygiene principles cannot be overemphasised and Safety Management Solutions can assist you through this process.
Call us today to discuss how we can help you manage your environmental and workplace hazards.