Industrial Hygiene Blog
Benzene: A Sweet Smelling Hazard

Benzene: A Sweet Smelling Hazard

Evaporating quickly and heavier than air, benzene is a colorless sweet-smelling liquid found naturally and in a variety of manufactured products. From volcanoes to cigarette smoke, this aromatic hydrocarbon is ranked in the top 20 chemicals for production volume in the United States. Everyday exposures to benzene can occur in the workplace, the environment and in the home. Products like detergent, lubricants and synthetic fibers can be manufactured using benzene and its derivatives.

Ergonomics: Connecting the Human Body and Workplace Environment

Ergonomics: Connecting the Human Body and Workplace Environment

In recent years, the buzz word “ergonomics” has gained some much-deserved attention.  Many have heard the term, yet do not have a full appreciation of its historical importance or significance in today’s workplace.  The concept of ergonomics has Greek origins, with Ergon meaning “work” and Nomos meaning “law”.  It is notable that the principles of ergonomics have been around for centuries, while the emergence of large-scale manufacturing during The Industrial Revolution fueled its foundation.  The term “ergonomics” was initially coined in 1857, recognizing the relationship of the human body to work productivity. 

Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids: A Program for Safer and Healthier Schools

Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids: A Program for Safer and Healthier Schools

Schools are meant to be safe havens for children, fostering an environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive. However, in North Carolina and across the United States, there’s an alarming issue that threatens the safety of students and staff alike: lead-based paint and asbestos in schools. These hidden dangers, if not addressed promptly and effectively, can have severe health consequences. In this blog, we will explore the presence of lead-based paint and asbestos in North Carolina schools, the risks they pose and the steps being taken to mitigate these hazards.

Selecting the Optimal EHS Software Platform for Your Operation

Selecting the Optimal EHS Software Platform for Your Operation

Fortune 1000 manufacturing firms are increasingly turning to EHS software to better manage and maintain their environmental, health, and safety compliance obligations. The primary purpose of EHS software is to support day-to-day strategic activities related to compliance management, incident management, employee training, hazard recognition, and risk analysis.

The Benefits of Qualitative Industrial Hygiene Risk Assessments in the Manufacturing World

The Benefits of Qualitative Industrial Hygiene Risk Assessments in the Manufacturing World

Qualitative industrial hygiene risk assessments are valuable tools to streamline and manage resources in your EH&S Department as those resources continue to be increasingly strained. There are many benefits of qualitative industrial hygiene risk assessments as they contribute to the overall health and well-being of your workforce. By identifying hazards, preventing illnesses and injuries, ensuring compliance, enhancing productivity and morale, and promoting continuous improvement, these assessments serve as the foundation for a robust health and safety program, safeguarding both employees and the organization as a whole in the manufacturing world.

Why Companies Have Not Done a Dust Hazard Analysis

Why Companies Have Not Done a Dust Hazard Analysis

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program on January 27, 2023. Any combustible material can burn rapidly when in a finely divided form. If such a dust is suspended in air in the right concentration, under certain conditions, it can become explosible. The purpose of the revised emphasis program is to continue OSHA inspections of facilities that generate or handle combustible dusts likely to cause fire, flash fire, deflagration and explosion hazards.

The Intersection of Industrial Hygiene and Diversity and Inclusion: Creating a Safe and Inclusive Workplace for All

The Intersection of Industrial Hygiene and Diversity and Inclusion: Creating a Safe and Inclusive Workplace for All

Industrial hygiene and diversity and inclusion are two important concepts that play a significant role in creating a safe and inclusive workplace environment. Industrial hygiene refers to the science of identifying, assessing and controlling workplace hazards that could cause illness, injury or damage to the health of employees. Diversity and inclusion, on the other hand, refers to creating a workplace culture that is accepting, respectful and supportive of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Preventing Back Injuries in the Workplace

Preventing Back Injuries in the Workplace

Occupational back injuries account for greater than one million injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Such injuries can result in lost time, reduced productivity, increased demands on other workers, costs for medical treatment and insurance premiums and adverse effects on the quality of life for the person affected. Because of this alarming number of back injuries and the detrimental effects for both the employee and employer, prevention is key, along with awareness of the causes and solutions. 

The Heat is Coming: Preparing for Inevitable Heat Stress

The Heat is Coming: Preparing for Inevitable Heat Stress

Even though it is a New Year and we are in the middle of winter, there is no time like the present to prepare for the inevitable hotter months to come, as well as potential heat-related illnesses that impact your workforce.  Many of you may be unaware that last April, OSHA added Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards to its National Emphasis Program (NEP). This pioneering effort reinforces OSHA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking issued in October 2021 which marks the development of a standard that protects indoor and outdoor workers from hazardous heat. While most of us remain bundled up in our winter coats, employers can start acting now to ensure controls are in place for employees during the summer heat as well as remain prepared for OSHA heat-related inspections.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) (October 23-29, 2022)

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) (October 23-29, 2022)

The focus of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is to increase awareness on ways to reduce childhood exposure and prevent lead poisoning by highlighting ways parents can reduce lead exposure in their child’s environment.  Even very low levels of lead in children’s blood are linked to adverse effects on intellect, concentration, and academic achievement.  While the United States has made substantial progress reducing lead exposure over the last 40 years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other Federal partners are committed to addressing on-going lead exposure and its health impacts on communities across the United States. 

Hurricane Season is Upon Us: Are You Prepared?

Hurricane Season is Upon Us: Are You Prepared?

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, extends from the first of June to the end of November; however, tropical cyclone activity can occur before and after these months.  According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September 10, with most activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October.

Why Asbestos is Still an Issue in 2022

Why Asbestos is Still an Issue in 2022

While asbestos has been regulated since 1971 by OSHA and since 1976 by the EPA under 1) the Toxic Substances Control Act and since 1973 under 2) NESHAPs (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants), asbestos remains a concern today.  Why?  I’ll explain, but first let’s define what is asbestos.  Many think asbestos is man-made.  However, it is actually a name given to a group of six naturally-occurring minerals that are mined from the Earth. 

Laboratory Safety Starts with Developing a Chemical Hygiene Plan

Laboratory Safety Starts with Developing a Chemical Hygiene Plan

Chemicals, whether natural or synthetic, play an important role in our daily lives and are largely unavoidable for personal use and in the workplace. With all the information and protections we have in place to mitigate chemical exposure, you might be shocked to learn that most of the 80,000+ chemicals currently used in the United States have not been adequately tested for their human health effects. Laboratory employees are particularly vulnerable to hazardous chemical exposure through their daily operations. Exposure to hazardous chemical substances in laboratories and the lack of appropriate control measures can lead to catastrophic events, precipitating serious injuries and even fatalities, thereby underscoring the importance of chemical safety on the employer and user end.

As Summer Heats Up Protect Your Workers From Heat Stress

As Summer Heats Up Protect Your Workers From Heat Stress

Across the country this week, temperatures are forecasted to reach record highs in many areas. Heat stress may be thought of as a summertime safety issue; however, it is present indoors year-round due to environmental ambient conditions caused by heat sources from process equipment in certain industries.

What the EPA’s Newly Released Clean Air in Buildings Challenge Means for Indoor Air Quality

What the EPA’s Newly Released Clean Air in Buildings Challenge Means for Indoor Air Quality

With the onset of pollen season, what better time to discuss indoor air quality? As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality, specifically as it relates to the health and comfort of occupants, within and around buildings and structures. COVID-19 has increased the population’s general awareness and importance of IAQ as well as the transmission of infectious diseases. The EPA recently released a Clean Air in Buildings Challenge as part of the Federal government’s new IAQ initiative, which happens to also be a facet of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

January is all about Radon Awareness and Action

January is all about Radon Awareness and Action

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Radon Awareness Week is this week (January 24-28, 2022). Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless, tasteless and radioactive gas, which when trapped in homes and buildings can build up causing occupant exposure. Prolonged exposure to elevated radon concentrations causes an increased risk of lung cancer.

The End of Leaded Gasoline

The End of Leaded Gasoline

The era of leaded gasoline has finally come to an end. Yes, you read that correctly. Leaded gasoline is finally no longer being used anywhere on the planet. Environmental activists, government regulators, and people with common sense are happy to see the poisonous additive is no longer used.

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses on the Jobsite this Summer

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses on the Jobsite this Summer

As record heat waves continue to scorch throughout the U.S this summer, it is important to know the dangers and warning signs of heat stress. While temperatures climb during the summer months, the increase risks of heat- related illnesses or HRIs, increase as well. According to a study by the CDC, approximately 90% of heat related deaths occur during the months of May, June, July and August.

RECENT POSTS

Benzene: A Sweet Smelling Hazard

Evaporating quickly and heavier than air, benzene is a colorless sweet-smelling liquid found naturally and in a variety of manufactured products. From volcanoes to cigarette smoke, this aromatic hydrocarbon is ranked in the top 20 chemicals for production volume in the United States. Everyday exposures to benzene can occur in the workplace, the environment and in the home. Products like detergent, lubricants and synthetic fibers can be manufactured using benzene and its derivatives.

read more

Ergonomics: Connecting the Human Body and Workplace Environment

In recent years, the buzz word “ergonomics” has gained some much-deserved attention.  Many have heard the term, yet do not have a full appreciation of its historical importance or significance in today’s workplace.  The concept of ergonomics has Greek origins, with Ergon meaning “work” and Nomos meaning “law”.  It is notable that the principles of ergonomics have been around for centuries, while the emergence of large-scale manufacturing during The Industrial Revolution fueled its foundation.  The term “ergonomics” was initially coined in 1857, recognizing the relationship of the human body to work productivity. 

read more

Clean Classrooms for Carolina Kids: A Program for Safer and Healthier Schools

Schools are meant to be safe havens for children, fostering an environment where they can learn, grow, and thrive. However, in North Carolina and across the United States, there’s an alarming issue that threatens the safety of students and staff alike: lead-based paint and asbestos in schools. These hidden dangers, if not addressed promptly and effectively, can have severe health consequences. In this blog, we will explore the presence of lead-based paint and asbestos in North Carolina schools, the risks they pose and the steps being taken to mitigate these hazards.

read more

Selecting the Optimal EHS Software Platform for Your Operation

Fortune 1000 manufacturing firms are increasingly turning to EHS software to better manage and maintain their environmental, health, and safety compliance obligations. The primary purpose of EHS software is to support day-to-day strategic activities related to compliance management, incident management, employee training, hazard recognition, and risk analysis.

read more

The Benefits of Qualitative Industrial Hygiene Risk Assessments in the Manufacturing World

Qualitative industrial hygiene risk assessments are valuable tools to streamline and manage resources in your EH&S Department as those resources continue to be increasingly strained. There are many benefits of qualitative industrial hygiene risk assessments as they contribute to the overall health and well-being of your workforce. By identifying hazards, preventing illnesses and injuries, ensuring compliance, enhancing productivity and morale, and promoting continuous improvement, these assessments serve as the foundation for a robust health and safety program, safeguarding both employees and the organization as a whole in the manufacturing world.

read more

The Intersection of Industrial Hygiene and Diversity and Inclusion: Creating a Safe and Inclusive Workplace for All

Industrial hygiene and diversity and inclusion are two important concepts that play a significant role in creating a safe and inclusive workplace environment. Industrial hygiene refers to the science of identifying, assessing and controlling workplace hazards that could cause illness, injury or damage to the health of employees. Diversity and inclusion, on the other hand, refers to creating a workplace culture that is accepting, respectful and supportive of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

read more

Preventing Back Injuries in the Workplace

Occupational back injuries account for greater than one million injuries each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Such injuries can result in lost time, reduced productivity, increased demands on other workers, costs for medical treatment and insurance premiums and adverse effects on the quality of life for the person affected. Because of this alarming number of back injuries and the detrimental effects for both the employee and employer, prevention is key, along with awareness of the causes and solutions. 

read more

The Heat is Coming: Preparing for Inevitable Heat Stress

Even though it is a New Year and we are in the middle of winter, there is no time like the present to prepare for the inevitable hotter months to come, as well as potential heat-related illnesses that impact your workforce.  Many of you may be unaware that last April, OSHA added Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards to its National Emphasis Program (NEP). This pioneering effort reinforces OSHA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking issued in October 2021 which marks the development of a standard that protects indoor and outdoor workers from hazardous heat. While most of us remain bundled up in our winter coats, employers can start acting now to ensure controls are in place for employees during the summer heat as well as remain prepared for OSHA heat-related inspections.

read more

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) (October 23-29, 2022)

The focus of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) is to increase awareness on ways to reduce childhood exposure and prevent lead poisoning by highlighting ways parents can reduce lead exposure in their child’s environment.  Even very low levels of lead in children’s blood are linked to adverse effects on intellect, concentration, and academic achievement.  While the United States has made substantial progress reducing lead exposure over the last 40 years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other Federal partners are committed to addressing on-going lead exposure and its health impacts on communities across the United States. 

read more

Why Asbestos is Still an Issue in 2022

While asbestos has been regulated since 1971 by OSHA and since 1976 by the EPA under 1) the Toxic Substances Control Act and since 1973 under 2) NESHAPs (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants), asbestos remains a concern today.  Why?  I’ll explain, but first let’s define what is asbestos.  Many think asbestos is man-made.  However, it is actually a name given to a group of six naturally-occurring minerals that are mined from the Earth. 

read more

Laboratory Safety Starts with Developing a Chemical Hygiene Plan

Chemicals, whether natural or synthetic, play an important role in our daily lives and are largely unavoidable for personal use and in the workplace. With all the information and protections we have in place to mitigate chemical exposure, you might be shocked to learn that most of the 80,000+ chemicals currently used in the United States have not been adequately tested for their human health effects. Laboratory employees are particularly vulnerable to hazardous chemical exposure through their daily operations. Exposure to hazardous chemical substances in laboratories and the lack of appropriate control measures can lead to catastrophic events, precipitating serious injuries and even fatalities, thereby underscoring the importance of chemical safety on the employer and user end.

read more

As Summer Heats Up Protect Your Workers From Heat Stress

Across the country this week, temperatures are forecasted to reach record highs in many areas. Heat stress may be thought of as a summertime safety issue; however, it is present indoors year-round due to environmental ambient conditions caused by heat sources from process equipment in certain industries.

read more

What the EPA’s Newly Released Clean Air in Buildings Challenge Means for Indoor Air Quality

With the onset of pollen season, what better time to discuss indoor air quality? As defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air quality (IAQ) is the air quality, specifically as it relates to the health and comfort of occupants, within and around buildings and structures. COVID-19 has increased the population’s general awareness and importance of IAQ as well as the transmission of infectious diseases. The EPA recently released a Clean Air in Buildings Challenge as part of the Federal government’s new IAQ initiative, which happens to also be a facet of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

read more

January is all about Radon Awareness and Action

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Radon Awareness Week is this week (January 24-28, 2022). Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless, tasteless and radioactive gas, which when trapped in homes and buildings can build up causing occupant exposure. Prolonged exposure to elevated radon concentrations causes an increased risk of lung cancer.

read more

The End of Leaded Gasoline

The era of leaded gasoline has finally come to an end. Yes, you read that correctly. Leaded gasoline is finally no longer being used anywhere on the planet. Environmental activists, government regulators, and people with common sense are happy to see the poisonous additive is no longer used.

read more

Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses on the Jobsite this Summer

As record heat waves continue to scorch throughout the U.S this summer, it is important to know the dangers and warning signs of heat stress. While temperatures climb during the summer months, the increase risks of heat- related illnesses or HRIs, increase as well. According to a study by the CDC, approximately 90% of heat related deaths occur during the months of May, June, July and August.

read more

US EPA Announces New Lead Dust Clearance Level Standards

On January 7, 2021, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its intent to revise the 2001 dust-lead clearance levels (DLCL) for pre-1978 constructed residences and child occupied facilities. The new change in the standards will go into effect in the first quarter of 2021. It has been over two decades since the EPA has made a revision to these standards.

read more