Industrial hygiene is a type of science that deals with the analysis of a workplace, and an evaluation of the risks, followed by a comprehensive plan to reduce or otherwise manage those risks and hazards. It plays a crucial role in keeping workplaces safe and helping to minimize injury, workers’ compensation claims, and even insurance rates. We’re going to look at why it’s important, some of the biggest benefits, and how a comprehensive plan is created.
Why is Industrial Hygiene Important?
Industrial hygiene is important for many reasons. The biggest reason is that it helps prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace. By identifying and controlling the hazards that are identified and communicated, workers in the area are far less likely to be exposed to potentially dangerous conditions or situations.
Another major reason it’s important is that it helps facilitate regulatory and legal compliance in many cases. Employers are required by state and federal law to provide a safe working environment for their employees, and failing, neglecting, or refusing to do so can open them up to significant legal penalties.
One final reason it is so important is that it helps to increase productivity, while also reducing costs. When potential hazards are identified and communicated, they can be more easily controlled, and when hazards are controlled, workers are less prone to injury or illness from those hazards. This lowers absences and healthcare costs simultaneously.
Principles Of Industrial Hygiene
There are four basic principles of industrial hygiene, and they are:
This is the step of identifying potential hazards before they have a chance to actually occur. Environmental assessment is a big part of this step.
Once hazards are identified, the next step is to recognize them and communicate them to the employees or workers that will be near them.
Evaluation of the hazards helps determine the level of risk they pose. This step can be complex and require extensive testing.
Controlling a hazard can be done in many different ways, depending on the hazard. Commonly these solutions are engineering, administrative, or protective equipment-based.
Common Elements Of An Industrial Hygiene Program
Communication of hazards is essential and can be done in many different ways. Labeling, additional training, and material safety data sheets kept nearby are a good start.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment is a common solution to many different types of workplace hazards. Depending on the workplace and the industry, there may be multiple types of equipment needed. Hearing protection, gloves, eye protection, hard hats, and steel-toed boots are common. Additional specialized clothing to suits may be required for some environments.
Many workplaces will need respiratory protection to control hazards related to the inhalation of chemicals or contaminants. Depending on the industry, this can be as simple as a dust mask, or it may be a full respirator.
Noise Exposure Control
Noise control is an important part of many workplaces and employers that operate any machinery or large buildings like warehouses should be sure hearing protection is implemented for their employees.
Home Bio Testing Can Handle All Your Industrial Hygiene Needs
If you’ve been considering building an industrial hygiene program from the ground up to manage your injury and illness exposure risks, it can seem like a big task, and it really can be in some cases. Whether you have a small business or a large industrial operation, having an experienced professional manage your industrial hygiene needs can take a lot of the work off of your shoulders. Reach out to Home Bio Testing today for more information.