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Testing the Levels of Hazardous Chemical Substances in the Workplace Air Supply

By law, employers must minimise employee exposure to hazardous chemical substances in the workplace. Exposure to the skin and ingestion are easy to prevent, and exposure is fairly easy to recognise. Inhalation, however, is not. To ensure that the health and safety of employees is guaranteed, hazardous chemical substance air sampling must be done. With professional air sampling and monitoring, the employee exposure level can be determined.

There are a few factors involved in determining exposure to hazardous chemical substances in the air. These include:

  • Type of contact
  • Length of contact
  • Concentration of the chemicals

When the air is sampled to test for the presence of hazardous chemical substances, the purpose is to see if the chemical content is present, and at what concentration. There are “safe” levels and hazardous levels. If it is determined that the chemical substance concentration in the air is hazardous, a strategy must be set in place to eliminate or minimize the risk, and protect the health of employees and others who have access to the area.

Occupational health and safety regulations require employers to limit employees’ exposure to various hazardous chemicals. For some chemical substances, such as asbestos, lead, and formaldehyde, regular routine monitoring of airborne chemical concentrations is a legal requirement in the workplace.

The Process of Hazardous Chemical Substance Management

What is the next step? How do you ensure that hazardous chemical substance levels in the workplace remain safe for all? Any hazardous chemical substance management and strategy must follow a few simple steps.

  • Identify the hazards. All the chemicals present in the workplace should be identified and listed. The potential exposure hazard level for each chemical must be noted.
  • The method used to monitor will depend on the chemicals present. The physical form of the chemical and the exposure route will determine what monitoring method is used. Screening can be done to decide if a chemical is present or not. Direct reading instruments can be used for monitoring in some cases. If you need a more accurate reading of concentration levels, air sampling must be done, and the results are determined by a lab.
  • Once all risks are decided and hazardous chemical substance levels are determined, a response action must be taken. In most instances, a professional occupational health and safety officer will help with creating an effective management strategy and carry out ongoing assessments to ensure that health and safety regulations are always complied to.

The business should keep detailed records of all assessments carried out and actions taken over the years.

Testing for Hazardous Chemical Substances

If you need professional, accurate, and reliable testing for hazardous chemical substances in the air, you have come to the right place. We recommend that you chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable consultants about your chemical substance testing in the workplace. To discuss the process, as well as your needs and requirements, we warmly welcome you to get in touch with us at IOH Solutions. You can give us a call or send us an email for more information and guidance today.