Admin Risk Management offers several resources regarding industrial hygiene, related to indoor air quality (IAQ), noise, heat, and more. Refer to the information and resources below and contact Admin Risk Management if you require an investigation of any industrial hygiene concerns.
Admin Risk Management maintains an inventory of various industrial hygiene monitoring instruments for loan to state agencies. Instruments available include sound level meter, noise dosimeters and various indoor environmental quality monitors. Contact Jim Kubisiak via email or at 651-201-3016 for more information.
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Working in hot environments can lead to disorders ranging from the relatively mild condition of heat fatigue to the very serious condition of heat stroke. The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Workplace Ventilation and Temperature rule, 5205.0110 subpart 2a, addresses workplace exposure to indoor environmental heat conditions. The standard sets permissible exposure limits for environmental heat based on an employee's work activity level and the surrounding environmental conditions. Environmental heat conditions are documented by measuring the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which combines air temperature, radiant heat and humidity level into a single measurement.
Employers must provide right-to-know training to employees when there is a potential that employees will be exposed to heat conditions that may meet or exceed the permissible exposure limits. Some common areas that may constitute hot environments are kitchens, laundries, boiler/mechanical rooms, maintenance shops, steam pipe chases and the outdoors.
Agencies should have monitoring documentation for potential hot environment work areas. Areas at or above the permissible exposure level must be evaluated to determine the feasibility of cooling the environment via engineering controls, and/or employers must establish administrative work procedures to control employee exposure to heat. Administrative procedures would likely include a work-rest regimen.
Below are some useful heat stress resources:
National Institute for Occupational and Safety and Health (NIOSH)
A heat stress meter and sling psychrometer are available for use by state agencies for documenting environmental temperatures. Contact Jim Kubisiak via email or at 651-201-3016 for more information.
OSHA Noise Standard 29 CFR 1910.95 requires a formal hearing conservation program from employers with employees that are exposed to an 8-hour average noise level of 85 decibels (A-weighted) or greater. Click on this link from NIOSH for some common noise levels: General Estimates of Work-Related Noises.
Facility managers are encouraged to identify all tasks involving high noise exposures. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot carry on a normal conversation with someone at a 3-foot distance, the environment is likely loud enough to require hearing protection and possibly require employees working in these conditions to be included in a hearing conservation program.
The components of a hearing conservation program (policy) can be easily identified by using this checklist developed by NIOSH:
Admin Risk Management has for loan a sound level meter for spot noise measurements and two noise dosimeters to determine employee noise dose and average exposure levels that are available for loan. Contact Jim Kubisiak via email or at 651-201-3016 for more information.
A Respiratory Fit Test Kit is available for borrowing from Admin Risk Management. Contact Jim Kubisiak via email or at 651-201-3016 for more information.