The fifth step in the COSHH workplace exposure monitoring process happens once you have ensured all control measures are in place, and procedures have been put in to ensure that controls are used and maintained. We now need to see how effective these controls are. This can be done in two ways, the first of which will be covered in this article.
The first stage is to carry out exposure sampling. In the first instance this should be in the form of a “walkthrough” survey which is qualitative means of establishing if controls are working. This can include inspecting and reviewing personal protective equipment (PPE) to determine if it is suitable and fit for purpose, or carrying out visual tests on extraction systems, such as carrying out a smoke test on an extraction system to determine if there is sufficient uptake.
Should the “walkthrough” survey deem it appropriate, then COSHH Air Sampling should be carried out by a qualified occupational hygienist. Air sampling can take the form of personal sampling (i.e. sampling exposure to the operators) or static (area) sampling (i.e. sampling the area to determine background levels). The personal sampling results can be extrapolated to cover your relevant shift pattern and then compared against the Occupational Exposure Limits (the limits of exposure to stressors which should not be exceeded) listed in EH40/2005 (2nd edition, published 2011) to determine the extent of exposure.
Your occupational hygienist should list recommendations of best practice to reduce stressor levels to as low as reasonably practicable. The levels from the survey and any recommendations should be listed in your COSHH assessments and acted upon.
Where a substance requires a COSHH risk assessment, the following procedure should be followed. We will be going into further detail of each of these steps over the next few months. Below you can find our nine individual COSHH assessment articles:
Understanding – What Is COSHH?
Step 1 – Assess The Risks
Step 2 – Decide What Precautions Are Required
Step 5 – Monitor The Exposure
Step 6 – Carry Out Appropriate Health Surveillance
Step 7 – Prepare A Plan For Accidents and Emergencies
Step 8 – Ensure Employees Are Properly Informed, Trained and Supervised
Envirocare is a leading Occupational Hygiene and Health and Safety services provider with over 20 years of experience throughout the UK.
We offer comprehensive COSHH air monitoring to determine the levels of substances in the workplace and ensure the workplace exposure limits value is not exceeded for the substances you use. We will also provide a detailed report on work practices and findings together with recommendations for remedial action.
Call us on 01274 738668 or fill out our Envirocare Enquiry Form for any queries regarding workplace exposure monitoring, occupational exposure limits, COSHH risk assessments or any of our many other accredited services.