Occupational Hygiene consulting provides information to employers and employees to allow informed decision-making regarding exposure to physical and chemical hazardous agents in the workplace. In SA and the UK, these services are referred to as Occupational Hygiene; in the USA it is referred to as Industrial Hygiene.
It is the legal responsibility of every person conducting a business or undertaking to ensure that exposure to occupational hazards in the workplace do not exceed occupational exposure standards and are as low as reasonably practicable. This is outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, no 85 of 1993 and its regulations as updated. Short is OHS Act 85 of 1993.
The scope of Occupational Hygiene outlines how the hazards that an employer / worker are exposed to, can be addressed in the workplace, the interpretation of technical data, conducting of research, and assist in the development of guidelines and procedures that support workplace health and wellness.
OCCUFIT Occupational Hygiene Inspection Body (OHIB) was awarded Approved Inspection Authority (AIA) status by the Department of Employment and Labour in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No 85 of 1993 and is a SANAS approved OH AIA (OH0237 – SANS 17020).
The AIA status for OccuFit (Pty) Ltd covers the following services: Chemical factors such as Hazardous Chemical Agents (including Lead & Asbestos) and Physical Factors such as Noise. In addition, we also perform non-SANAS accredited services such as Illumination, Ventilation, Ergonomics, and Electro Magnetic Frequency (non-ionising EMF) monitoring amongst others.
1. Risk assessments (HIRA)
2. Occupational Hygiene Surveys
To address occupational hygiene issues in a consistent manner, a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA), also known as a Risk Assessment or Health risk assessment, is performed.
A Hazard Assessment specifies the employee / worker’s work activities, the exposures to hazards, their responsibilities and the procedures. The occupational hygiene process is initiated when a chemical, biological, or physical hazard is identified on this hazard assessment. Following the risk assessment process, a formal method of measurement is performed by means of an Exposure Assessment.
Surveys / Exposures assessments
Surveys / Exposure assessments are implemented as a Sampling Strategy following the identification of the elevated risk exposures identified at the time of HIRA assessment. The survey will be used to determine what action is required to quantitatively determine employer / worker exposure. A quantitative evaluation of exposure will require some degree of monitoring. Chemical and physical stressors can be measured, and a value compared against the relevant legal required standard. The survey provides information to make recommendations against and improvements in line with the hierarchy of controls.
All assessments and surveys are required to be repeated at least every 24 months in most instances or when any changes are made to the work environment, via regulations in the OHS Act 85 of 1993.