Industrial hygiene is the science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling workplace conditions that may cause workers’ injury or illness. Industrial hygienists use environmental monitoring and analytical methods to detect the extent of worker exposure and employ engineering, work practice controls and other methods to control potential health hazards.

Common IH Topics

Thermal stress

Thermal stress includes both heat and cold [...]

Respiratory Protection

When chemical or biological agents are being [...]

Lead

Lead is a common element found throughout [...]

Reproductive Hazards

Dealing with reproductive hazards in the [...]

Formaldehyde

A common chemical used in many labs as a preservative and disinfectant. Also a strong irritant, skin sensitizer, and potential carcinogen. [...]

Carcinogens

Carcinogens are hazardous chemical substances that cause [...]

Benzene

This chemical is used in many organic [...]

Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material. [...]

Chemical Exposure Assessment

Chemical exposure assessment is a term used to describe a means of measuring an individual’s exposure to airborne vapors, fumes or particles of hazardous chemicals. An individual exposure assessment is used to determine the concentration, duration and extent of human exposure to hazardous chemicals in the workplace. It involves the use of both direct reading and personal measurement instruments.

The assessment also includes providing engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment recommendations that will reduce overall exposure to the hazardous chemicals.

The EH&S Office has direct reading and personal measurement instruments that are used to assess the concentration of hazardous chemicals that individuals may be exposed to.

The EH&S Office has direct reading and personal measurement instruments that are used to assess the concentration of hazardous chemicals that individuals may be exposed to.

In addition to determining exposure information to individuals, we can also provide training on particular chemical hazards and make recommendations on ways to reduce overall exposures.

Ergonomics/Office Safety

Ergonomics is a multi-disciplinary science and practice of designing jobs, workplaces and equipment to match the capabilities and limitations of the human body. Ergonomics is “fitting the job to the worker.”

Ergonomics is “fitting the job to the worker.”

The objective is to design each job in such a way as to eliminate all musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Work-related MDSs result when there is a mismatch between the physical capacity of a worker and the demands of a job. Each year, thousands of workers in the United States report work-related MSDs, such as tendinitis, epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries. Many of these are caused or aggravated by work-related stressors, such as lifting, reaching, pulling, pushing and bending.

The EH&S Office’s ergonomic program consists of training and on-site work area evaluations to determine how well a person is matched with his or her working environment. During the training and on-site evaluation, recommendations can be made regarding proper postures, appropriate equipment and placement of equipment.

Hearing Conservation

Noise (or unwanted sound) is a part of many workplaces. As noise levels increase above 80 decibels, the intensity increases to a point where prolonged exposure may be hazardous. Approximately 30 million people in the U.S. are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise.

There are various ways to reduce occupational exposure. Engineering controls (such as enclosing the noise source with sound-absorbing material), work practice controls (like using a rubber mallet instead of a steel hammer on a job), and personal protective equipment (such as ear plugs and muffs) are all ways to reduce noise levels where you work.

The EH&S Office is available to evaluate noise levels in employees’ work areas and provide guidance to reduce your noise exposure where hazardous levels are measured.

The EH&S Office is available to evaluate noise levels in employees’ work areas and provide guidance to reduce your noise exposure where hazardous levels are measured.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Over the past decade, there has been an increased concern with Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in both the environmental health and safety fields as well as with the general public.

Indoor air quality refers to the quality of air within public buildings and private homes. Poor IAQ or “sick building syndrome” are terms used whenever the occupants of these areas experience adverse health effects that subside upon leaving the building.

Poor IAQ or “sick building syndrome” are terms used whenever the occupants of these areas experience adverse health effects that subside upon leaving the building.

The symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, itching burning eyes, skin irritation, nasal congestion, throat irritation and nausea.

Many types of indoor pollutants have been implicated as the sources of IAQ problems, including: airborne dust, bio-aerosols, carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), environmental tobacco smoke, formaldehyde, ozone (O3), radon and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other environmental factors, such as ambient temperature, relative humidity, noise and ventilation also contribute to the quality and comfort of employees’ work environment.

The EH&S Office is equipped with personnel and equipment to evaluate and help correct IAQ concerns.

For further information, please contact:

Rachel Curry

Safety/Industrial Hygienist
435-797-7423
rachel.curry@usu.edu