Air Monitoring: Oct 2018 Safety & Hygiene Corner

Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

Industrial Hygiene Air Monitoring “Rule of Thumb”

Question:  Since my air monitoring results were all below the Occupational Exposure Limits, are there any further actions needed to be taken (other than recordkeeping requirements)?

Answer:  Just because air contaminant concentrations are below the current occupational health standards and guidelines, does not always mean they should be ignored. When evaluating the results of an Industrial Hygiene air survey, a general rule of thumb is often used when attempting to determine whether or not an exposure has exceeded an acceptable risk level.  This rule of thumb states that if a measured exposure level exceeds one-half of the value of the lowest current occupational health standard or guideline, an action level has been reached.  When an action level has been reached, it is time to begin investigating engineering, administrative or personal protective equipment measures to prevent workers’ exposures from reaching harmful concentrations.