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Page Title: Industrial Hygiene Terminology
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attributed to certain occupations since the fourth century B.C. The occupational health effects of mining toxic metals, such as lead and mercury, were studied and well documented in 1473. Then in the early 20th century, the U.S.  Public  Health  Service  and  U.S.  Bureau  of  Mines conducted  the  first  detailed  federal  studies  on  worker health.  This  concern  for  worker  health  and  safety progressed slowly until 1970, when Congress passed the Occupational  Safety  and  Health  Act  (OSHA).  Industrial hygiene, as a profession, has been around for several hundred  years,  but  didn’t  become  a  specialty  within  the Navy until the 1940s. Industrial hygiene is both a science and an art; it concerns   the   total   realm   of   control   of   the   work environment.  This  realm  of  control  includes  recognition and detailed evaluation of workplace environmental factors that may cause illness, lack of well being, or discomfort among workers. Using this information, the industrial hygienist formulates recommendations to alleviate  safety  and  health  problems. When  speaking  of  the  work  environment,  we include  the  following  factors: Lighting Ventilation Air  contaminants Facility  design Physical  stressors  (heat,  humidity,  vibration, noise,  radiation) Safety hazards (flying chips, turning shafts, saw blades) INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE SURVEYS An industrial hygiene survey involves inspecting every  workplace  at  the  facility  or  ship,  from  the overhead to the deck. Inspectors observe work processes and document all potential hazards. To quantify these hazards, inspectors take readings with meters and other types of equipment. They also collect air samples for laboratory analysis (fig. 5-1). They measure noise with a sound level meter. They use small air pumps to collect dust,  vapors,  or  gases  to  determine  exact  exposure levels.  These  exposure  levels  help  determine  the  hazard to workers and what controls are required. Controls are then tailored to the facility or workplace to eliminate or lessen the hazard. These controls generally fall into three  categories: Engineering  controls  (design)  and  substitution Administrative  controls  (e.g.,  stay  times) Use  of  personal  protective  equipment  (PPE) An industrial hygiene officer, civilian industrial hygienist,  or  industrial  hygiene  technician  conducts  the survey.  Medical  clinics,  environmental  and  preventive medicine  units,  destroyer  tenders,  and  submarine tenders  provide  industrial  hygiene  support. INDUSTRIAL  HYGIENE  TERMINOLOGY The following are some of the units and terms you will see on workplace monitoring and industrial hygiene survey  reports: Action  level–Unless  otherwise  specified  in  a NAVOSH  standard,  one-half  the  relevant permissible exposure level (PEL) or threshold limit value (TLV). Ceiling   limit   (C)–The   maximum   hazard exposure   concentration   level,   expressed   as TLV(C), at which a person may work. Concentration–The  quantity  of  a  substance  per unit volume (in appropriate units). The following are  examples  of  concentration  units: mg/m3–milligrams  per  cubic  meter  for vapors, gases, fumes, or dusts. ppm–parts per million for vapors or gases. fibers/cc–fibers per cubic centimeter for asbestos. Decibel  (dB)–A  unit  used  to  express  sound pressure   levels;   specifically,   20   times   the logarithm of the ratio of the measured sound pressure to a reference quantity of 20 micro- pascals  (0.0002  microbars).  In  hearing  testing, the unit used to express hearing threshold levels as  referred  to  audiometric  zero. Permissible exposure limit (PEL)–The legally established  time-weighted  average  (TWA) concentration  or  ceiling  concentration  of  a contaminant  or  the  exposure  level  of  a  hamlful physical  agent  that  must  not  be  exceeded. Short-term  exposure  level  (STEL)–The  con- centration  to  which  workers  can  be  exposed continuously  for  a  short  time  without  suffering from (1) irritation, (2) chronic or irreversible tissue damage, or (3) narcosis. 5-3

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