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Designing a Baseline Occupational Health Survey - Case Study Example

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Exposure to silica dust is the main area of concern since free crystalline silica is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust (Nevada Mining Association, 2008). In line with this, the appropriate sampling procedure to carry out is the Respirable Dust Sampling procedure…
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Designing a Baseline Occupational Health Survey
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Baseline Occupational Health Survey Baseline Occupational Health Survey Exposure to silica dust is the main area of concern since free crystalline silica is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust (Nevada Mining Association, 2008). In line with this, the appropriate sampling procedure to carry out is the Respirable Dust Sampling procedure. Silica meets the criteria of qualifying as dust since dust describes airborne solid particles whose size ranges between 0.1 to 25 micrometers (Center for Disease Control, 1977). The procedure will involve the selection of employees to include in the sampling. In order to collect the sampling, the employees will each receive a nylon cyclone tied on their working gear. At this point, the employees will be shown how to use and place the cyclone during sampling.
The sampling will also include the attachment of a personal sampling pump, which is attached on the employee’s belt while the employee’s collar has an assembly of a cassette and cyclone (Nevada Mining Association, 2008). While attaching this assembly, it is crucial to ensure that the assembly was within the employee’s breathing space in order to enhance the success of the sampling. In addition, the employee should ensure that they wore the equipment throughout their shift. Moreover, it is important for the technicians, in the sites where the sampling is occurring, to check on the sample during sampling after every few hours to ensure that the sampling process was successful.
After completing the sampling process, the next step will involve the collection of the sample-train with the recording of sample run-time taking place after the collection. Then, there will be a performance of a post sampling calibration with the removal of the cassette from the cyclone in order to preserve it for use in the future. Following this, the samples will be sent to an IH-Accredited laboratory for analysis. The lab will then proceed to carry out NIOSH 0600 for dust analysis and NIOSH 7500 for silica analysis. It is crucial to carry out these two analyses to compare them to TLV as defined by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The MSHA’s Threshold Limit Value (TLV) determines the amount of silica in the dust and thus defines the exposure levels of the employees (Cash, n.d.).
The content of an Occupation medical surveillance program begins with hazard assessment. The next step will determine the eligibility of the employees in the medical surveillance following the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards since the surveillance involves silica dust, which is a chemical substance (Wedock & Sokas, 2000). After this determination, the next step will involve conducting screening activities through additional testing or physical assessment. Finally, there will be a communication of the results to the employees involved in the surveillance.
For this case study, the most appropriate medical surveillance will be biological monitoring. Wedock and Sokas (2000) defined biological monitoring as the collection of body fluids and tissues to investigate the employee’s exposure to chemical hazards in their place of work. In the case study, the investigation will involve the collection of samples of sputum, urine, blood, and any other body fluid to investigate the exposure of employees to silica.
References
Cash, D. A. (n.d.). Introduction to Operator Air Sampling. Retrieved from
http://www.msha.gov/S&HINFO/OPRSAMP/OPRSAMP.HTM
Center for Disease Control (CDC). 1977. Occupational Exposure Sampling Strategy Manual.
Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/77-173/pdfs/77-173.pdf
Nevada Mining Association. (). Industrial Hygiene Sampling Manual. Retrieved from
http://www.nvmineraleducation.org/ihsampling/documents/IH%20Sampling%20Manual.pdf
Wesdock, J. C., & Sokas, R. K. (2000). Medical Surveillance in Work-Site Safety and Health
Programs. American Family Physician (1)61: 2785-2790. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0501/p2785.html Read More
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