Workplace Dust Exposure Sampling
It is important that employers assess the exposure of staff to workplace dust. This is a requirement of the COSHH regulations. The HSE monitors employers’ compliance to these regulations including exposure to dust and substances in the ambient air.
Sand and aggregate quarries including associated buildings
This firm is experienced in undertaking dust surveys in workplaces, both indoor and outdoor and with personal workplace exposure sampling. The results of these surveys and sampling can be related to specific workplace exposure limits (WELs).
For dust surveys in workplaces we use hand-held particulate samplers in selected and representative locations to assess the concentrations of either: total inhalable (TSP), thoracic (PM10) or respirable (PM4) dust within working areas. Whilst these surveys are not definitive in terms of COSHH regulations they are useful to identify key ‘dusty’ areas and processes; the location of many such dust sources and ‘dusty’ locations can be investigated during the survey.
For assessing personal exposure in the workplace we fit selected personnel with small sampling pumps with either inhalable or respirable dust inlets and ask them to go about their usual duties in a workplace for a period of typically 4 hours. This method is recommended in the HSE guidance MDHS14/4 and the results of personal sampling can be directly compared with COSHH WELs for dust. The filter papers from personal samplers can also be analysed further for specific contaminants such as Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS).
Workplace dust surveys and personal exposure monitoring are undertaken in both indoor and outdoor environments. Recent surveys have taken us to:-
Waste transfer & recycling sites
Packaging and distribution warehousing
Food and manufacturing plants
Indoor film/theatre sets