OEHC in Action
A small manufacturer of plastic products requested that the OEHC evaluate its production process and conduct a worker education program. The company was in danger of losing its workers' compensation insurance coverage due to a high rate of back injuries and other repetitive strain injuries. We conducted a site evaluation and made recommendations, which included job sharing (training two people for each job), adding leaning/standing stools for assembly line workers and implementing simple ergonomic changes to production machinery. Workers were also given training to help identify early onset of ergonomic problems and learn how to perform stretching and stress-relieving exercises, as well as respond to symptoms of common repetitive strain injuries. After implementing our recommendations, the company found that their injuries decreased and their workers' compensation cases were significantly reduced.
Industrial hygiene is the science of protecting workers' health through the control of the work environment. The Occupational & Environmental Health Center has a certified industrial hygienist on staff with many years of practical "real life" experience.
Hygiene Services focus on:
- Workplace ergonomics
- Evaluation of toxic effects of chemicals
- Evaluation of effects of physical agents noise, heat, cold, vibration
Industrial Hygienist, through a site visit, can:
- Identify health and safety problems in the workplace
- Do worksite sampling for exposure levels of lead, asbestos, silica, air contaminants and physical agents
- Develop and /or recommend corrective measures to eliminate hazards and prevent future problems
- Assist in developing mandated health and safety programs
- Consult on design of engineering controls and work practices
- Interpret material safety data sheets (MSDS)
See also: Industrial Hygiene Workshops