Real-Time Root Causes Assessment
INSIGHT INTO REAL-TIME ROOT CAUSES ASSESSMENT SERVICES
Full-shift exposure sampling (typically using pumps and filter media, see picture at left) is the choice method in establishing compliance with OSHA regulations. Such samples produce a single 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA, see example results below) that is directly comparable to OSHA PELs and Action Levels, which are often full-shift limits.
TWA sampling is of much less use in engineering applications, where companies wish to implement controls that will be effective in reducing exposures. Process changes, elimination/substitution, ventilation, and worker practice modifications are all potentially costly endeavors, and it is highly recommended that companies proceed with care.
Advantages of Real-time Monitoring
An excellent example of the value in real-time monitoring is the differentiating source concentrations from fugitive concentrations. TWA sampling is weak in determining how much the background air impacts employee concentrations.
Source Concentrations – Often short duration, elevated concentration, related to employee activities
Fugitive Concentrations – Often extended duration, lower concentrations, independent of employee activities
The strategy of controlling these concentrations can differ significantly. Real-time monitoring excels at determining both background concentrations and source exposures from employee activities. Concentrations can often be composed of both source concentrations (typically high concentrations for a short duration, related to the activities of the employee).
Instead of one number, real-time monitoring methods can create thousands of measurements, all potentially linked to worker/facility activities through observations, activity logs, production data, and even video/audio recordings.
The collected data can be statistically evaluated in a number of ways to determine correlations that can be targeted for controls. Below are several examples of the root causes that are commonly observed in industrial environments.
An Advanced Method to Determine Root Causes of Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica in Foundries, E. Pylkas, B. Scholz, American Foundry Society 118th Metalcasting Congress
Real-Time Monitoring for Silica Exposure Analysis, E. Pylkas, B. Scholz, Modern Casting January 2018
Insight IH Consulting has extensive knowledge in performing real-time monitoring. Eric Pylkas is a published (and award-winning, as our work received a Best Paper award from the American Foundry Society) author on the topic.
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