Occupational Monitoring

Ambient occupational exposure air monitoring sampling usually involves active air sampling using a mechanical sampling pump which collects the sample of a filter or sorbent tube. Following laboratory analyses, personal exposure concentrations are calculated & time weighted averages determined to compare against the stated exposure limit values or Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) as detailed in the HSE’s EH40. Exceeding these limit values is a breach of the CoSHH regulations.

Active Sampling

Monitoring is usually carried out with personnel wearing air samplers over long or short term periods (8hrs & 15mins respectively). The most common sampling is carried out for wood dusts, welding fume from mild & stainless steels & diesel fumes. Occupational monitoring is more associated with industrial type environments where concerns relate to more specific parameters which are usually process driven. Occupational monitoring often forms part of LEV Testing. To establish a baseline, determine levels of exposure concentration and or confirm controls are working.

Fixed Position Sampling

Useful for providing information about contamination from fixed sources & assessing effectiveness of control measures, e.g. background sampling outside a partially enclosed spray booth. BUT cannot be used to establish personal exposures or be compared to hygiene standards.

Passive Sampling

No mechanical pumps required. Usually determined by material requiring analysis. Some examples include badges for xylene, fixed metal tubes for Total Volatile Organic Compounds, settle plates.

Grab Sampling

Grab samples allow an easy, quick method of taking an air sample often with instantaneous results however sometimes the results of which should be considered qualitative due to tube inaccuracy & non-specificity. Grab sampling is useful as a cost effective approach for jobs where the contaminant is not readily identifiable.

Bulk Sampling

Taken and analysed for identification purposes. Can be used to show spread of contamination. Not possible to relate the results to airborne concentrations. Notable examples in Click Here.