Exposure to physical hazards in the workplace, like harmful levels of light or noise, can pose a serious risk to your employees and your business.
Omega offers assessment, mitigation, and remediation services for physical risk exposure, as part of our suite of comprehensive industrial hygiene services
Evaluating the potential exposure to physical agents is necessary to mitigate hazards and maintain workplace health and safety.
The type and concentration of the physical agent and the duration of exposure are among the factors that can impact the safety and health of employees, building occupants, and others nearby.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygiene (ACGIH) identify physical hazards as agents within an environment that can cause harm as a result of direct physical contact. Examples include:
- Radiation: including ionizing, nonionizing (EMF’s, microwaves, radiowaves, etc.)
- High exposure to sunlight/ultraviolet
- Temperature extremes – hot and cold
- Constant loud noise
Assessing physical risk exposure includes estimating or measuring the concentration, frequency, and duration of exposure to the agent, as well as its source and pathway.
Types of Physical Risks
A variety of physical risks can compromise employee safety. And depending on the type and concentration of exposure, physical agents can pose a risk of serious or permanent injury. Employers are obligated to control the type and severity of exposure to physical agents to ensure non-hazardous levels.
Common types of physical risks include exposure to extreme temperatures – hot or cold – as well as noise levels. OSHA requires employers to implement a hearing conservation program when noise exposure is at or above 85 decibels averaged over eight working hours.
Additional types of physical risks can include exposure to ultraviolet light, including sunlight, as well as proximity to radiation, lights, lasers, high or low-pressure environments, and more.
To maintain optimal levels of exposure, employers can conduct a physical risk exposure assessment.
Physical Risk Exposure Assessment
Assessing an environment for physical risks can include assessments of safety practices, environmental risks, types, and levels of physical risks, and more.
At Omega Environmental, our team of industry environmental specialists and certified industrial hygienists work closely with you to address concerns of physical risks, as well as chemical and biological risks, and provide recommendations and programs for mitigation and remediation.
Our team closely follows the OSHA regulations to determine the safety of a workplace environment. Our top priority is the health of your employees, building occupants, and others who may encounter potential physical risks.
How to Determine if You Need an Assessment for Physical Agent Exposure
Does your industry regularly expose employees to levels of radiation, noise, heat, or otherwise physically taxing work environments?
An assessment can help you determine the type and severity of the risk, as well as ways to prevent injury. There are a variety of reasons to undertake a physical exposure assessment of your workplace, including:
- A workers’ compensation claim
- Employee reports of injury
- Placement of new employees to a process
- Introduction of a new physical agent or process
- To create a documented record of safety practices