Technology factory workers

Industrial Hygiene Program for a Global Water Technology Provider

Challenge  

The client, a leading global water technology provider, has an active 350,000 square foot manufacturing facility in New York state. The plant manufactures and assembles various types and sizes of submersible pumps. Over the past several months, the facility had been conducted lean manufacturing events and reconfigured the equipment and operations in many areas of the plant. Due to these changes, the company wanted to conduct a comprehensive industrial hygiene program to document existing conditions following changes in equipment location.  

The client’s objective was to ensure that employees were adequately protected from occupational noise and indoor air contaminants generated during the manufacturing processes.     

Solution  

Antea Group was selected to conduct two industrial hygiene programs, including a noise monitoring survey and indoor air quality exposure assessment.

The noise monitoring survey included conducting sound level readings, personal noise monitoring, and developing a report that included a facility map delineating sound levels throughout the facility. Antea Group conducted a comprehensive site walk of the facility to map out the noise levels at various locations throughout the plant using a sound level meter. Following the noise survey, personal noise monitoring was conducted based on the results of the area sound level readings.

Antea Group identified the areas where employees had the highest potential for noise exposure and these employees were monitored using a noise dosimeter to collect noise levels that employees were exposed to during their entire work shift. Several classifications of employees were monitored including maintenance, assemblers, forklift operators, machine operators, and punch press operators. A report was developed summarizing the data collected and making recommendations for hearing conservation program requirements such as employee training, PPE, signage, and audiometric testing based on OSHA hearing conservation standards. The report included a color coded facility map indicating the sound level readings within the plant based on OSHA Action Level and Permissible Exposure Level criteria.

The indoor air quality exposure assessment was conducted within several production areas of the plant including the paint booth, paint line, and welding operations. The work included a comprehensive data gathering task including reviewing operational parameters and Material Safety Data Sheets, reviewing previous exposure assessment reports and monitoring data, and collecting personal air monitoring data to assess potential worker exposures and confirm the adequacy of engineering and administrative controls and personal protective equipment currently in place. Antea Group prepared a report summarizing the sampling and measurement details and comparing with applicable OSHA and/or ACGIH permissible exposure levels. 

Result  

As a result of implementing a detailed industrial hygiene program, the client was able to confirm the areas where hearing protection is required within the facility and confirm that the equipment relocations and existing operations do not create indoor air quality concentrations above regulatory requirements.