Industrial Hygiene


Industrial hygiene is the science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and controlling workplace conditions that may cause workers' injury or illness. Industrial hygienists and the Industrial Hygiene Program at Emory use environmental monitoring and analytical methods to detect the extent of worker exposure and employ engineering, work practice controls, and other methods to control potential health hazards. 

The Asbestos Program has been established to maintain a safe and health work environment for Emory University students, staff, visitors, and contractors. Asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) will be managed according to applicable federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines. The objectives of the program are:

  • Identification of ACMs
  • Assessment and Hazard Communication
  • Training
  • Proper documentation in university facilities associated with asbestos abatement projects

Guidance

Formaldehyde is used in various mixtures (formaldehyde, formalin, and paraformaldehyde) in clinical laboratories, gross anatomy laboratories, DAR laboratories, and the morgue on Emory's campus. Formaldehyde is a sensitizing agent and a cancer hazard. Emory's Formaldehyde Program was developed to protect Emory University employees, students, and visitors from exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde. The Program includes a written formaldehyde program, labeling, monitoring, and employee training, for any employee exposed to formaldehyde at or above 0.1 ppm.

Guidance

OSHA has estimated that more than 32 million workers are exposed to 650,000 hazardous chemical products in more than 3 million American workplaces each year. Emory's Hazard Communication (HazCom) Program was developed to comply with regulatory standards to ensure chemical safety for Emory University employees, students, and visitors. This program makes sure that information about health and physical hazards associated with chemical use and associated protective measures are disseminated to Emory University employees, students, and visitors. As part of the program, EHSO retains an online database of safety data sheets (SDS), has developed a HazCom program, provides training and labeling information for potentially exposed employees.

Guidance

According to OSHA, elevated noise, is one of the most common health problems in American workplaces. Exposure to high levels of noise may cause hearing loss, create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication, and contribute to accidents and injuries. Emory's Hearing Conservation Program was developed to conserve the hearing of Emory University employees, students, and visitors by focusing on preventing occupational noise-induced hearing loss. The program includes:

  • Monitoring,
  • Audiometric testing,
  • Hearing protection,
  • Employee training, and
  • Recordkeeping for any employee exposed to noise levels at or above 85 dBA.

Guidance

Emory University is committed to the prevention of heat related illnesses and injuries for university employees, students and visitors caused by activities performed in high heat environments. EHSO has developed a heat stress program that includes a written program, identification of high heat areas, signs and symptoms of heat-related conditions, assessments, monitoring and training.

According to the National Weather Service, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. Statistical data indicates that heat causes more fatalities per year than floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined. Based on data from 2000 to 2009, high heat will claim an average of 162 lives each year, compared with 117 for hurricanes, 65 for floods, 62 for tornadoes, and 48 for lightning.

Guidance



Symptoms

The following are common heat disorders with the accompanying symptoms and appropriate first aid measures:

ConditionCauseSign/symptomsFirst Aid

Heat Cramps

  • Loss of salt
  • Heavy Sweating
  • Painful muscle spasms
  • Sudden onset
  • Heavy sweating
  • Increase water intake
  • Massage cramped muscles
  • Rest in shade/cool environment

Heat Syncope

  • Loss of water or salt
  • Low blood pressure causing less blood to the brain
  • Brief fainting
  • Blurred vision
  • Increase water intake
  • Rest in shade/cool environment

Dehydration

  • Loss of body fluids
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced movement
  • Increase water intake
  • Rest in shade/cool environment

Heat Exhaustion

  • Dehydration
  • Pale and clammy skin
  • Possible fainting
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Body temp slightly elevated
  • Lie down in cool environment
  • Increase water intake
  • Loosen clothing
  • Call 911 from campus phone or 404-727-6111 from cell phone if symptoms continue once in a cool environment

Heat Stroke

  • Excessive exposure to hot environments
  • Body's system of temp regulation fails
  • Body temp rises to critical levels
  • Cessation of sweating
  • Skin hot and dry
  • Red face
  • High body temperature
  • Unconsciousness
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion or erratic behavior
  • Life threatening condition
  • Medical Emergency!
  • Call 911 from campus phone or 404-727-6111 from cell phone
  • Loosen clothing
  • Move victim to shade, immerse in water

Working Outside?

Instructions for Use:

  1. Check today's temperature and humidity using the forecasts links below:
  2. Find the chart below that corresponds to your workload (Light, Moderate, Heavy).
  3. Follow today's Temperature and Relative Humidity on the chart below until they meet in one square. The number in that square will be your heat index.
  4. If the temperature or relative humidity is an odd number, round up to the next even number.
  5. Use your Heat Index in the chart to determine your work-rest schedule as indicated below and follow EHSO's recommendations for that work-rest schedule.
  6. Contact  EHSOif you have any questions regarding this site.

Light Outside Work

  • Sitting with light manual work with hands and arms, example, driving a riding lawn mower
  • Standing with some light arm work and occasional walking

Moderate Outside Work

  • Sustained moderate hand and arm work; example using a push lawn mower
  • Moderate arm and leg work; hammering, screwing, etc.
  • Moderate arm and trunk work
  • Light Pushing and pulling
  • Walking; applying pesticides, herbicides, etc.

Heavy Outside Work

  • Intense arm and trunk work; ex. jack hammer
  • Carrying, shoveling
  • Manual sawing
  • Pushing and pulling heavy work

Working Inside?

Locations

The following Areas have elevated heat and are included in the Heat Stress Program. Please take caution and follow the identified recommendations when working in these areas.

Steam Tunnels

  • If you will be in the space for 30 minutes or more, contact EHSO for monitoring prior to entering the space
  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the work period
  • Wear proper PPE, such as cooling vests
  • Implement proper engineering controls, such as the use of cooling fans

Manholes

  • If you will be in the space for 30 minutes or more, contact EHSO for monitoring prior to entering the space
  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the work period
  • Wear proper PPE, such as cooling vests
  • Implement proper engineering controls, such as the use of cooling fans

Whitehead

  • If you will be in the space for 30 minutes or more, contact EHSO for monitoring prior to entering the space
  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the work period
  • Wear proper PPE, such as cooling vests
  • Implement proper engineering controls, such as the use of cooling fans
  • Open doors to cool the area, where possible

Chemistry Building Pit (Emerson Hall)

  • If you will be in the space for 30 minutes or more, contact EHSO for monitoring prior to entering the space
  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the work period
  • Wear proper PPE, such as cooling vests
  • Implement proper engineering controls, such as the use of cooling fans

McTyeire Hall

  • If you will be in the space for 30 minutes or more, contact EHSO for monitoring prior to entering the space
  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the work period
  • Wear proper PPE, such as cooling vests
  • Implement proper engineering controls, such as the use of cooling fans
  • Open doors to cool the area, where possible

Dobbs Hall Mechanical Room

  • If you will be in the space for 30 minutes or more, contact EHSO for monitoring prior to entering the space
  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the work period
  • Wear proper PPE, such as cooling vests
  • Implement proper engineering controls, such as the use of mechanical room fan

Metal Fabrication Shop at Steam Plant

  • If you will be in the space for 30 minutes or more, contact EHSO for monitoring prior to entering the space
  • Drink plenty of cool water throughout the work period
  • Wear proper PPE, such as cooling vests
  • Implement proper engineering controls

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) deals with the content of interior air that could affect the health and comfort of building occupants. Investigation and remediation of IAQ concerns are a joint effort between Campus Services, EHSO, and the person(s) reporting the problem. Most IAQ problems or complaints can be remedied quickly. However, in complex situations (e.g. large areas of fungal growth, multiple causative agents), it may take more time to reach a resolution. In any case, EHSO and Campus Services will make it a point to keep building occupants informed of progress in addressing the situation.

Guidance

The Lead Program has been established to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for Emory University students, staff, visitors, and contractors. Lead materials will be managed according to applicable federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines. The objectives of the program are:

  • Inspection of target housing and child-occupied facilities prior to performing activities that may disturb lead-based paint.
  • Consultation on safe work practices related to construction projects that impact lead-containing materials.
  • Coordination and provision of project oversight on lead paint abatement projects.
  • Provision of waste characterization and disposal for projects occurring in Emory's facilities.

Guidance

A respirator is a device that protects you from inhaling dangerous substances, such as chemicals and infectious particles, and may also protect workers from insufficient oxygen environments. According to OSHA, as estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces across the U.S. Emory's Respiratory Protection Program was developed to protect Emory employees, students, and visitors from exposure to respiratory hazards. The program includes assessment of work areas, procedures for selecting respirators, medical evaluations, respirator fit testing, procedures for evaluation of the program and training on respiratory hazards, respirator use and care. If a respirator is voluntarily worn by an employee if not required by the employer, EHSO must be contacted prior to respirator use.

Guidance

  • Scheduling Fit Testing for Departments or Programs