Employee health and area exposure monitoring may be required for a particular laboratory or process. Requirements for exposure monitoring in each laboratory will be determined by the Chemical Hygiene Officer in conjunction with the Department of Human Resources based on the following:
A. Permissible Exposure Limits and Action Levels
- For laboratory uses of OSHA regulated substances, supervisors must ensure that employee exposures do not exceed the Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL's) specified in 29 CFR 1910, subpart Z. The PEL's represent time weighted averages in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams of substance per cubic meter of air (mg/m3).
- Action levels indicate the level of a substance which requires medical surveillance or monitoring. Action levels are generally set at one half of the PEL; the intent is to identify a level at which the vast majority of randomly sampled exposures will be below the PEL.
B. Initial and Periodic Monitoring
Laboratory supervisors must contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer to initiate employee monitoring under the following circumstances:
- Initial monitoring shall be performed if there is reason to believe employee exposure levels routinely exceed the action level or PEL.
- If the initial monitoring discloses individual exposure over the action level or PEL, additional monitoring at appropriate time intervals will be conducted.
C. Employee Notification
Within 15 days after the receipt of any monitoring results, the Department of Human Resources will notify the individual of monitoring results in writing either individually or by posting results in an appropriate location that is accessible to affected individuals. Interpretation of monitoring results shall be provided to the individual as part of the notification process.
D. Medical Consultations and Examinations
The College shall provide all individuals who work with hazardous chemicals an opportunity to receive medical attention, including any follow-up examinations which the examining physician determines to be necessary, under the following circumstances:
- Whenever an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical to which the employee may have been exposed in the laboratory;
- Where exposure monitoring reveals an exposure level routinely above the action level or the PEL for an OSHA regulated substance; or
- Whenever an event takes place in the laboratory such as a spill, leak, explosion or other occurrence resulting in the likelihood of a hazardous exposure.
The employee will be provided an opportunity for medical consultation for the purpose of determining the need for medical examination. Medical consultations and examinations shall be provided under the direct supervision of a licensed physician, without cost to the employee, without loss of pay, and at a reasonable time and place.
E. Physician's written Opinion
For examination or consultation required under this section, the Department of Human Resources shall obtain a written opinion from the examining physician that includes:
- Any recommendation for further medical testing;
- The results of the medical examination and any associated tests;
- Any medical condition which may be revealed in the course of the examination which may place the employee at increased risk as a result of exposure to a hazardous workplace; and
- A statement that the employee has been informed, by the physician, of the results of the consultation or examination and any medical condition that may require further examination or treatment.