Integrated OH and IH Project Experience
SOMA has the unique combination of Occupational Health (OH) and Industrial Hygiene (IH) disciplines under one umbrella, which enables us to combine the expertise from both fields to tailor solutions for our clients. Our interdisciplinary team approach brings a unique perspective to each project by combining the real-time exposure sampling data or the exposure findings from a review of historical data, with the medical aspects.
SOMA has been providing integrated IH and OH consulting services to a large-scale aggregates leader with over 300 locations across the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas for the past 19 years. We perform IH services including exposure sampling, primarily for respirable particulates, respirable crystalline silica, noise and diesel particulate matter, interpretation of the laboratory analytical data, presentation of our findings, recommendations for appropriate control actions, and development of exposure models. The extensive sampling database of exposure results is integrated with control measures to evaluate the effectiveness of these control measures and with medical monitoring of the workforce, including pre-placement, fitness-for-duty and periodic evaluations, to assess potential health impacts. The exposure data is reviewed by the OH experts to determine the relation between occupational exposure and employee health issues; specifically during medical case evaluations, when abnormalities are observed in the hearing and respiratory function tests. This assists the OH experts to distinguish between health effects caused by occupational and non-occupational exposures.
SOMA services are also utilized by this client when regulatory agencies have issued citations for employee exposures above the regulatory permissible exposure limit, typically based on single samples. SOMA and the client can access the extensive historical sampling results for the job class of concern at the specific client site, as well as the exposure model developed based on the many years of sampling, to demonstrate if the regulatory agencies results were abnormal or an outlier. Furthermore, the client’s IH program and sampling strategy, developed by SOMA, the medical monitoring program managed by SOMA and the tracking of control measures in response to previous results in the SOMA-developed in-house database can be presented to the regulatory agency to demonstrate that the client followed occupational health best practices at their workplace.