Performance of in depth evaluations of occupational exposure reports was addressed. A case study was presented of a complaint received by OSHA from a former employee of a small hardware store. The intent was to illustrate that qualified industrial hygienists are capable of reviewing complaints and concluding whether or not there is a need to perform in depth evaluations. In the reported case, the employee complained about exposure to lead (7439921) during the grinding of keys. An OSHA inspection cited the store for not making initial determinations of the extent of employee exposure during key grinding. The monitoring of workers for exposure to lead during key grinding activities demonstrated that employee lead exposure was 15 to 20 times lower than the action level of 30 micrograms/cubic meter recommended by OSHA. The author concludes that the time and expense spent evaluating this complaint were probably not necessary. This was in agreement with a statement in Section (8)(f)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 that gives authority to a qualified industrial hygienist to determine the necessity of further investigation following receipt of a complaint.
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