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Workplace simulations: an alternative to on-site industrial hygiene sampling.

Venable HL; Esswein EJ; Tharr DG; Brightman HS
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1994 Aug; 9(8):545-551
The use of workplace simulations as an alternative to onsite industrial hygiene sampling was investigated. Methods used to create and sample a site at which cutting of epoxy coated steel reinforcing rod during construction of steel structures was simulated were described. The project was undertaken because of difficulties in performing industrial hygiene monitoring needed for a health hazard evaluation at an actual construction site. On site visits were made to two sites where structural frameworks for a multilevel parking garage and a road surface for an on/off ramp to an interstate highway were being built. The simulated site included steel reinforcing rods tied into mats and placed parallel to the ground as would be done during construction of concrete slabs or decks. An enclosed working space was simulated by placing plywood panels and framing around the area. An apprentice iron worker performed the cutting and paint operations as indicated in the health hazard evaluation under the supervision of an experienced iron worker. Cutting was performed with a gasoline powered cut off saw and oxyacetylene torch. Most exposures generated during the simulated work operations were below their relevant standards. A total particulate concentration of 19.43mg/m3 was generated when the cut off saw was used. This exceeded the OSHA standard of 15.00mg/m3. These emissions also contained detectable quantities of 15 metals including iron (7439896), lead (7439921), manganese (7439965), nickel (7440020), arsenic (7440382), chromium (7440473), and copper (7440508). Particulate exposures generated by oxyacetylene cutting did not exceed the OSHA standard. Peak carbon- monoxide (630080) exposures, 346 parts per million (ppm), generated during cutting with the cut off saw exceeded the OSHA standard of 200ppm. On an 8 hour time weighted average basis, none of the exposures exceeded the OSHA standard, 50ppm. The authors conclude that a simulated work site can be used to circumvent problems associated with performing industrial hygiene sampling in inaccessible or other problem worksites.
NIOSH-Author; Workplace-monitoring; Simulation-methods; Metal-dusts; Construction-industry; Occupational-exposure; Cutting-tools; Industrial-hygiene; Organic-vapors; Risk-analysis
7439-89-6; 7439-92-1; 7439-96-5; 7440-02-0; 7440-38-2; 7440-47-3; 7440-50-8; 630-08-0
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Journal Article
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NIOSH Division
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Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: November 6, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division