Environmental Compliance Testing Protecting Occupant Health
Environmental Compliance Testing Protects Occupant Health
The word “compliance” may set our freedom loving hearts on high alert. Most Americans tend to push back when anyone tries to limit our personal liberties. But when it comes to our environment, compliance testing is necessary and can help expand our freedoms – Freedom from fear of drinking lead and heavy metal laden water, or breathing in silica dust, or eating food contaminated with viruses and bacteria.
There are many ways to measure and analyze toxins in our environment, but the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) sole mission is to protect human and environmental health. The EPA still provides the strongest most actionable way to measure pollutants in our environment. The EPA gives Industrial Hygienists the tools to measure compounds whose concentration levels may be considered high risk. Compliance testing for Air, Water, Soil, Dust and Bulk materials is used to protect humans and other species from being exposed to certain pollutants. The EPA sets the standards for measuring the level of lead in the water or silica dust in air.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the regulatory body created by congress 1970 that enforces the standards and will determine the Personal Exposure Levels (PEL’s) that are acceptable for these contaminants for workers that are exposed for 8hrs a day.
As industrial hygienists, we’ve found some companies are proactive when it comes to the protection of workers health, but others are only prompted to investigate as a result of occupant complaints and OSHA regulations.
Compliance testing is the methodology used to ensure a company is actively engaged in protecting employee health and well-being. So, even though compliance testing may be considered a stick and not a carrot – it serves the greater good by helping keep our most valuable resource (human resource) safe, healthy and free of illness.
OSHA is proactive in helping companies meet compliance and provides many resources such as the compliance assistant specialists.
The EPA states – As our environment changes and we learn more about how pollutants affect our health the EPA is launching new system for improving compliance testing. This next generation of compliance testing consists of five interconnected components, designed to improve the effectiveness of this program and consist of the following:
- Design regulations and permits that are easier to implement, with a goal of improved compliance and environmental outcomes.
- Use and promote advanced emissions/pollutant detection technology, so that regulated entities, the government, and the public can more easily see pollutant discharges, environmental conditions, and noncompliance.
- Shift toward electronic reporting to help make environmental reporting more accurate, complete, and efficient while helping EPA and co-regulators better manage information, improve effectiveness and transparency.
- Expand transparency by making information more accessible to the public.
- Develop and use innovative enforcement approaches (e.g., data analytics and targeting) to achieve more widespread compliance.
So even though the word “compliance” may trigger a “push back” response, it is a necessary tool to protect the health and well-being of all citizens. Be proactive and not reactionary – get a free quote for compliance testing today.
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