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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 51

Industrial Hygiene Program

Instruction:  Chapter 51 is a new chapter established to describe the requirements for an Industrial Hygiene Program.

1.  Purpose.  This chapter provides requirements for a comprehensive Industrial Hygiene Program that identifies and assesses potential health risks of employee workplace exposures to chemical, biological, and physical agents, differentiates between acceptable and unacceptable exposures, controls unacceptable exposures, and provides a basis for implementing relevant medical surveillance and exposure control programs.

2.  Scope.  This chapter applies to all U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees, volunteers, and cooperators who perform tasks that generate health hazards or whose work environment contains health hazards.  The term “employees” used in this chapter shall include USGS employees and others for whom the Government assumes workers’ compensation liability.

3.  References.

A.  Executive Order 12196.

B.  Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 1910, 1915, 1918, and 1926.

C.  U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Manual, Part 485, Safety and Occupational Health Program, Chapter 17, Industrial Hygiene (485 DM 17).

D.  TLVs® and BEIs®: Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), latest edition.

4.  Requirements.

A.  The Bureau shall identify, evaluate, and control occupational exposures to chemical, biological, and physical agents in the workplace or generated during tasks performed by employees.  Note: These agents are also referred to as health hazards in this chapter.  Physical agents include ergonomics, thermal stress, ultrasound, vibration, noise, infrasound, and low-frequency sound.

B.  Employee exposures to airborne contaminants and physical hazards, at a minimum, shall not exceed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs).  Where an OSHA PEL is not available for a health hazard or where it has been determined by an industrial hygienist that the OSHA PEL is not protective, the ACGIH Threshold Limit Value (TLV) shall apply.  The goal is to maintain exposures to health hazards as low as practicable.  The ACGIH TLVs provide an industry accepted benchmark to achieving this goal.  Every reasonable effort should be made to achieve exposures below the ACGIH TLV for all applicable health hazards.

C.  Where the OSHA PEL and the ACGIH TLV are not available, industry accepted guidance and practices and consensus standards shall be used.  These include but are not limited to guidance and practices from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Requirements for ionizing and nonionizing radiation are found in SM 445–2–H.30 Ionizing Radiation Safety, and SM 445-2-H.50 Non-ionizing Radiation, respectively.

D.  The Bureau shall implement an occupational exposure assessment process for identifying and evaluating all occupational exposures and shall implement exposure controls for all unacceptable occupational exposures, e.g., above the PEL or TLV.  The exposure assessment strategy shall include:

(1)  Basic characterization of tasks and health hazard agents to determine potential exposure profiles (i.e., workplace survey).

(2)  Exposure monitoring, where applicable, to quantitatively measure exposures.

(3)  Assessment and determination of the exposure based on the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected.

(4)  Periodic reassessments, including follow-up exposure monitoring.

(5)  Documentation and communication of assessment results and exposure control recommendations.

(6)  Use of the DOI exposure assessment database to manage exposure assessment data and exposure risks.   

E.  The Industrial Hygiene Program shall also include special assessments or investigations of occupational health concerns, such as, but not limited to, indoor air quality, ventilation surveys, investigation of health effects and abnormal biological monitoring, and customer requests.

F.  Engineering controls shall be used as the primary means to control exposures below the PEL or TLV, as applicable, and prevent skin contact to hazardous agents.  When engineering controls are not feasible, administrative controls and work practices shall be used.  Personal protective equipment (for example, respirators, hearing protection, and protective clothing) shall be used when engineering, administrative, and work practice controls do not adequately reduce exposure below the PEL or TLV, as applicable.  Any equipment and (or) technical measures used for exposure control must be approved for each particular use by an industrial hygienist or other technically qualified person as determined by an Office of Management Services (OMS) Industrial Hygienist.

G.  Whenever respirators and other personal protective equipment are used, their use shall comply with the requirements in SM 445–2–H.18, Respiratory Protection and SM 445-2-H.26, Personal Protective Equipment.

H.  When exposures are both unacceptable and cannot be controlled by engineering or administrative controls and work practices, employees may be required to be included in a medical surveillance program as defined in SM 445–2–H.23 Medical Surveillance Program.  Other exposure control programs that may be required based on exposure assessments and other industrial hygiene evaluations are found in:

(1)  SM 445–2–H.19, Hearing Conservation Program.

(2)  SM 445–2–H.20, Hazard Communication Program.

(3)  SM 445–2–H.21, Laboratory Protection Program.

(4)  SM 445–2–H.22, Formaldehyde Protection Program.

(5)  SM 445–2–H.24, Lyme Disease Protection Program.

(6)  SM 445–2–H.25, Human Bloodborne Pathogens Protection Program.

5.  Responsibilities.

A.  Director.  Directs Industrial Hygiene Program activities through the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official, who, for the Bureau, is the Associate Director for Administration,

B.  Associate Directors and Regional Directors.

(1)  Ensure that financial resources are provided to local sites to implement and comply with industrial hygiene program requirements.

(2)  Ensure managers and supervisors are accountable for ensuring compliance with industrial hygiene requirements.

(3)  Ensure program deficiencies are abated in a timely manner.

C.  Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official.

(1)  Exercises the authority of the Director to establish, develop, direct, and manage an effective Industrial Hygiene Program within the Bureau.

(2)  Assigns Industrial Hygiene Program authority to the Chief, Office of Management Services, for program management and administration.

(3)  Provides appropriate personnel and budgetary resources to establish and maintain a bureau-wide industrial hygiene program.

D.  Chief, Office of Management Services.

(1)  Assigns Industrial Hygiene Program responsibilities to the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager for Bureau program management and administration.

(2)  Ensures OMS staff has sufficient authority, resources, and qualifications to effectively support regional and national capabilities industrial hygiene needs.

E.  Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager.

(1)  Ensures establishment, oversight, and assessment of the Industrial Hygiene Program.

(2)  Ensures development of industrial hygiene policy.

(3)  Requires compliance with statutory, regulatory, and Bureau program requirements and provides management with the necessary support and guidance to effectively fulfill Industrial Hygiene policy commitments.

(4)  Ensures the evaluation of regional and local implementation of the Industrial Hygiene Program every 3 years, in accordance with SM 445–2–H.5, Program Evaluations.

(5)  Acts as Bureau liaison to the DOI Occupational Safety and Health Council for industrial hygiene matters, representing Bureau interests.

(6)  Ensures establishment and tracking of performance metrics for the Industrial Hygiene Program.

(7)  Provides support for Industrial Hygiene Program initiatives, publications, and related activities.

(8)  Coordinate with respective Regional Safety Managers and with the national capabilities and facilities Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators to ensure local implementation of the Industrial Hygiene Program.

(9)  Provide opportunity and resources for professional development of staff industrial hygienists for continual development of knowledge and skills to ensure the qualifications necessary to perform at the level assigned.

(10)  Evaluate regional and national capabilities Industrial Hygiene Programs, every 3 years, in accordance with SM 445–2–H.5, Program Evaluations.

(11)  Ensure use of the DOI exposure assessment database, and ensure that industrial hygiene findings from inspections, program reviews, exposure assessments, exposure monitoring, special investigations, etc. are entered into the Inspection and Abatement System.

F.  Bureau Industrial Hygienist.

(1)  Develops Industrial Hygiene Program policy, direction, guidance, and protocols; proposes bureauwide program goals, objectives, and initiatives for adoptive consideration by respective management; develops core competencies and training requirements for industrial hygienists and industrial hygiene support personnel.

(2)  Monitors implementation and effectiveness of Industrial Hygiene Program policies, guidelines, and processes through periodic assessment of internal controls and an policy assessment of industrial hygiene requirements and responsibilities  every 3 years to ensure the integrity of the program.

(3)  Provides technical assistance and guidance to Occupational Safety and Health Management Branch  (OSHMB) Industrial Hygienists regarding the Industrial Hygiene Program.

(4)  Acts as Bureau Industrial Hygiene liaison to the DOI Industrial Hygiene Working Group and bureaus, representing Bureau interests.

(5)  Establishes and monitors OSHMB contracts and interagency agreements for industrial hygiene services.

(6)  Administers the DOI exposure assessment database.

(7)  Initiates bureau-level industrial hygiene data calls.

(8)  Provide industrial hygiene technical support to the field, regions, and national capabilities, such as, but not limited to, identifying potential health hazards, conducting exposure assessments and exposure monitoring, assisting in the development of site-specific procedures, assessing exposure control measures, providing industrial hygiene training, and responding to customer requests.

(9)  Ensure that employees who assist in performing exposure monitoring have the appropriate orientation and training; and provides technical oversight to the monitoring project.

(10)  Enter and maintain local exposure assessment data in the DOI exposure assessment database.

(11)  Enter industrial hygiene findings from program reviews, exposure assessments, sampling, special investigations, etc. into the Inspection and Abatement System.

(12)  Assist with periodic program evaluations in accordance with SM–445–2–H.5, Program Evaluations.

G.  Regional Safety Managers.

(1)  Ensure local implementation of the Industrial Hygiene Program.

(2)  Validate through inspections and external audits that exposures to chemical, biological, and physical agents in the workplace are evaluated and controlled.

(3)  Assist management and collateral in obtaining industrial hygiene services, such as, but not limited, to exposure assessments, training, special investigations, and exposure monitoring; in consultation with the OMS Operations Industrial Hygienists.

(4)  Track and ensure abatement of industrial hygiene findings in the Inspection and Abatement System (IAS).

H.  Science Center Managers and Supervisors.

(1)  Ensure that adequate funding resources are provided for control measures to abate occupational exposures to identified health hazards.

(2)  Ensure occupational exposures to chemical, biological, and physical agents in the workplace are evaluated through coordination with their respective Regional Safety Manager.

(3)  Ensure engineering controls, administrative and work practices, and personal protective equipment to control occupational exposures are utilized when required by regulations or policies.

(4)  Ensure that affected employees are informed of industrial hygiene evaluations and investigation results.

(5)  Investigate exposure events and enter the investigation and findings in the Safety Management Information System.

(6)  Ensure employees who conduct industrial hygiene exposure monitoring are appropriately trained, e.g., monitoring equipment operations and calibration, exposure monitoring protocols, etc.

(7)  Ensure center industrial hygiene findings are documented in the IAS.

I.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators.  Assist organizational managers and supervisors in the implementation of the Industrial Hygiene Program.

K.  Employees.

(1)  Comply with requirements to use engineering controls, administrative and work practice controls, and personal protective equipment, where applicable.

(2)  Report to their supervisors or local safety coordinators any concerns regarding exposures or exposure events to chemical, biological, or other potentially hazardous substances.

Paul M. McEnrue /s/_____________________________    _8/22/2014_____
Paul M. McEnrue                                                                   Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration

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