Any time an employee is involved with work that presents a respiratory hazard or is required by your company to wear a respirator, an exposure assessment must be conducted. STEP conducts exposure assessments to help clients characterize the nature and magnitude of employee exposures to respiratory hazards. At the completion of the assessment, we make equipment recommendations to help ensure employees are properly protected from contaminants that are present in the workplace. An exposure assessment must be completed prior to selecting employee equipment.
The following are examples of when you should consider conducting an exposure assessment. This is just a guideline, and not a comprehensive list:
When OSHA has a substance specific standard (e.g., lead, methylene chloride).
When employees notice symptoms (e.g., irritation, odor) or complain of respiratory health effects.
When the workplace contains visible emissions (e.g., fumes, dust, aerosols).