The Chevron Thailand Industrial Hygiene Monitoring Program has been developed and implemented since mid-1980's with the aim to comply with both the recognized standards and local regulations, but more importantly to protect the health of all workforce while working with the company.
During this 26-year period of industrial hygiene program implementation, significant numbers of industrial hygiene samplings have been taken from different workforce group in a variety of locations.
Over the past years, many baseline sampling and monitoring initiatives have been conducted to identify specific problem areas. The monitoring strategy, health risk mitigations and controls were based on the numbers of samples collected during that period. During the early 90's an annual industrial hygiene monitoring plan were developed and issued prior to identifying and qualifying job specific hazard exposure.
In 1997, a Health Hazard Assessment (HHA) was developed and implemented for specific job title to determine the risk/nonrisk tasks prior to identifying type of industrial hygiene monitoring and medical surveillance program was required for health prevention and workplace environment protection. The HHA assessment results will be placed on improving the development of annual industrial hygiene monitoring plan.
An effective and easy to use health risk identification process improves implementation of an industrial hygiene program and leads to more effective control on health hazards and costs, for examples, engineering design, workforce work practices, PPE selection, etc. Finally, it allows for special focus on key issues, for example, in Thailand we use the program to develop effective controls for mercury in terms of mercury decontamination and personal exposure, emphasis on confined space entry, verification of PPE usage, and development of the mercury surveillance program.
However, in order to make the HHA more accurate, we need to consider some additional key actions, including:
Review chemical and physical hazards
Review accident/ incident reports
Consider employee concerns, comments, etc.
Review laws and regulations
Update data as necessary
Ensure right PPE has been provided
Prioritize low and high risk activities
In addition, the outcome of HHA will guide us to:
Develop a systematic IH monitoring plan
Prioritize and highlight the most critical health risks
Develop proper "Health Surveillance Program" for workforce who may be potentially exposed to specific hazards, i.e., mercury, benzene, hydrocarbons or noise.
Develop proper control of engineering and administrative procedures and PPE selection to protect workforce from hazards exposure.
Evaluate new legislation and "MOC - Management of Change" prior to reporting to management.
Furthermore, the benefits of HHA for the business unit are significant, and include:
Protecting employee health from hazards that have been identified.
Communicating results to management, supervisors, and workforce.
Monitoring costs and manpower savings:
Number of samples and analytical costs reduced
Quality and accuracy of samples can be controlled
Comply with laws and regulations
Since 1997, while HHA was developed and implemented, more than 2 thousand samples have been conducted, those industrial hygiene monitoring results were used to improve working environment and change some work practices.