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Unseen Workplace Risks: The Importance of Exposure Monitoring

In workplace safety, some risks are obvious and tangible – but what about the ones that lurk beneath the surface, invisible to the naked eye? How do you address risks that aren't readily noticeable?

In many industries, employees and employers may fall into the trap of overlooking hidden hazards with phrases like, "It's not that noisy" or "We've always used these tools." However, the consequences of neglecting unseen risks can be severe for employee wellbeing and legal compliance.

This is where exposure monitoring is an essential tool in workplace safety measures. It serves multiple purposes, from assessing the effectiveness of control measures to reinforcing risk assessments and fulfilling statutory obligations to protect employees and the public.

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What are invisible threats?

It's challenging to decide how things have always been and how they should be, especially regarding invisible threats.

For instance, while standing next to industrial equipment may seem tolerably noisy, what are the ramifications for the adjacent breakroom or the long-term hearing health of employees?

Similarly, when evaluating air quality, managing the specific substances in the workplace is crucial, considering factors such as particulate sizes and the implications of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). This includes assessing the effectiveness of Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) systems where applicable.

Exposure monitoring allows employers to quantify these unseen risks accurately. Specially trained consultants can assess various hazards, including noise, dust, fumes, vibration, and hazardous substances.

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Integrating into your workplace routines

One common concern about exposure monitoring is whether it will disrupt daily operations. Fortunately, the process is designed to integrate into workplace routines, minimising any operational impact. Tools such as personal dosimeters and static monitoring stations can comprehensively assess exposure levels without impeding productivity.

In conclusion, while some workplace risks may be visible and easily mitigated, others require a more detailed approach. Employers can proactively identify and address hidden hazards by embracing exposure monitoring, creating a safer and healthier work environment.

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About the author

This article is provided by our sister company, Stallard Kane, a specialist risk management service provider offering expert advice and solutions in Health and Safety, HR, Risk Solutions and Training. This article is for general guidance only and aims to provide general information on a relevant topic in a concise form. This article should not be regarded as advice in relation to a particular circumstance. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific advice.

If you want a truly personalised service, contact your usual Towergate advisor today who can put you in touch with Stallard Kane’s HR Team to discuss your requirements – call 01427 420 403 or email hr@skaltd.co.uk, and #oneoftheteam will be happy to help.