One of my pet-peeves is reporting industrial hygiene results with absolutely no explanation of what happened (or the conditions) on the day of the survey. The results will never be reproducible, verifiable, or really ever used again. If you are going to perform the exposure assessment, tell us what happened. We all know that an “average day” is rarely ever the average.

Sometimes you are not able to choose the time when you are able to perform air sampling or monitoring. But, that is a very important part of the overall picture of the exposure. When sampling I very frequently hear, “You should have been here yesterday”, or “Today is really slow”, or “Can you come back next week when we are doing XXX activity?”.

Those phrases and employee interviews are almost as critical as the air sampling results. They tell you what you DIDN’T see, or capture in your exposure monitoring.

At a minimum you should tell a story about:

  • what engineering controls are in place
  • what administrative controls are used
  • what are the employees doing
  • how often does this occur
  • is this a worst-case scenario, or just average day
  • what happens during set up and clean up
  • what products are they using (MSDS)
  • what PPE are they using