WEM, is a branch of Industrial Hygiene aimed at evaluating levels of workers’ exposures from various physical and chemical hazards emanating from workplace operations and recommending appropriate control measures for the improvement of the working environment. It is a mandatory requirement of Rule 1070 – Occupational Health and Environmental Control of OSHS as well as an important requirement of ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001. What is it for?
•Determine the level of harmful substances (airborne contaminants) such as but not limited to dust, mist, fumes, solvents and gases
•Measure the level of physical hazards such as noise, heat, vibrations and radiation
•Assess the illumination levels in different work areas
•Evaluate the performance of the general and local exhaust ventilation installed.
Types of Environmental Monitoring:
•Personal Monitoring – the measurement of a particular employee’s exposure to airborne contaminants.
•Area/Environmental Sampling – the measurement of a contaminant concentration in the workroom.
•Biological Monitoring involves the measurement of changes in the composition of body fluids, tissue or expired air to determine absorption of a potentially hazardous material.
WEM Standard and Common Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) The Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS) adopted most of the TLVs of the ACGIH (American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienist ) to which WEM results are compared to.
|Parameter||Threshold Limit Value|
|Asbestos||2 fiber/cc, 5 micro in length|
|Welding (Illumination Level)||500 Lux|
|8 hr duration noise exposure||90 dBA|
|Carbon Monoxide in Air||50 ppm|
|Hydrogen Sulfide in Air||10 ppm|
Known Benefits of WEM:
•Increased awareness to safety and health;
•Prevented and reduced cases of work-related illnesses;
•Improved morale and attitude towards work; and