Industrial Hygiene Exposure Assessment Measurements in Washington State | Compliance Inspections Results



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - This report contains worker exposure assessment information, hereafter referred to as samples or exposure samples, collected from workers in Washington State between 2008-2016 by industrial hygiene (IH) compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) employed by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) at the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

In addition to supporting compliance efforts, exposure samples provide insight into trends in concentration and severity of workers’ exposures to different substances, allow for comparisons among industries and occupations, and provides opportunities for worker exposure prevention. Over the nine-year period, CSHOs conducted 9941 IH compliance inspections. Among them, 890 (9%) inspections included sample collection, resulting in 4394 exposure samples. The number of total IH inspections annually varied between 876-1416 and averaged approximately 1100 per year (see Figure 1).

The number of IH inspections with sampling decreased annually from 133 (13% of total) inspections in 2008 to 73 (7% of total) inspections in 2016. Along with the decrease in the number of inspections with sampling, the number of samples collected and entered annually also decreased from a high of 844 in 2009 to 289 in 2016, or about 60 fewer samples per year. These may have been influenced by IH personnel turnover or staff levels.

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