Think of IBT Safety Consulting as a kind of insurance policy. The organization provides complete compliance surveys as “pre-audits” for all kinds of industrial facilities. These audits involve walkthroughs of the facilities, as well as reviews of records and program documentation. Their services are designed to find little problems and areas of risk before they become big deals – the kind that cause injuries or cost money – or both.
Tom Smith is in charge of the process at IBT Safety. “We come in and do the kind of walk-through that most government inspectors are likely to do. While we can’t be completely sure that we will look at the types of ‘problems’ they’ll be hunting for, we are very, very thorough. Our observations lead to comprehensive reports that indicate all aspects of compliance issues. Our report also includes the good news: observed areas of positive safety and health accomplishments.”
The reports conclude with a four-category priority listings of all findings, giving the customer a “graded approach” to corrective actions. This allows employers to have the opportunity to make an informed decision relative to prioritizing corrective actions. Depending on the size of the facility, these audits are usually conducted using one to three consultants.
IBT Safety offers both OSHA and MSHA compliance audits.
Once the audit is through, IBT Safety Consulting is also available to help make everything “right.” They offer consulting services that include:
Individual Written Program Development and Safety Program Manuals and Employee Safety Handbooks
IBT can develop written compliance programs for all areas of OSHA and MSHA regulations. These programs are documented in an easy-to-follow, bulleted format that makes them very “user-friendly.” Because OSHA requires written programs to be site-specific, each written document not only complies with regulatory requirements but also is specific to the facility for which it was developed. Unlike from some consultants, the customer never gets a “boiler-plate” product. Having IBT develop individual programs not only saves time and money, but it also helps ensure that all regulatory requirements for written compliance programs are met.
The concept is simplified by the use of IBT’s site-specific questionnaire, completed by the customer with the assistance of an IBT consultant. The questionnaire asks pertinent questions specific to regulatory requirements for a written compliance program.
Upon completion of the questionnaire, IBT assimilates the information into a program manual. The employee safety program requirements are then “extracted” from the program manual and formatted into a handbook for use by all employees. This prevents employees from being overwhelmed by extraneous program requirements. It allows them to focus only on those areas where they are responsible. The manuals and handbooks can be printed with customer logos and delivered in a completed manual and handbook format. The material can also be delivered in the electronic version, to allow for printing by the customer.
Various medical surveillance services are also available. Included in these services are pulmonary function tests for respirator users, audiometric exams (hearing tests), pre-employment screening and physicals as well as physical exams for asbestos and HazMat team members
Many of IBT Safety’s medical surveillance services are offered through the use of a mobile van that can literally pull up to the customers front door to provide these services.
IBT Safety performs both qualitative and quantitative respirator fit-testing. Qualitative fit-testing is performed using irritant smoke, banana oil (isoamyl acetate) or Bitrex (denatonium benzoate.) They also have the ability to perform quantitative fit-testing using a Portacount Plus 8020 Condensation Nuclei Particle Counter. This device generates a report documenting fit factors for a particular respirator. Where a qualitative fit-test is subjective in nature, a quantitative fit-test is not only objective, but provides necessary documentation to verify appropriate fit of the respirator. Documentation of fit for both quantitative and qualitative fit-tests is provided.
Air Monitoring for Contaminants
Many facilities use chemicals or generate other airborne contaminants. For this reason, air monitoring is often necessary to determine levels of contaminants in the work environment. This monitoring can be performed in two ways: with direct reading instruments or lab-supported sampling.
Direct reading instruments allow consultants to quickly determine if there is a problem in a given area. However, the lab-supported sampling is required by OSHA when documenting actual employee exposures to air contaminants.
This sampling is performed by an IBT consultant over the period of the entire work shift. The material collected is sent to an accredited lab for analysis. The analytical results are used to calculate actual time-weighted employee exposures. These exposures are then compared to OSHA standards and other guidelines to determine if employees are exposed to hazardous levels of air contaminants.
IBT can also perform indoor air quality (IAQ) evaluations in office environments. These evaluations include monitoring for specific contaminants of concern (i.e. carbon dioxide, ozone, mold etc.). They also evaluate ventilation systems to ensure that proper air changes are designed into a building based on occupancy and business activities.
IBT Safety can provide in-plant monitoring services such as noise mapping and personal dosimetry. Noise mapping is performed using a sound level meter to document various levels of noise throughout the plant. This information is then mapped out to document these levels for future reference.
Noise mapping is required in many industrial facilities, because OSHA requires that employers have a written hearing conservation program when employees are exposed to 85 decibels and above on a time-weighted average. OSHA also requires mandatory hearing protection when documented levels of noise are 90 decibels or above.
IBT can also perform the personal dosimetry by placing a dosimeter on individual employees for an entire work shift to document 8 hour time-weighted average noise exposures. This monitoring will help employers determine areas where hearing protection is mandatory, or in many cases “not required.”
To learn more and find out how it can help you, contact IBT Safety Consulting at IBT.