With a degree in Chemistry and a desire to be interacting with people and the practical working environment, David Gough, operations director, Built Environment Services, SOCOTEC, embarked on a progressive career in occupational hygiene over 20 years ago.
Occupational hygiene is all about the recognition, control and management of workplace health risks – from chemicals, biohazards and physical agents such as noise & vibration. Occupational hygienists use science and engineering to control risks to health, by designing out hazards and applying engineering controls to minimise exposures.
In the workplace, exposure to hazardous substances should either be prevented or adequately controlled. The purpose of an Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) system is to control the emission of such substances to the atmosphere as close as possible to the point of source, thereby preventing release into the workplace. To be effective, LEV must initially be well designed and constructed. Over time, the performance of systems can deteriorate due to wear, blockage or damage. Thus, regular inspection and testing is critical to ensure that control of exposure remains adequate, and this is one of the many occupational hygiene services that SOCOTEC provides.
Here, David talks us through the process at a major railway maintenance depot.