When personal monitoring is necessary to determine potential exposure levels, make sure the first step you take is to develop a comprehensive occupational exposure monitoring plan.
Any time monitoring is conducted, a clear goal must be established so that everyone involved in the process understands why the monitoring is necessary. If passive monitoring badges are utilized, the appropriate type must be selected based on the substances being monitored. All regulatory limits should be known before the monitoring takes place, including permissible exposure limits, recommended exposure limits, and short term exposure limits. Different passive monitoring badges may be required to monitor short term and eight-hour exposure levels for the same chemical.
The work practices associated with the monitoring goal must be clear so that the results are associated with a particular procedure or process. The individuals being monitored must be made aware of the importance of following the specific procedure or process stipulated in the monitoring plan. Any deviations from the planned work practices will impact the interpretation of the results. Once the results are received, they must be reported back to all of the affected employees, and any elevated results must be acted on immediately.
Following a specific monitoring plan will assist with the interpretation of the results, and document a comprehensive monitoring process.