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Due diligence against workplace exposure: SOCOTEC UK and Casella

12 November 2019

Exposure monitoring is a way of measuring the extent of hazardous substances during a task to ensure workers avoid exposure that could cause a wide range of health issues. It is important to monitor the level of exposure and ensure appropriate control measures are introduced.

Image: Casella
Image: Casella

An effective method of protecting workers against harmful exposure is through personal monitoring.  Personal sampling pumps offer an enhanced monitoring system to identify, assess and control health hazards in the workplace whilst providing quantifiable data records.

SOCOTEC UK workplace exposure monitoring

SOCOTEC UK is the UK's leading provider of testing, inspection and compliance services, with comprehensive solutions in Infrastructure & Energy, Environment & Safety and Building Control & Fire Consultancy Delivering seven million tests a year to more than 5,000 clients, SOCOTEC offers the widest range of testing, inspection and compliance services in the UK. With operations in 25 countries and 7,800 employees, the SOCOTEC Group delivers services to improve the performance of businesses and local authorities through risk management.

SOCOTEC’s fleet of highly qualified occupational hygienists provide a market-leading service offering the assurance of compliance with legislation and regulations, including COSHH Regulations, Control of Noise at Work Regulations and Control of Vibration at Work Regulations. SOCOTEC’s team conduct a range of services to assist clients in monitoring, assessing and controlling human exposure to health risks, helping employers and employees to understand risks in the workplace and to minimise or eliminate these hazards. 

To ensure the team is able to establish accurate measurements for exposure, SOCOTEC relies on accurate and reliable equipment to quantify exposures to harmful substances within a workplace. To help address its needs for measurement of exposure to harmful particulates and vapours, SOCOTEC looked to Casella for its air sampling monitoring solutions. 

Preventing ill health with Casella instrumentation 

SOCOTEC UK is committed to delivering the best possible service for its clients and has a long history using and trusting Casella air sampling solutions to identify harmful areas of exposure and help mitigate the workplace risks.

Since 2004, SOCOTEC equipped its occupational hygiene team with the Casella’s Apex1 and Apex2IS air sampling pump solutions, and Casella’s occupational & environmental noise kits since 2010. The organisation has over 90 Casella products and most recently introduced the Casella Flow Detective Plus in conjunction with Apex2IS Plus air sampling pump.

Rob Preston, Occupational Hygienist Team Leader at SOCOTEC, says: “We carry out a lot of occupational hygiene assessments across a number of high risk industries, in large industrial manufacturing sites, automotive, nuclear and waste and recycling. We visit numerous environments where it’s critical that we are able to identify airborne contamination quickly and effectively to put it right.”

Rob has been with SOCOTEC for eight years and leads a team of 13 occupational hygienists. He has visited a variety of working sites, from nuclear facilities to chocolate factories. Rob and his team are responsible for conducting exposure monitoring and providing assistance and advice to protect against physical and chemical agents that could exist in the workplace, relying on their sampling equipment to accurately detect harmful dusts, gases, airborne metals in the atmosphere. 

“Using Casella’s Apex2IS we monitor for a number of harmful substances, for example silica dust, toxic volatile organic compounds, airborne metals” says Rob, “and we need to be able to have complete confidence in the solutions we use, and in the integrity of the samples we collect. The Apex pumps are a huge asset to our team and in our experience the accuracy, durability and reliability of the solutions are second to none.”

In addition to air monitoring, SOCOTOC employ Casella Sound Level Meters and dBadge personal noise dosimeters to measure for occupational and environmental noise. Rob says, “Some of our biggest clients are in the quarry and mining industry based around the UK. When we go out to these sites, we are always equipped with our Casella kit.”

Travel is a frequent part of the job for Rob and his team, so equipment reliability and ease of use is essential. “A concern for us when we have remote work,” says Rob, “is the failure of kit, which could result in significant loss of time and money. If equipment is faulty and unreliable this means repeat visits to the site are required. In our experience, however, using Casella pumps this is very rarely an issue and we can trust in the ability of the kit. It’s for this reason we continue to work with Casella and why it’s a partnership built on trust and confidence.”

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