What other types of Air Monitoring Assessment are available?

Air pollution

R&B Industrial Ltd provides comprehensive COSHH workplace air monitoring assessments meeting British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and HSE guidance. We can also work with our projects team to deliver remedials. Our occupational hygiene services are led by a W501-qualified engineer with many years of experience working on air monitoring assessments and excellent professional connections. Our services range from simple dust surveys to monitoring of complex organic vapours containing hundreds of substances. We can also carry out detailed COSHH reviews to help you identify the chemical hazards requiring workplace air monitoring.

Dust lamps are narrow-beam torches used to identify dust clouds in the workplace. They can be very useful as a qualitative tool in initial appraisals, and can help identify possible improvements in working practice, or to assess the effectiveness of extraction systems.

Static air sampling uses the same techniques as personal air sampling, however sampling media are left in fixed locations in the work area. Static air samples are useful to:

  • identify background levels of hazardous substances and determine secondary exposure risks
  • assess risks to persons passing through the workplace
  • assess effectiveness of return-to-workplace filtration
  • map the distribution of hazardous substances around the work area

Detector tubes (e.g. Draeger tubes) can be used to gain a rapid reading of exposure to dangerous gases and vapours. A hand pump is used to draw air through the tube for a short period, typically 2 minutes. The concentration of the hazardous substance can be read from its penetration distance along the tube, which causes a colour change. A convenient concentration scale is printed on the side of the tube. Detector tubes are useful for initial appraisals where a highly accurate reading is not needed, or for activities of very short duration where other sampling techniques are unsuitable.

Detector badges change colour when exposed to the substance of concern. They are a quick and convenient solution when only one substance is of high concern (e.g. isocyanates).

Real time-dust monitors can be used to measure concentrations of fine particulates and aerosols of size 0.3-15 microns. Their response depends on the substance measured and they should not be used in isolation – except in qualitative initial appraisals, or to identify the source of a dust release. They are very useful for measuring relative fluctuations in exposure over time.

Photoionization detectors (PIDs) are commonly used to measure concentrations of hazardous vapours. They cannot distinguish between different substances measured. Sensitivity depends strongly on the substance monitored and a large correction may be required. They are useful for measuring relative fluctuations over time, for qualitative initial appraisals, or when only one substance is present.

Gas sensors are available for some substances, such as carbon monoxide, and can give useful information about exposure patterns.

Grab Samples can be used to gain a snapshot of substance concentration by collecting air in a bag or cylinder. The substances in the air can then be adsorbed in a tube and analysed in the same way as a personal sample.

Skin exposure patches can be used where effective Respiratory Protective Equipment is used, but a residual risk of exposure exists through clothing or exposed skin.

Bulk/Swab Samples can sometimes be useful where an unknown substance of concern has settled in the work area or caused corrosion. Examination by SEM (scanning electron microscopy) or testing by a range of analytical techniques can yield information about the structure and chemical composition of the substance.

Read more on Workplace Air Monitoring

How can we help you comply with COSHH and what recommendations could you expect?

Following the Workplace Air Monitoring assessment, customers will be given recommendations on how they can improve their working practices. Some examples of these:

  • New equipment, e.g.:
    • Extraction systems
    • automatic door closers,
    • plastic strip curtains,
    • extracted bag slitting/tipping station
  • Personal Protective/Respiratory Equipment
  • Modifications to existing dust and fume extraction systems e.g.:
    • electronic interlock to prevent machine activation if the dust collector is not running,
    • on-tool extraction systems,
    • Perspex dividers to concentrate extractive air flow)
  • Modifications to other equipment e.g.:
    • re-orientate equipment to direct hazards away from the pedestrian walkway,
    • relocate vending machines to reduce ingestion risks of carcinogens
  • Change of working practices e.g.:
    • dispose of used flour bags instead of shaking them out for reuse,
    • improved filter changing regime and
    • visitor induction
    • operator training

Contact us

Our dedicated team will be happy to help with any of your extraction and ventilation requirements.