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11.1 Worksite Exposure Monitoring

Monitoring for chemical exposures and medical surveillance of potential or actual exposures are available to Fred Hutch staff. In some instances, as explained below, one or both kinds of monitoring may be required.

Workers experiencing physical or health symptoms from a chemical exposure should contact the Occupational Health Nurse or the Industrial Hygienist for evaluation. Employees concerned about their exposure to hazardous chemicals should contact the Industrial Hygiene Program Manager at EH&S. The IH Program Manager will consult with employees about the chemical(s) of concern and will conduct or arrange for monitoring as appropriate.

In addition to conducting or arranging for monitoring upon request, EH&S conducts periodic air sampling in the following situations:

  1. Where levels of formaldehyde, benzene, phenol, or other chemicals may have a potential of reaching the Fred Hutch Action Limits (see below); or
  2. When new equipment or procedures are employed which may cause or increase employee exposure to a hazardous chemical.

11.1.1 Fred Hutch Action Limits

The point of reference used in chemical exposure monitoring is the Fred Hutch Action Limit. The Fred Hutch Action Limit represents the airborne concentration of a specific compound that requires implementation of exposure reduction measures. The Fred Hutch Action Limit for any regulated substance is 50% of the PEL for that substance.

11.1.2 Notification of Monitoring Results

EH&S will notify the concerned individual(s) and the responsible supervisor of the analytical results within five days of receiving them. These results should be posted in a location accessible to all concerned workers.

11.1.3 Actions Prompted by Exposure Monitoring Results

Medical surveillance will be offered to any employee experiencing symptoms related to a chemical with which he or she is working. The findings and recommendations of the consulting physician will be considered in determining engineering controls or changes in the employee's tasks and practices that will minimize the exposure believed to be causing the symptoms.

Detection is not a prerequisite for medical surveillance. Symptomatic employees may receive medical surveillance if the mere possibility of an exposure exists.

If worksite exposure monitoring reveals exposure above the Hutchinson Center Action Limit for the chemical of concern, EH&S will consult with the lab or department to implement measures to reduce exposures. After corrective actions are taken, EH&S will verify with additional monitoring that exposure has been reduced.

11.2 Medical Evaluation and Surveillance

The Hutchinson Center provides employees who work with hazardous chemicals an opportunity to receive medical attention, under the following circumstances:

  1. When an employee develops signs or symptoms associated with a hazardous chemical exposure;
  2. When exposure monitoring reveals a concentration above the Hutchinson Center Action Limit for a WISHA-regulated substance requiring medical surveillance; or
  3. When there is a spill, leak, explosion, or similar occurrence in which the likelihood of a hazardous exposure exists.

11.2.1 Notification of Medical Evaluation Results

Medical examinations and consultations provided under the conditions above are performed by HealthForce Occupational Medicine at no cost to the employee, without loss of pay and at a reasonable time. The examining physician will submit a written opinion to the Occupational Health Nurse including:

  1. Any recommendations for medical follow-up;
  2. The results of the medical examination and associated tests pertinent to the employees exposure or work;
  3. Any medical condition revealed in the course of the examination which may place the employee at increased risk as a result of exposure to a hazardous chemical in the workplace; and
  4. A statement that the employee has been informed by the physician of these findings.

The written opinion shall not reveal specific findings of diagnoses unrelated to occupational exposure. A copy of the opinion will be kept confidentially at EH&S.

11.2.2 Actions Prompted by Medical Evaluation Results

EH&S, the exposed employee(s), and the supervisor will use the exam findings to determine engineering controls and/or work practice changes that will reduce or eliminate the exposure in question. EH&S will verify that these modifications are made and maintained as long as the potential for a similar exposure remains.

11.2.3 WISHA-regulated Carcinogens

Medical surveillance may be required for any employee handling or otherwise exposed to any of the following WISHA-regulated carcinogens. Each employee must receive a baseline medical exam before commencing work with these hazardous materials in his or her job (see Section 12.11):

  • 2-Acetylaminofluorene
  • Alpha-Naphthylamine
  • 4-Amnodiphenyl
  • Benzidine
  • Beta-Naphthylamine
  • Beta-Propiolactone
  • Bis-chloromethyl ether
  • 3,3' Dichlorobenzidine (and its salts)
  • 4-Dimethylaminoazobenzene
  • Ethyleneimine
  • 4,4' Methylene bis (2-chloroaniline)
  • Methyl chloromethyl ether
  • 4-Nitrobiphenyl
  • N-Nitrosodimethylamine