SITEX Environmental Case Studies
Case Study 1:
Problem: After conducting field training on LEVs, a client who had invested considerable time and expense on their LEV for collection of heavy particulate, still faced worker health complaints in that area.
We tested the capture and face velocities at all the inlets and noted that no adjustments were made as workers proceeded to different workstations. When all the gates were left open, there were insufficient capture and face velocities at the inlets that were actively being used. As such, not as much contaminant was being collected and what was collected tended to settle within the ductwork and further decrease performance of the system. SITEX demonstrated to workers the effect of adjusting the gates to maximize flow where necessary, and the result was greater employee relief, lower concentrations of contaminants, and less need to clean clogged ducting.
Case Study 2:
Problem: SITEX combined standard lab-analyzed air sampling with targeted direct-reading dust monitoring to determine why certain workers were suffering respiratory irritation from a seemingly innocuous activity done for less than five minutes per shift. The process involved dumping 50-pound bags of high silica content material quickly into mixers.
Through use of the direct-reading equipment we were able to demonstrate that the exposure rate was very high for that activity, and worker methods had a major influence on the airborne concentration. Even using the minimum volume and sample time for the lab-analyzed sampling, the relatively low time weighted average concentrations masked the very high exposure period. SITEX was able to point out the work methods that resulted in lower exposures and recommend adjustments to the provided LEV so worker exposure rates were greatly decreased and the employer no longer had to struggle with whether respirators were or were not required.
Case Study 3:
Problem: Another SITEX client struggled with wide-roaming workers with the need to wear respirators for high-exposure periods that tended to be short term and specific to small work zones. Despite investment in engineering controls, the workers had to wear respirators to be below the OSHA PEL. During the course of fieldwork, SITEX observed workers donning and doffing respirators many times and in general failing to adjust straps and perform user seal checks. The overall result was that workers were very likely not getting the protection they needed from the respirators, and were likely overexposed.
Through a combination of lab-analyzed air sampling and targeted direct-reading dust monitoring, SITEX was able to decrease the list of tasks and areas where respirators would be required. That decreased the amount of donning and doffing throughout the day, each of which was being performed incorrectly. Next SITEX suggested different respirators that made it much easier to perform the user seal checks that should be done each time a respirator is donned as well as occasionally during usage. Finally, SITEX assisted in demonstrating the shorter list of high exposure tasks and areas and providing respirator training that reinforced the need and importance of user seal checks.
Case Study 4:
Institute for Molecular Virology (IMV), AIDS/HIV Research Facility, SSM Health Care: December, 2009 – November, 2010
Problem: The property owner of this 29,500 square foot former research facility, located within 550 feet of two major hospital complexes in St. Louis, Missouri, needed asbestos and demolition consulting and monitoring services.
SITEX’s efforts included a pre-demolition environmental survey, abatement planning, bid solicitation, and subsequent daily air monitoring during the abatement. During the demolition portions of this project, SITEX performed indoor and outdoor monitoring to ensure that the hospital air intakes were not drawing in fugitive dust, spores, VOC’s or Carbon Dioxide (CO).
The final reporting package allowed the owner to review results and implement hospital wide Infection Prevention (IP) policies regarding demolition for both exterior, adjacent properties and interior renovations.
Case Study 5:
Leather Trades Building, 1600 Locust Street, St. Louis, Missouri, September, 2009 – November, 2011
Problem: The property owner of this 120,000 square foot former warehouse required a provider of asbestos and lead-based paint consulting and monitoring services.
SITEX performed continuous monitoring during the abatement process. This involved conducting contractor observation during abatement activities to assess whether the contractor was adhering to applicable local, state, and federal regulations and using the appropriate controls to conduct hazardous building materials abatement in a safe manner.
SITEX performed air monitoring during asbestos abatement activities. Air samples were generally collected upwind and downwind of the regulated areas. One set of outdoor samples was collected. A field blank and sealed blank were submitted for verification testing.
SITEX prepared an abatement closeout report presenting our data and summarizing our conclusions. The report includes disposal documentation, valid worker certifications, and daily sign-in sheets for the abatement contractor, daily field logs describing daily activities, and air sample analysis results during the asbestos abatement.
Case Study 6:
Zurheide Building, 4333 Clayton Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, November, 2010 – March, 2011
Problem: The owner of this 22,500 square foot former engineering facility needed pre-demolition asbestos and mold consulting and monitoring services.
Our professionals performed continuous monitoring during the abatement process. This involved conducting contractor observation during abatement activities to assess whether the contractor was adhering to applicable local, state, and federal regulations and using the appropriate controls to conduct hazardous building materials abatement in a safe manner.
SITEX performed air monitoring during asbestos abatement activities. Air samples were generally collected inside and outside of contained work areas, as well as OSHA-required personal samples.
SITEX prepared an abatement closeout report presenting our data and summarizing our conclusions. The report included disposal documentation, valid worker certifications, and daily sign-in sheets for the abatement contractor, daily field logs describing daily activities, and air sample analysis results during the asbestos abatement.
Case Study 7:
East Coast Oil Refinery, Philadelphia, PA Area, May – December, 2011
Problem: The owner of this 185,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery required a comprehensive asbestos inspection of the entire complex and a customized database in order to manage the information successfully.
Our inspectors collected over 3,000 samples during this effort. Inspectors utilized an iPad application in order to capture all of the related narrative information, quantities of all asbestos materials, and recorded the category of each material using a numerical hazard ranking system. This information was uploaded to a real-time website interface which could be reviewed by the client throughout the process. All sample locations were marked with color-coded tags and each system marked using signs and stencils to visually identify asbestos status and prevent inadvertent exposure.
The SITEX Asbestos Management System (SAMS) database created for this client allows users to search by sample number, by area/location, by system as well as by hazard ranking. The availability of this information is critical for safety managers as they assess their current risk and determine what areas need attention. All subsequent removal and/or repair efforts are catalogued within the system helping to illustrate the legitimacy of their O&M program as well as to provide proof of their due diligence for any OSHA or other regulatory agency concerns. This information can also be used to help in environmental waste stream tracking/reporting as well as liability cost estimating. In addition, the information is invaluable for engineers and planners as they put together construction projects in order to determine impact and plan for asbestos abatement as needed.