Air Quality Issues
We regularly evaluate indoor air quality for work areas throughout WBAMC and Fort Bliss, as well as for post-wide residential quarters. Our air quality surveys include testing for mold spores, bacteria and particulate dust matter, measuring air changes in rooms and buildings and determining positive versus negative pressure conditions. Based on sampling results, the IH team makes recommendations consistent with regulatory and Army compliance standards.
Hazardous Chemical Safety
We ensure that personnel are not exposed to chemicals at levels exceeding regulatory limits. Examples of our services include quarterly monitoring of xylene and formaldehyde in the Pathology Laboratory, sampling of mercury levels at the fluorescent bulb-crushing operation on Biggs Field, monitoring solvent concentrations at motor pools, and numerous responses to requests for services from WBAMC and Fort Bliss personnel.
Lead and Asbestos Issues
Industrial Hygiene Service, in conjunction with the Directorate of Environment, evaluates cases involving lead and asbestos exposure. Based on sampling data, IH provides an assessment as to the level of exposure, if any, and works with the Department of Preventive Medicine to coordinate clinical resources if needed.
Using our instruments, we calculate 8-hour time weighted averages (TWA) at work sites and determine sound pressure levels associated with specific operations and activities or equipment. If a noise hazardous environment is identified, then IH recommends enrollment of personnel into the Hearing Surveillance Program offered through the Hearing Conservation Program.
Ergonomics is an important issue, and a lack of understanding how to fit the worker to the workplace can result in injuries and considerable lost workdays. IH is working with Occupational Health and the FECA coordinator to aggressively address workplace ergonomic problems as they arise. In addition, we offer instructional seminars on how to create an ergonomically sound work environment.
Industrial Hygiene Surveys
Our team conducts comprehensive walk-through surveys of buildings and operations on WBAMC and Fort Bliss to evaluate for biological, chemical, ergonomic, physical and radiological stressors at the workplace. These surveys commonly involve detailed sampling and analysis.
Sobieraj, J.A., Ortega, C., West, I., Voepel, L., Battle, S.E., Robinson, D., 2004. Spatio-temporal responses of nursing personnel to patient clinical alarms. Journal for Healthcare Quality, submitted.
Sobieraj, J.A., Battle, S.E., 2004. Evaluating redeployment concerns: Potential asbestos exposure. U.S. AMEDD Journal: July-September, 62-64.
Sobieraj, J.A., West, I., Voepel, L., Ortega, C., 2004. Audibility of patient clinical alarms at a military medical center. 7th Annual Conference Force Health Protection, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 9-12 August, p. 134.
Sobieraj, J., Alvarado, M., 2003. Avoiding silent, deadly threat of carbon monoxide. The Monitor (Dec. 11 edition), p. 30.
Johnson, D., Sobieraj, J., 2003. Listen up! Earplugs key to hearing protection. The Monitor (Dec. 4 edition), p. 17.
Fonville, K., Sobieraj, J., 2003. Combating damage caused by mold. The Monitor (Oct. 2 edition), pp. 30-31.