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Exposure monitoring can be used to find out if workers are potentially being exposed to a hazard at harmful levels or if the measures in place to control exposure to that hazard are working.
Examples of exposure monitoring include:
> monitoring the level of noise a worker is exposed to
> monitoring the air a worker breathes to check how much of a substance they are being exposed to
> testing workers’ blood or urine for the presence of a harmful substance or the by-products (metabolites) of a substance (called biological exposure monitoring).
There are times when exposure monitoring must take place as stated in regulations.
An example is the Health and Safety At Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016(external link). These regulations describe:
- what work triggers the need for exposure monitoring to take place
- who must carry out the monitoring
- how often monitoring must be carried out
- who receives a copy of the monitoring report
- how long monitoring reports must be kept.
We have produced guidance for PCBUs about exposure monitoring. The fact sheet Exposure monitoring under the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 summarises the exposure monitoring required under these regulations.
However, even if you don’t need to monitor under these regulations and meet the requirements described in the fact sheet, you still must monitor worker exposure so far as is reasonably practicable.