NYCOSH’s industrial hygienist can conduct targeted on-site workplace environmental assessments for unions, organizations, or employers upon request. Priority is given to organizations that are members of NYCOSH.
Typical requests include assessments for indoor environmental quality, moisture and mold concerns, adequacy of mechanical ventilation, chemical storage and laboratory safety, fire/emergency egress, occupational noise, vehicle and equipment emissions, protection of building occupants during construction and renovation, workplace violence risk factors, ergonomic risk factors, and chemical exposures.
Site visits include visual assessment of areas of concern in the workplace and may involve use of monitoring or sampling equipment. Site visits are tailored so as to not disrupt the work activities; however, NYCOSH must be able to observe the work process and must have access for brief, non-disruptive, on-site interviews with workers. This may occur before, during, and/or after the walkthrough. NYCOSH may also need access to air handling units, roofs, basements, crawl spaces and sand tunnels, ceiling plenums, loading docks, etc.
In NYCOSH’s experience, it is usually necessary for a union to provide reasonable notice and to obtain permission in advance from the employer for a site visit to occur. Where an employer requests the assessment and there is a union present, NYCOSH requires union agreement and participation.
Walkthroughs may be conducted on a union-only or on a joint union-management basis, to be determined by the union and the employer. Joint union-management meetings or union-only meetings can be arranged before and/or after the walkthrough to discuss concerns, findings, and recommendations.
NYCOSH requires union representatives to participate in the walkthrough and asks that unions share assessment results and reports with their members. Most unions also find it useful to share NYCOSH assessment reports with the employer.
Assessment findings and recommendations will be communicated verbally during and at the conclusion of the walkthrough. Detailed written reports are usually provided; in some cases, briefer written memos may suffice.
There is no charge for most assessments; some assessments may incur a low-cost fee for service and/or additional laboratory fees for sample analysis. On rare occasions, there may be a fee for rental of specialized monitoring equipment.