- Safety and Health Topics
- Direct-Reading Instruments
Direct-reading instruments are valuable tools for detecting and measuring worker exposure to gases, vapors, aerosols, and fine particulates suspended in air. These instruments permit real-time or near real-time measurements, and their use is specifically required by some OSHA standards. There are many types of instruments available, each of which is designed for a specific monitoring purpose. Proper operation of direct-reading instruments is essential to ensure that accurate information is obtained when evaluating air contaminants.
Direct-reading instruments are addressed in specific OSHA standards for General Industry, Shipyard Employment, and Construction.
Provides information regarding methods and means used to evaluate workplace exposures with direct-reading instruments.
Video Exposure Monitoring (VEM)
Provides information on this technique where worker exposures are monitored with direct-reading instruments while workplace activities are simultaneously recorded on videotape.
Provides links and references to additional resources related to direct-reading instruments.
- Calibrating and Testing Direct-Reading Portable Gas Monitors. OSHA Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB), (September 30, 2013). Provides workers and employers guidance on calibrating and testing direct-reading portable gas monitors (hereafter, "DRPGMs" or "instruments").
- Secondary Lead Smelter. OSHA eTool. Describes ways to reduce lead exposure to employees in lead smelter plants, specifically in the following operations: raw materials processing, smelting, refining and casting, environmental controls, and maintenance.
- Lead Battery Manufacturing. OSHA eTool. Focuses on the process of producing lead-acid batteries used in automobiles, fork trucks, material handling, and standby power applications.
How do I find out about employer responsibilities and workers' rights?
Workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. The OSHA law also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under the law (including the right to raise a health and safety concern or report an injury). For more information see www.whistleblowers.gov or Workers' rights under the OSH Act.
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to the OSHA Offices by State webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
Small business employers may contact OSHA's free and confidential On-Site Consultation program to help determine whether there are hazards at their worksites and work with OSHA on correcting any identified hazards. Consultants in this program from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. On-Site Consultation services are separate from enforcement activities and do not result in penalties or citations. To contact OSHA's free consultation service, go to OSHA's On-Site Consultation web page or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and press number 4.
Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards. Workers can file a complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), online via eComplaint Form, or by printing the complaint form and mailing or faxing it to the local OSHA area office. Complaints that are signed by a worker are more likely to result in an inspection.
If you think your job is unsafe or if you have questions, contact OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Your contact will be kept confidential. We can help. For other valuable worker protection information, such as Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers' page.