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, maritime, and construction.
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.
- 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.