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The Galson Blog

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Safety Day “Hands on Health and Safety”

There are many studies concerning worker safety and a lot of statistics breaking down all aspects of it.  Most statistics on workplace safety tally fatalities vs. non-fatalities or are broken down further into OSHA recordable incidents vs. non-recordable incidents.  Companies keep track of lost time and money due to workplace incidents of all types.

While workplace injuries do cost companies and impact workers and their families, SGS realizes that companies and employees are impacted by incidents that happen outside the workplace too.  Recognizing this, SGS and its employees have committed to following “The Rules for Life”; rules that are applicable to all parts of one’s life, both inside and outside the workplace.  The Rules for Life are 15 rules that, when followed, should help keep workers, their families and our company safe and productive.

On September 16, nearly 100 SGS-Galson employees took part in the global 2015 SGS Safety Day, “Hands on Health and Safety”.  In our East Syracuse NY location, employees from Syracuse and several other SGS-Galson locations around the US, gathered together in person and via webcast for a presentation on Safety. Employees also participated in discussions of case studies designed to raise awareness of safe behaviors.  Afterwards, each employee re-dedicated themselves to being safe in the workplace as well as in their everyday lives and being watchful and helping their fellow workmates do the same.

By tracing their hands and adding their signatures to several Safety Day banners, each employee vowed to make safety a top-most priority in their lives by following the Rules for Life inside and outside the workplace.  The banners now hang in our East Syracuse location as a constant reminder of our commitment to “Keeping our People Safe, Always”, for ourselves, for our families, for our company and for our clients.

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Congratulations, Bill Walsh, CIH – Harriotte Hurley Award Winner!

Awesome news for one of our team is also great news for the IH world.

In early March, SGS Galson Laboratories Business Development Manager Bill Walsh received the Harriotte A. Hurley award, given annually to an AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Program volunteer who serves on the AIHA Analytical Accreditation Board (AAB). Bill accepted the award at the AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Program’s annual meeting.

The AAB through the Laboratory Quality Assurance Program (LQAP) works to establish high standards for laboratories and analysts. The outcome of these standards is high quality data used in evaluating exposures that affect the environment, natural resources and public health.  Bill has long been involved in the program and was recognized for “going above and beyond this past year, making major contributions at conferences and receptions, as well as providing outstanding service as an AAB member.“

A prestigious award

Bill, who actually knew and worked with Harriotte Hurley, is a guy who gives his all in everything he does, and his involvement in AAB gives accreditation, and therefore, the IH world, impeccable credibility. Over the past year, Bill made major contributions by presenting testimony at the March 2014 OSHA hearings on silica. He also delivered remarks at the 2014 AIHA Fall Conference to commemorate AIHA-LAP’s 40thanniversary, and hosted the awards reception held for labs accredited for 40 years at that same conference. Bill also served on the volunteer appointment committee that screened and selected applicants applying for volunteer positions in AIHA-LAP. His presence always brings a high energy level and innovative thinking to whatever he is involved in.

“Bill always makes himself available to work with staff on regulatory, policy and technical matters when they arise and because of his outstanding service over the past year as an AAB member, we honor him with this award,”AIHA’s Managing Director, Cheryl Morton said.


Passion, helpfulness, expertise and professionalism accurately describe Bill’s approach and are the reasons why our clients appreciate working with him and he has gained so much respect in the IH world. 

Congratulations Bill, on this well-deserved award!

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Joe Unangst


Data Farming Manganese for Worker Protection

Manganese is an issue

In February the Governing Board of the American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) approved changes to the Threshold Limit Values listing it publishes annually. The 2013 listing includes substances or agents adopted for 2013 including manganese.

Bill Walsh, CIH, in his blog back in February identified manganese as the most significant in terms of impact to industry. The limit is 10 times lower and the number of processes where exposure may occur is very extensive. The new limit has created a huge differential between what is legally mandated by OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), which is 5 mg/m3, and the new TLV, which has been adopted at a level of 0.1 mg/m3 for the inhalable fraction and 0.02 mg/m3 for the respirable fraction. Welding fume by definition would fall under this more stringent TLV.

Data is needed

Over the past 43 years Galson Laboratories has analyzed tens of thousands of samples for manganese. These samples have been compared to the OSHA PEL and the ACGIH TLV by our clients to provide proper protection and assurance for workers. When an exposure limit is lowered it is reasonable to be concerned that the samples previously collected that proved to be below the old limit may now exceed the new limit. This may mean that controls are required where they were not previously.

As the person responsible for the health and safety of your employees or your client’s employees it is important in the situation where an exposure limit is lowered that you have data that shows people are not now being over exposed.

How can you find this data?

For some companies this may be a difficult process to go back and find every process and every event where manganese has been monitored and determine if the result is now above the limit or the action level. For our consulting clients this could be even more daunting as consultants would need to search every project for every client to determine if manganese was a component of concern. This is where data farming can help!

Using our database of results we are able to search every analysis of manganese that we have provided to our clients using search criteria that can select every sample that was previously below the TLV that is now above the TLV. We can also search and find every sample submitted that was below the previous action level of 50% of the TLV and is now above 50% of the new TLV. This information is simple to obtain and can be provided easily to you in a spreadsheet format. The information can be used to pinpoint the monitoring survey associated with a survey so you can decide if that process requires any action. The data farming results would provide the ‘Site Name’, ‘Project Description’, ‘Laboratory Sample Number’, ‘Client Sample ID’, ‘Receive Date’ and who the results were sent to from our laboratory.

How significant is the issue?

To give you an idea of the magnitude of the change in the manganese TLV we data farmed all of our clients samples over the past 5 years and identified 9,170 samples that were previously below the TLV that are now above the new limit. There were another 2,428 samples that now exceed the new action level – approximately 11,500 samples in all that are affected. The results of the data farming are mostly results for total manganese – so in some cases it may be appropriate to resample the respirable fraction to determine for sure if the new TLV has been exceeded.

How we can help you

If you are interested in the results of samples you submitted to us over the past five years, or longer if necessary – please feel free to email me at with your account number and I will let you know if you had any samples that now exceed the new TLV that previously did not! We can data farm any scenario from our massive oracle database – so if you have other concerns with other compounds please let me know and we’ll do our best to help you.



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Galson Celebrates 43 years!

Galson Labs: Celebrating 43 Years!

Galson Laboratoriesis happy to be celebrating its 43rdyear of operation (in January) as an industry leader in the field of hygiene analysis and monitoring solutions. We specialize in working with occupational health, safety and environmental professionals in selecting the most effective means to calculate and quantify information regarding the safety of individuals who may suffer after coming in close proximity to hazardous chemicals and materials.

We have been accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) for over 25 years, and strive to protect workers from injury and illness using state-of-the-art instrumentation maintained by our dedicated and experienced staff of analysts. With Galson Laboratories, you can rest assured that you will have a partner for air monitoring projects and will be provided with quality analytic reports on time. We pride ourselves on our client service, our detailed reports and our ability to offer convenient access to technical information from programs such as FreePumpLoan, FreeSamplingBadges, 5-Days for Free, IH-Live Chat – as well as instructional videos and 24/7 on-call technical service.

With our experience and determination, we can help you and your employees stay safe and remain happy in any potentially hazardous circumstance. You can view our company video here and be sure to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. Our team is waiting to hear from you!


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