What Is Industrial Hygiene?

Industrial hygiene is the practice of identifying, evaluating & controlling workplace stressors or hazards that can affect the health & safety of workers, their families & those.in the community.

The processes of industrial hygiene involve identifying, analyzing, and controlling workplace conditions and hazards to prevent dangerous and harmful work environments. These problems can fall into different categories, including:

  • Chemical hazards such as fumes and vapors
  • Biological hazards such as viruses and bacteria
  • Physical hazards such as heat and radiation
  • Air contaminants such as fibers and aerosols

Ideally, hazards are identified and controlled when a workplace is planned through design reviews, when conditions or processes change, or through yearly reviews or surveys. By identifying hazards before a worker is adversely affected, employers can proactively protect their employees and their families and prevent long-term health effects.

Most employers do not typically have professionals as part of their safety team who are qualified to perform industrial hygiene assessments, unless they are a large corporation.

Identifying and Evaluating Occupational Hazards

How can you as an employer, identify stressors or hazards that could negatively impact your employees cost-effectively? The role of an industrial hygienist is to anticipate, recognize & evaluate health & safety hazards or concerns & recommend controls to prevent negative health effects from exposures to identified hazards. But anyone can say that they are an industrial hygienist.

To ensure that you, as a responsible employer are utilizing a knowledgeable, experienced professional, the industrial hygienist must be certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygienists (ABIH).

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