The Top Four Questions About Industrial Hygienists

It’s a term that you may not hear everyday. But for workplace and occupational safety, it is certainly one of the more important concepts.

In this blog post, we will go over the most frequently asked questions regarding industrial hygienists.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy this wealth of industrial hygienic knowledge that is about to be dropped.

1. What Is Industrial Hygiene?

Let’s break it down. To best understand what industrial hygienists do and why they are important in our world today, we need to have a basic understanding of what industrial hygiene even means.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), industrial hygiene is the “science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace, which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being or significant discomfort among workers or among the citizens of the community.”

What this means is that industrial hygiene is a practice that recognizes and analyzes workplace hazards and employs methods that will combat them to ensure safety and health to people. In a similar way that we care for our personal hygiene, the hygiene of an industrial company is crucial to maintain.

2. What Does an Industrial Hygienist Do?

Now that we’ve reviewed what exactly the term “industrial hygiene” means, it’s time we go over how industrial hygienists do the work that they do.

The hygienists will evaluate jobs for potential physical, health and safety hazards through site monitoring, testing and analysis. The monitoring period is the beginning stages that inspect a workplace to see if hazards are present.

The testing phase is exactly how it sounds. Hygienists will test products, the work environment and other areas for potential hazards and contamination. Hygienists detect any exposure to hazards and will then put into place practices to prevent and minimize those hazards.

The analysis stage will determine which and what kind of hazards are present as a danger to employees.

At the end of the analysis period, the hygienist will go over what is necessary to properly control these hazards to ensure employee safety and health protection.

3. Why Is Industrial Hygiene Important?

In addition to sheer safety and health of the community, industrial hygiene is extremely important in the work industry.

Aside from the obvious, employee satisfaction is among some of the reasons you should consider industrial hygienic inspections.

As a company, the health of your employees should be top-priority. With healthy employees comes an increase in job productivity.

If the workplace is a safe environment, workers are at an increased likelihood to be more productive. Companies who are aware of potential hazards and act to enhance and protect the health and safety of employees and the surrounding community are more likely to retain their employees.

4. What Are Some Job Hazards?

The most common types of hazards that come within the workplace can range from simple air contaminants to chemical, biological, physical and ergonomic hazards. We have listed below the kinds of hazards to each:

Air contaminants

  • Dusts
  • Fumes
  • Mists (aerosols)
  • Fibers
  • Gases

Chemical hazards

  • Solids
  • Liquids
  • Gases
  • Mists
  • Dusts
  • Fumes
  • Vapors

Biological hazards

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Other living organisms

Physical hazards

  • Radiation
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Illumination
  • Temperature

Make sure you’re familiar with how employees can be affected by these hazards. For instance, chemical hazards can affect people through inhalation, absorption (contact to the skin) and ingestion. Biological hazards can ultimately cause infections, both acute and chronic.

To avoid these dangers that could be present in the workplace or your products, make sure you have the proper testing and inspections done by certified professionals.

If you have any questions, concerns or are in need of testing, please don’t hesitate to contact Environmental Hazards Services!