What is industrial hygiene and what is an industrial hygienist?
- Industrial hygiene is the science used to evaluate the work environment for chemical, physical and biological hazards and recommend how to best control those hazards to minimize the potential for worker illness and injury.
- Industrial hygiene is defined as the recognition, evaluation and control of hazards in the work environment.
- An industrial hygienist looks at the work task and identifies area of concern that needs to be evaluated for safety.
- An industrial hygienist has expertise in the completion of exposure assessments using techniques to such as air sampling, noise surveys, ionizing and radiofrequency radiation surveys, and other measurement techniques as prescribed by the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods and other recognized best practices.
- An industrial hygienist recommends measures that follow a hierarchy of controls to protect the worker.
When designing a work task, it is important to keep the worker from being injured. The worker is the most valuable asset to a business. Lost production, medical expenses and worker replacement can be eliminated or minimized by establishing appropriate hazard controls. Potential hazards that can lead to illness and injury include:
- Chemical hazards that pose injury through inhalation, skin or eye contact, allergic sensitization, and systemic illness.
- Physical hazards like noise, radiation, lasers, and heat and cold stress
A qualified industrial hygienist:
- Will have the knowledge, skill, experience, training, and education and uses reliable facts, data and methodology:
- To recognize potential hazards that pose safety concerns,
- To perform surveys, methods, and testing to make a proper exposure assessment,
- To prescribe a hierarchy of controls for controlling potential hazards.
A qualified industrial hygienist will use a hierarchy of controls, in the following order, where feasible, to determine the best control method.
- Elimination - Design or re-organise the process to eliminate hazards
- Substitution - Substitute the hazardous operation with something safer.
- Engineering controls – Isolate workers from the hazard by using local exhaust ventilation, automation, light curtains, guards, barriers and similar strategies.
- Administrative controls – Change the way the work is done by limiting the time in the hazardous area or establishing other limitations on work practices
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Prescribe equipment to be worn by the worker for protection.
How Can OSC Help?
Ralph V Collipi Jr. possesses important expertise, knowledge, credentials, and experience in the area of industrial hygiene. This includes:
- BA Zoology from the University of New Hampshire
- MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Massachusetts Lowell
- Certification in the comprehensive practice of in the industrial hygiene (CIH)
- Certification as a Certified Hazardous Material Manager (CHMM)
- Certification as a Certified Environmental, Health and Safety Auditor (CPEA)
- More than 40 years of experience as an occupational health professional
- More than 10 years of Expert Witness work
- More than 40 years experience in the area of emergency preparedness and response
- Expertise in occupational health compliance program
- Management Systems and