Even as the world is today moving forward with high technological advancements, it is also being filled with different kinds of workplace health hazards like Chemical hazards, Biological hazards, Air contaminants, Physical hazards and Ergonomic hazards. These potential workplace health hazards including personal overexposure to chemicals, noise, heat and vibration are anticipated, identified, evaluated and controlled through a scientific process of environmental monitoring and analytical methods known as industrial hygiene.
The person carrying out the duties of the exercises involved in the process of implementing industrial hygiene is designated as an industrial hygienist. Any person completing his formal education with a bachelor’s or master’s degree is eligible to undergo the required training to become an industrial hygienist.
Any aspiring industrial hygienist, after completion of degree course will have to have a at least three years of work experience and also complete a work-study program to be considered for certification by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.
To become a CIH, a candidate must have passed the initial Industrial Hygienist Certification exam, finished all educational requirements at either the bachelor's or master's degree levels and completed four years of training in the field.
The ABIH is the certifying body for the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and Certified Associate Industrial Hygienist (CAIH), the premier occupational hygiene certifications in the world. They can then register for obtaining the title and status of Diplomat of the American Academy of Industrial Hygiene.
The awareness of industrial hygiene had been there even from the fourth century BC when Hippocrates identified lead toxicity in the mining industry. Then a Roman Scholar, Pliny the Elder, in the first century pointed out the risks involved for those working with zinc and sulfur.
Then in the early days of the 20th century, Dr. Alice Hamilton, physician and reformer and America’s foremost specialist in toxicology observed industrial conditions and proved with evidence that workers illness was directly related to exposure to toxins. She provided proposals for the elimination of unhealthy working conditions and led in the efforts to improve industrial hygiene.
The importance of the industrial hygienist is greatly acknowledged in today’s world and the need of the hour is implementation of industrial hygiene to maintain healthy work place conditions ensuring the protection for workers from industrial hazards.
It is the duty of the industrial hygienist to conduct a worksite analysis and determine the sources of potential hazards. The hygienist makes an analysis of the different jobs, operations and work activities, inspects, does a research, identifies and analyzes the work situations effect the workers. He then recommends appropriate corrective methods to eliminate the hazards.
Some of the methods recommended by the industrial hygienist for the elimination of industrial hazards to ensure industrial hygiene, include, the use of protective equipment like gloves, safety goggles, helmets, safety shoes and protective clothing, demarcated areas for eating, drinking and smoking, chewing tobacco or gum and applying cosmetics and the implementation of good house-keeping procedure. To ensure all this, good supervision is an important requirement.
Certified Industrial Hygienist
Industrial Hygienist Salary