What is Industrial or Occupational Hygiene?
Industrial hygiene, also known as occupational hygiene, is “the discipline of anticipating, recognising, evaluating and controlling health hazards in the working environment with the objective of protecting worker health and well-being and safeguarding the community at large.’ -International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA)
What is an Industrial Hygienist?
According to the AIHA, industrial hygienists are scientists and engineers committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community. Industrial hygiene is considered a “science,” but it is also an art that involves judgement, creativity and human interaction.
The goal of the industrial hygienist is to keep workers, their families, and community members healthy and safe. They play a vital role in ensuring that federal, provincial, and local laws and regulations are followed in the work environment.
The IOHA points out that occupational hygienists assess health risks in the workplace; sample air to determine if there are harmful substances present; measure noise levels in factories; supervise the safe removal from asbestos from buildings; and provide practical advice on how workers can be protected from job-related health and safety risks.
Occupational hygienists work in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and mining. Some hygienists are employed as consultants or researchers. Others work may work in government, hospitals and public utilities.
Please click here to find a video that was created by the AIHA to describe the role of industrial hygienists in keeping people safe at work.
Where did the terms occupational and industrial hygiene come from?
The term ‘industrial hygienist’ is commonly used in the US, and reflects the fact that the roots of the profession were largely in industrial settings, such as mines. The term ‘occupational hygienist’ is now commonly used in many parts of the world, and accurately suggests that the work of a hygienist is not limited to industrial settings.
The word ‘hygiene’ is of Greek origin and describes a set of practices that are performed to preserve health and prevent disease. The Greek goddess of health, Hygeia, was concerned with the preservation of good health and the prevention of disease.
The APS enjoyed a terrific spring technical session and 25th anniversary celebration! We are especially grateful for the fantastic social event that was fully sponsored by ALL-TECH Environmental Services Limited.
Thank you to those who donated door prizes, including Levitt Safety, Schooner Industrial, Safety Services Nova Scotia, AIHA National, and Clive MacGregor & Associates Ltd. A special thanks goes to Kari Graves for the beautiful and delicious cakes that she prepared.
These events also provided an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made by the original APS Officers who got the APS rolling: Judy Guernsey, Jim LeBlanc, Nancy Taylor, and Lee O’Blenis.
As we enjoy the use of the new website, we’d like to acknowledge the 13 years that Kim Gordon and NB Power supported the operation of the previous APS website. Thank you as well to Arad Gharagozli for creating the new site. We’d be happy to discuss advertising opportunities on this homepage.
The topic of the upcoming spring technical session is “The Lac-Megantic Disaster Revisited: Root Cause Analysis and the Hygiene Aspects of Disaster Response”. The technical session will be held at the Ramada Plaza at 240 Brownlow Ave. in Dartmouth, NS on Friday March 27th.
It will be a full day session with presentations given by Dr. Melissa Genereux – the Director of Public Health for the Eastern Townships in Quebec and by Mr. Don Ross – a lead investigator from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
You can register online by logging into your account, selecting “payment system” from the drop down tab, then “AIHA Tech Session”. If you do not have an account, please select the “Become a Member” button on the homepage so you can benefit from the reduced member rate for all technical sessions this year.
The annual NS workplace health and safety conference is renowned for a high quality program and top notch speakers – offering the latest and most effective tools for creating, maintaining and improving workplace health & safety. Keynote speakers have left lasting impressions over the years!
Over 50 exhibits will showcase the latest health & safety products, services and expertise. Opportunities to learn from experts and network with peers. Find out what all the excitement is about!!
Enjoy Maritime hospitality, while absorbing cutting edge safety information. The event will be held from March 22 – March 24, 2015. See the SSNS Conference website for details.
Registration is now open for the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition (AIHce) – A must-attend event for industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals. Join thousands of your colleagues at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, May 30 – June 4, 2015, for world-class education and networking opportunities.