Industrial HygienistJob Description:
An Industrial Hygienist is responsible for identifying and mitigating workplace hazards, ensuring occupational health and safety standards are met, and safeguarding the health and well-being of workers in industrial environments.Job Category:
What you will do:
As an industrial hygienist, you will be:
- Identifying and evaluating workplace hazards, including chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic risks
- Assessing the potential health risks associated with workplace exposures and activities
- Conducting safety inspections and audits to ensure compliance with health and safety regulations
- Monitoring and analysing indoor and outdoor air quality, including assessing exposure to pollutants and contaminants
- Evaluating and mitigating occupational noise and vibration hazards
- Developing and implementing strategies to control and minimise exposure to hazardous substances and conditions
- Recommending and ensuring the appropriate use of PPE by workers
- Providing training and educational programs to workers and management on health and safety practices
- Ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal health and safety regulations
- Developing and implementing emergency response plans for potential workplace incidents
- Collecting and analysing data related to workplace exposures and health outcomes
- Preparing reports on findings, recommendations, and compliance status
- Providing guidance and advice to employers and workers on occupational health and safety matters
- Conducting research to improve workplace safety practices and develop innovative solutions
- Advocating for worker health and safety by participating in industry groups, committees, and government initiatives
- Continuously reviewing and updating health and safety programs to reflect best practices and emerging risks
You will need:
- knowledge in chemistry, biology, physics and environmental science
- knowledge in toxicology, epidemiology and engineering controls
- knowledge in occupational health and safety regulations
- proficiency in data analysis and statistical methods is necessary for interpreting exposure data and health outcomes
- an understanding of safety management systems implementing effective safety programs
- to keep up-to-date with changing regulations and standards in the field of industrial hygiene
As well as:
While there are no specific GCSE subject requirements for becoming an Industrial Hygienist, excelling in these subjects can provide a strong foundation:
- Biology: Understand fundamental biological concepts, which are relevant for assessing health-related hazards.
- Chemistry: Learn chemical principles as they relate to hazardous substances and chemical exposures in the workplace.
- Mathematics: Develop strong math skills, especially in areas like statistics, which are essential for data analysis.
- Physics: Gain a basic understanding of physics, which is relevant for understanding physical hazards in the workplace.
- English: Strong communication skills are important for conveying findings and recommendations in written reports and verbally.
These subjects, along with relevant undergraduate and postgraduate education, will prepare you for a career in industrial hygiene.
To become an Industrial Hygienist, you’ll need the following qualifications and requirements:
A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field like environmental health, occupational health and safety, biology, chemistry, or a related discipline is typically required.
While certification is optional, many Industrial Hygienists pursue certifications such as Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or Certified Safety Professional (CSP) to demonstrate their expertise.
Graduate Education (Optional)
Some professionals choose to pursue a master’s degree or higher in industrial hygiene or a related field to further specialise and enhance their career prospects.
Entry-level positions or internships in occupational health and safety, industrial hygiene, or related fields are valuable for gaining practical experience.
Certification Maintenance (If Certified)
If you become certified (e.g., CIH or CSP), you must meet ongoing requirements to maintain your certification, including continuing education and professional practice.
Licensing requirements, if applicable, vary by region or jurisdiction. Some areas may require licensure for specific roles within industrial hygiene.
Working Hours and Environment:
Industrial Hygienists typically work full-time, with flexible hours for fieldwork in various settings like offices, manufacturing sites, and construction areas, often requiring travel and collaboration with diverse professionals.
Career Path & Progression:
The typical career path of an Industrial Hygienist typically begins with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field like environmental health, occupational health and safety, biology, or chemistry. Entry-level positions, such as Junior Industrial Hygienist or Environmental Health Technician, provide foundational experience.
As professionals gain expertise, they often pursue certifications like Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Progressing to mid-level roles like Industrial Hygienist or Senior Environmental Health Specialist is common, where specialisation in areas like asbestos management or chemical exposure assessment can occur.
Advancement to leadership roles such as Senior Industrial Hygienist, Safety Manager, or Environmental Health Director may follow. Some Industrial Hygienists opt for consulting or private practice, while others explore opportunities in government agencies or regulatory positions. Continuous learning, staying updated on hazards and regulations, and mentoring junior professionals contribute to a fulfilling career in industrial hygiene.