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The Role of Industrial Hygiene in Ensuring Workplace Safety

December 14th, 2023

Industrial hygiene plays a crucial role in ensuring workplace safety by identifying and mitigating health and safety hazards in the workplace. Industrial hygienists are professionals who are trained to anticipate, evaluate, and control these hazards to protect workers’ health and well-being .

Anticipating Health and Safety Concerns
One of the primary responsibilities of industrial hygienists is to anticipate health and safety concerns in the workplace. They use their scientific knowledge and expertise to identify potential hazards that may arise from various work processes, materials, or equipment. By proactively identifying these concerns, industrial hygienists can develop strategies and solutions to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses .

Designing Solutions to Prevent Hazards
Industrial hygienists are responsible for designing and implementing solutions to prevent or control workplace hazards. They use a combination of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize workers’ exposure to hazards. Engineering controls involve modifying the work environment or processes to eliminate or reduce hazards. Administrative controls establish work practices and policies to minimize exposure, while PPE provides physical protection to workers .

Uniting Management, Workers, and the Company
Industrial hygienists play a crucial role in uniting management, workers, and all segments of a company behind the common goal of health and safety. They collaborate with management to develop and implement safety policies and procedures. They also work closely with workers to educate them about potential hazards and train them on safe work practices. By fostering a culture of safety, industrial hygienists help create a work environment where everyone is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace .

Certification and Professional Standards
To ensure the competence and professionalism of industrial hygienists, the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) certifies individuals in the field. This certification serves as a well-respected benchmark for industrial hygienists and demonstrates their expertise in anticipating, evaluating, and controlling workplace hazards .