Occupational hygienists can provide advice on control strategies including hazard elimination, engineering modifications, administrative controls and finally personal protective equipment.
They focus on worker health protection by assessing the risk of hazards and improving work conditions and work practices.
- Develop strategies for evaluating the work site to determine the degree of risk
- Collect and analyse samples to assess worker exposure to physical, chemical and biological agents such as dust, fibres, asbestos, silica, bacteria, mould
- Use instruments, sampling techniques and other methods to measure levels of physical agents such as lighting, heat, noise, vibration and radiation
- Determine airborne exposure concentrations of contaminants and compare them to regulatory standards and guidelines and accepted occupational exposure criteria
- Evaluate the effectiveness of control strategies implemented to protect against workplace exposures and hazards (eg. personal protective equipment, local extraction ventilation (LEV) systems)
- Interpret the results of exposure evaluations and determine risk to human health based on scientific research and recommend ways to control workplace hazards through engineering methods, improved work procedures and protective equipment
To become an Occupational Hygenist
Training for occupational hygienists requires the completion of an acceptable degree in Science or Engineering (or an equivalent qualification). Membership with the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) is recommended for professionals interested in working in this field.