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The Evolving Role of the Industrial Hygienist

June 24, 2015 General Safety
american board of industrial hygiene, bureau of labor statistics, certified industrial hygienist, hazards, industrial hygienist, occupational, occupational hazards, OSHA

“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all” (Futurama). Most days employees arrive, do their jobs, and then leave for the day. Often, it isn’t until an injury occurs, that people question the safety policies in place or the person that designed them. Welcome to the role of the Industrial Hygienist.

What is industrial hygiene?
The practice of industrial hygiene, also known as occupational health, involves identifying existing and potential hazards in the workplace and eliminating or minimizing them. Industrial Hygienists are the professionals responsible for keeping us safe and meeting regulatory compliance. The American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) oversees these professionals and also offers a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) designation.

Why do we need industrial hygiene?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 4585 workplace fatalities for 2013. During the same year 1,162,210 people were injured or fell ill on the job. A compilation of data from 2007 shows that 42% of workplace fatalities occurred during a transportation incident, 16% occurred after a worker came into contact with an object or equipment, and 15% occurred as a result of a fall. 15% of deaths were the result of violence, 9% of chemical or environmental exposures and 3% from fires or explosions. Fatalities in confined spaces are a contributing cause, fluctuating from a low of 81 in 1998 to a high of 100 in 2000 during the five-year period, averaging 92 fatalities per year.

How can PK Safety help?
A job related injury is not only the fault of the worker but also of the employer. Job injuries and fatalities are preventable. It’s incumbent upon the employer to address risks outlined by the Industrial Hygienist and train all employees on safe work practices and risk awareness. Often addressing risks, entails purchasing compliant or need specific equipment.

At PK Safety we continually curate new high quality safety oriented offerings such as gas monitors, respirators, and hazmat supplies. In addition to selling safety equipment, we are also a Factory Authorized Service Center for RAE Systems and BW Honeywell gas monitors. We welcome corporate and government accounts (GSA contract #GS-07F-183AA) and will work with you to set up convenient billing terms, and get you discounted pricing. Some of the specific needs we meet:

Gas Detection
Fall Safety
Confined Space
Ergonomics
Gloves
Respirators
First Aid
Hearing Protection
Protective Clothing

Our staff knows the ins and outs of our technology as well as the specifications. While you can find a great deal of information on our site, our staff is here to provide more detailed answers about your specific situations and work environments, just call us at 800-829-9580. We look forward to partnering with you to keep workers safe.