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Industrial Hygiene

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Definition – What does Industrial Hygiene mean?

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Industrial hygiene is a professional practice concerned with maintaining occupational health and safety in workplaces.

Industrial hygienists are responsible for the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, prevention, and control of workplace hazards and other environmental factors that may have negative impacts on the health and safety of workers or other individuals in proximity to the workplace.

Industrial hygienists are charged with developing or recommending solutions to control a safety problem if one is either identified as present or is anticipated to arise in the future. Industrial hygienists also conduct audits of workplace conditions in order to ensure that workplaces are in compliance with relevant occupational health and safety regulations.

Outside the United States, it is known as occupational hygiene.

HSSE World explains Industrial Hygiene

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An industrial hygienist is a scientist or engineer with a minimum of three years of workplace experience in industrial hygiene in addition to baccalaureate training in an appropriate science. As a specialized profession, most industrial hygienists also seek certification with the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) as proof of their ongoing compliance with the required competencies and standards of their profession.

Industrial hygienists work with a wide variety of safety issues, including occupational diseases (silicosis, tuberculosis, etc), air quality, exposure to potentially harmful substances, radiation exposure, waste management processes, and musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Industrial hygienists are heavily involved in understanding and developing best practices for exposure to hazardous substances and physical conditions.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) publishes Threshold Limit Values, an internationally recognized guideline for occupational exposure limits to various chemical substances and physical agents.

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