Health, Safety, Security and Environment

E-Books: Industrial Hygiene Simplified

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Industrial Hygiene Simplified: A Guide to Anticipation, Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Workplace Hazards by Frank R. Spellman. This book was written in response to the need for a hands-on, practical resource that focuses on the needs of modern industrial hygiene practice. It is intended for in-field use and for corporate training settings. Industrial Hygiene Simplified is valuable and accessible for use by those involved in such disciplines as industrial technology, manufacturing technology, industrial engineering, engineering technology, occupation safety, management, and supervision. This book is ideal for those needing a refresher on industrial hygiene concepts and practices.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), industrial hygiene is the science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, and controlling workplace conditions that may cause worker injury or illness. Industrial hygienists use environmental monitoring and analytical methods to detect the extent of worker exposure. They also evaluate employee engineering, administrative controls, and other methods, such as personal protective equipment (PPE), designed to control or guard against potential health hazards in the workplace (OSHA, 1998).

Do you remember 9/11? How about the post office anthrax mess? Dumb questions, right? The proper question should be: How can we ever forget? It started with the word being passed around about airplanes crashing into the Twin Towers. News coverage was everywhere. Remember those TV shots with the planes crashing; the towers falling? Over and over again those shots were replayed, etched into our human memory chips. We watched mesmerized; like fire watchers or falling water gazers, hypnotized. We literally could not believe what our eyes were seeing.

Later, during the frantic hunt for survivors, TV coverage continued. We saw the brave police-, fire-, and emergency-responders doing what they do best—rescuing survivors. We saw construction workers and unidentified others climbing over and crawling through the tangled, smoking mess, helping where they could. We saw others too. For instance, do you recall seeing folks walking around in what looked like space suits, instruments in hand? The average TV viewer, watching these space-suited people moving cautiously and deliberately through the smoking mass of death and destruction, had no idea who those dedicated professionals were. Professionals doing what they do best; monitoring and testing the area to make sure it was safe for the responders and everyone else. For example, ensuring it was safe for a president, arm around a hero, who stood there on the rubble in the smoldering mess and spoke those resolute words we all needed to hear; words the terrorists needed to hear; words they are still hearing.

Who were those space-suited individuals who not only appeared on our TV screens during the aftermath of 9/11 but were also prominent figures in footage of post offices trashed by anthrax?

They were the industrial hygienists.

Terrorism and bioterrorism might be new buzzwords in the American vernacular, but responding to hazard sites is nothing new to those space-suited folks whom most people, in regards to profession, can’t even identify.

Times have changed, but the need for fully-trained professional industrial hygienists has not.

Is the industrial hygienist also a safety professional?

It depends. The safety profession and industrial hygiene have commonly been thought of as separate entities (this is especially the view taken by many safety professionals and industrial hygienists). In fact, over the years, a considerable amount of debate and argument has arisen between those in the safety and industrial hygiene professions on many areas concerning safety and health issues in the workplace—and on exactly who is best qualified to administer a workplace safety program.

Historically, the safety professional had the upper hand in this argument—that is, prior to the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which mandated the formation of an administrative entity, OSHA. Until OSHA went into effect, industrial hygiene was not a topic that many professionals thought about, cared about, or had any understanding of. Safety was safety—and job safety included health protection—and that was that.

After the OSH Act, however, things changed, and so did perceptions. In particular, people began to look at work injuries and work-related illnesses differently. In the past, they were regarded as separate problems.


The primary reason for this view was obvious—and not so obvious. Obvious was a work-related injury. Work injures occurred suddenly and their agent (i.e., the electrical source, chemical, machine, tool, work or walking surface, or whatever unsafe element caused the injury) was readily obvious. Not so obvious were the workplace agents (occupational hazardous substances; e.g., lead, asbestos, formaldehyde, etc.) that caused work-related illnesses. Again, why not so obvious? Because most occupational illnesses/diseases develop rather slowly, over time. In asbestos exposure, for example, workers who abate (remove) asbestos-containing materials without the proper training (awareness) and PPE are subject to exposure.


The Contents and Subject Index of Industrial Hygiene guide

  • 1 What Is Industrial Hygiene?
  • 2 Industrial Hygiene/Safety Terminology
  • 3 Hazard Communication, Occupational Environmental Limits, and Air Monitoring and Sampling
  • 4 Indoor Air Quality and Mold Control
  • 5 Noise and Vibration
  • 6 Radiation
  • 7 Thermal Stress
  • 8 Ventilation
  • 9 Personal Protective Equipment
  • 10 Toxicology: Biological and Chemical Hazards
  • 11 Ergonomics
  • 12 Engineering Design and Controls

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