Industrial Hygiene

Last Updated: September 1, 2020

Definition - What does Industrial Hygiene mean?

Industrial hygiene is a field of study and practice dedicated to ensuring a safe and healthy workplace environment. In particular, industrial hygiene is focused on the prevention of workplace illness. Industrial hygiene professionals monitor and assess workplaces to detect and eliminate health hazards.

An industrial hygiene program should include process to detect and avoid chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic hazards. Industrial hygiene is proactive and responsive. Ideally, through careful attention and study, health hazards can be anticipated and prevented before causing harm to workers or members of the community. Industrial hygiene may also be called occupational hygiene.

WorkplaceTesting explains Industrial Hygiene

Workplace health hazards can place employees at risk, increase costs, and reduce productivity. Additionally, government agencies regulating workplaces require that certain safety standards be implemented to reduce and avoid health hazards. An industrial hygienist is often tasked with evaluating and identifying hazards in a particular workplace and then implementing a plan to remove or minimize those hazards.

An industrial hygiene program may include engineering, work practices, and administrative controls. Monitoring the workplace environment for the presence of air contaminants or other toxins may be part of an industrial hygiene program. Worker health monitoring also plays an important role. Regular assessments of worker health and tracking of reported illnesses (such as influenza) and injuries all fall within the purview of industrial hygiene.

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