Occupational Hygienist

» search for more Jobs

Occupational hygienists are interested in detecting potential and present stressors in the workplace; these may be biological, chemical, ergonomic, physical or psychosocial. In addition, they may be responsible for devising plans and strategies to promote and ensure safety. This discipline has a bigger emphasis on the science of these stressors than does the closely related occupational health and safety.

Typical issues which occupational hygienists may deal with include hazardous substances, noise and vibration, lighting, thermal stress, protective equipment, ventilation and ergonomics. Responsibilities often include conducting tests, compiling data, undertaking surveys and analysing workplace procedures and equipment. Professionals in this sector often share their findings and create strategies with multi-disciplinary teams which include occupational health and safety professionals, engineers, chemists and medical practitioners. Employment opportunities exist in the industrial sector, consultancies and government agencies.

Entry may be gained with a variety of physical, applied and medical sciences, mathematics and environmental health degrees. Post-graduate qualifications are also usually necessary with these types of undergraduate study, some educational facilities offer masters in occupational health/hygiene as well as graduate certificates and diplomas. Certification through the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists is also possible though is not essential for all practicing professionals.