Occupational hygienists examine workplaces for potential employee health and safety threats. After evaluating possible dangers posed by specific tasks, setups, and substances, they proffer suggestions on how a company can prevent related issues from ever cropping up.
Although their approach revolves around helping workers avoid life-threatening health issues, have you ever wondered what regular occupational hygienists do to ensure companies attain employee-friendly environments?
If yes, this guide describes what this class of medical practitioners executes to ensure impeccable occupational and environmental hygiene standards in workplaces. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What Tasks Do Occupational Hygienists Execute? 5 Essentials to Note
If you’d like to know what an occupational physician consulting personnel or hygienist does, here’s an overview of the essential activities they execute at workplaces:
#1 Conducting Hazard Assessment
Occupational hygienists conduct workplace risk assessments via inspections, measurements, and exposure assessments to ascertain potential workplace hazards.
During an occupational hygiene assessment, they identify threats to employee health, such as chemical, noise, or vibration exposure. Occupational hygienists may also employ specialised devices to assess the dangerous compound concentration.
#2 Developing Preventative Measures
An occupational hygienist is also responsible for creating preventative measures. They collaborate with businesses to design safeguards for workers upon potential health hazards discovery.
Standard solutions include constructing ventilation systems to rid the air of potentially harmful compounds and enclosing noisy machinery to reduce ambient noise.
#3 Providing Training and Education
Occupational hygienists inform workers of potential dangers in the workplace and how to avoid harm. For example, they educate workers on the safe handling and disposal of hazardous materials alongside the correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE) essentials like respirators and gloves.
Occupational hygienists may also instruct workers on recognising the health-impacting symptoms caused by exposure to harmful substances or working circumstances. As such, workers can identify scenarios where they are vulnerable and implement appropriate preventative measures.
#4 Conducting Research
Occupational hygienists’ duties often include conducting research. Research undertaken by them shed light on how various factors can negatively impact workers’ health and what companies can do to stall these threats.
Notably, these health professionals make concerted efforts to uncover novel workplace dangers and efficient strategies for mitigating them. To do this, they observe employees in their natural working environment and collect information on visible occupational hazard exposures and their health effects.
#5 Advising on Health and Safety Regulations
Occupational hygienists also provide medical management consultations and advice on how companies can comply with health and safety laws. Occupational hygienists work alongside government authorities to ensure organisational adherence to health and safety prerequisites.
These regulations protect employees from workplace harm, such as exposure to harmful substances or unsafe working conditions. Additionally, these rules cover engineering controls and PPE creation and usage.
Employees having a consultation with an occupational hygienist
Why Businesses Must Patronise Occupational Hygienists
Business owners will benefit significantly from engaging the services of an occupational hygienist recognised by the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH), as these medical practitioners can improve their baselines.
By engaging hygienists regularly, employees don’t develop illnesses that’ll leave them on the sidelines for months and weeks. With their advice, companies can integrate measures that’ll relegate work hazards to the background and boost productivity — prerequisites vital to an entity garnering huge revenues!
Occupational hygienists play a critical role in ensuring employees’ health and safety. They evaluate potential health hazards and design solutions to eliminate or mitigate them, lowering life-threatening workplace diseases and injuries. Therefore, knowing what they do is vital.
However, workplace hygiene doesn’t revolve around occupational hygienists only. Organisations should encourage employees to take courses on occupational hygiene, as they offer the expertise required to maintain their well-being and community.
Moving on, companies must comply with health and safety standards issued by occupational hygienists to safeguard employees from the impacts of hazardous workspaces.