What Is An Industrial Hygienist and Why Do We Need One or Two or More?-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Is An Industrial Hygienist and Why Do We Need One or Two or More?

Maybe you have heard the term, "Industrial Hygienist" then again maybe you have not. Maybe you are thinking that the "Industrial" part does not sound like anything we need here at Carnegie Mellon. After all we are a university. We teach people and conduct research; we don't manufacture anything.

 Well, you might be surprised to know that an Industrial Hygienist is a person who is professionally qualified by education, training, and/or experience to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and develop controls for occupational health hazards and environmental issues.

 OK, so now you know what an Industrial Hygienist does, but why do we need them here at CMU? The fact that the university has over 200,000 square feet of laboratory and chemical storage space should probably be a strong hint that there is a need of someone who can recognize the hazards that come with using and manipulating all those chemicals.

 Even if you don't work in one of the many labs around campus, you still at some point may require the need of an Industrial Hygienist. If you have an indoor air quality issue in the building you work in, or you have an issue with the way your workstation is set up, both of these situations fall within the realm of industrial hygiene.

 Here at Carnegie Mellon University, we are lucky to have five different people who through their education, training and experience are working to provide a safe and healthy work environment.  Jim Gindlesperger, Jeff Harris, Andrew Lawson (Certified Industrial Hygienist), Mark Banister (Certified Industrial Hygienist) and myself all practice the science of industrial hygiene here at Carnegie Mellon University.