Industrial Hygiene focuses on the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, prevention and control of environmental factors or stresses in the workplace that may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being or significant discomfort among workers or others in the community. Engineering, work practice and administrative controls are the primary means of reducing employee exposure to occupational hazards.
- Engineering controls minimize employee exposure by either reducing or removing the hazard at the source or isolating the worker from the hazard.
- Work practice controls alter the how a task is performed by changing existing work practices to minimize exposures, inspecting and maintaining process and control equipment on a regular basis, implementing good housekeeping procedures and providing adequate supervision.
- Administrative controls include controlling employees’ exposure by scheduling production and tasks to minimize exposure levels, such as scheduling hazardous operations when the fewest employees are present.
When effective work practices or engineering controls are not feasible, or while controls are being implemented, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used, including gloves, safety goggles, helmets, safety shoes, protective clothing and respirators.
For more information, download OSHA’s handy 8-page Industrial Hygiene pamphlet.