What Is Occupational Hygiene?
The Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) defines occupational hygiene as “The art and science dedicated to the Anticipation, Recognition, Evaluation, Communication and Control of environmental hazards in, or arising from, the workplace that can result in injury, illness, impairment, or affect the well-being of workers and members of the community. These hazards are normally divided into the categories Biological, Chemical, Physical, Ergonomic and Psychosocial”.
Occupational Hygiene and Legislative Compliance
The Work Health and Safety legislation of each Australian jurisdiction require the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) to identify hazards associated with the work environment and associated stressors, assess the health and safety risks to exposed persons and eliminate, or if not possible to eliminate, control those risks to minimise them to an acceptable level.
In order to meet applicable legislative requirements, PCBUs are required to engage a competent person (usually referred to in the industry as qualified and skilled occupational hygienist) to undertake the process described above. Once the process is completed for the hazard or a range of hazards in the workplace by collecting and evaluating the required exposure measurement data, the PCBU will have the evidence demonstrating compliance with the legislation with the aim of protecting their people at the workplace. The evidence can be in the form of an occupational hygiene scientific report or a program designed to define and assist in the implementation of ongoing activities for the protection of workers and others.
Occupational Hygiene Services & Workplace Environment Monitoring
Health Safety Consultants provide occupational hygiene services by qualified and skilled occupational hygienists holding membership with the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH) with the status of Certified Occupational Hygienist (COH).
The services we provide include the following:
- Baseline occupational hygiene surveys (walk-through WHS/OHS hazard identification & risk assessment)
- Expert Witness reports by our certified occupational hygienist (COH)
- Occupational hygiene monitoring and exposure risk assessment for routine and non-routine atmospheric chemical contaminants (eg. Addressing requirements of SafeWork NSW Improvement Notice)
- Respirable dust and Inhalable dust
- Metal dust (eg. lead, chromium, cobalt, etc.)
- Crystalline silica (Quartz, cristobalite, tridymite)
- Asbestos and synthetic mineral fibres
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Welding fumes
- Gases (eg. confined spaces and ambient environment)
- Indoor air quality/Indoor Environmental Quality investigations
- Other atmospheric contaminants in the occupational and para-occupational environment
- Workplace Noise
- Vibration monitoring & assessment (Hand-arm and whole body vibration)
- Environmental noise monitoring and assessments
- Lighting surveys & assessment
- Heat stress monitoring
- Mould and bacterial contamination assessment
- Occupational hygiene programs
- Hazardous substances/Dangerous goods risk assessments
- Confined space entry risk assessment
- Ventilation system review
- Compiling or reviewing safety data sheets (SDSs)
- Asbestos / Hazardous materials management (surveys, registers, risk assessment, removal management)
- Environmental monitoring services including stationary source emission testing and ambient air monitoring
- Provision of a range of workplace training programs, on an individual basis, or through our alliance with Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
Occupational Hygienist Mould
In the last few years there has been increased awareness and concerns regarding exposure to indoor mould and potential health effects experienced by individuals who are more susceptible to mould exposure than others. This often required detailed assessment by a mould expert or occupational hygienist experienced in the assessment of exposure to indoor mould. Therefore, searching for the term “Occupational Hygienist Mould” became popular with individuals seeking a professional mould assessment by an occupational hygienist whether for litigation purposes or for a detailed scientific assessment and evaluation of difficult indoor mould contamination.
Occupational Hygienist Asbestos
While occupational hygienists assess the exposure of workers in the workplace to a wide range of stressors, asbestos is one of the most extensively assessed and monitored substance in workplaces and non-workplaces. Occupational hygienists undertake site inspection for the identification of asbestos containing materials (ACM) in buildings, in soil and sometimes naturally occurring asbestos. Occupational hygienists also undertake asbestos sampling, asbestos air monitoring and asbestos clearance inspections to ensure the site is safe for re-occupancy and that legislative compliance is met by the controller of the workplace. The term occupational hygienist asbestos is used when searching for a professional to undertake an assessment for asbestos where a certain level of credential and assurance is required. Health Safety Consultants have a team of occupational hygienist and asbestos assessors licensed by SafeWork NSW who can assist you in all matters relating to asbestos consulting.