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What Is Industrial Hygiene Training?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2014
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Industrial hygiene training is education provided to people responsible for maintaining healthy and safe working conditions. It can vary in scope from a weekend workshop to provide basic information to more extensive training for people working as industrial hygienists responsible for setting, implementing, and evaluating health and safety policies. This training is usually provided by a person with extensive experience in the field, and is a form of continuing professional education. Employers may pay for it, in addition to providing assistance with travel and lodging expenses.

In industrial hygiene training, people learn about common threats to workplace health and safety, including contaminants, radiation, poor lighting, malfunctioning equipment, and related topics. Threats to worker safety can also include issues like long working hours, inadequate breaks, and repetitive motion. The industrial hygienist needs to be able to identify a variety of problems in the workplace and address them appropriately.

Health and safety officers may take industrial hygiene training to improve the quality of their work, ensuring that employees are provided with adequate and appropriate protections. This training is also useful for people in the insurance industry concerned with identifying workplace risks. Insurance inspectors may make recommendations for changes to the workplace environment to reduce liability and can also be involved in investigations after workplace accidents and injuries.

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During an industrial hygiene training, people will learn to use a variety of techniques for evaluating workplace safety. This can include everything from testing air for contaminants to helping workers make adjustments to their stations to make them more ergonomic, reducing the risk of stress injuries. The work can also include learning about hazards specific to particular industries so people can be on the lookout. Learning to document inspections and recommendations is also part of industrial hygiene training; trainees, for example, will learn how to log workplace inspections and create a record.

A trainer may be willing to travel to a workplace to offer industrial hygiene training if there are enough potential students. One advantage to on-site education is the opportunity to practice in a real environment. People interested in becoming industrial hygienists can take college and university classes in addition to certification courses so they can offer trainings, inspect workplaces, and perform other activities. Pay scales for people in this field depend on their level of education and training, along with the industries they specialize in. The work can require travel to different kinds of workplaces, as well as activities like testifying in court when cases involving liability for workplace illness and injury are heard.

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