Organisation of Occupational Hygiene Services The size and resources of the employing organisation. The need for specialist expertise. The availability of outside help.
Role of Occupational Hygienist Know the workplaces, plant, processes, materials, sources of exposure and people involved. Know the legal requirements which may apply. Be well versed in the recognition of potential health hazards and their association with disease or discomfort. Understand the derivation of the accepted hygiene standards. Design appropriate environmental or biological sampling programmes. Select, purchase, calibrate and maintain appropriate field equipment. Carry out surveys of the workplace and be aware of the limitations of such surveys. Evaluate the risk to health by using his professional judgment and with reference to reliable hygiene standards. Apply statistical treatment to the data obtained. Store and retrieve data as necessary. Assess control methods by observation and measurement. Recommend new or improved control measures to management.
Role of Senior Occupational Hygienist Formulating occupational hygiene policies and standards. Auditing and monitoring the effectiveness of the policies. Risk assessment of new processes, by scrutinising materials, plant designs etc and anticipating problems. Educating and training management and workforce in occupational hygiene. Supervision and professional development of hygiene staff. Management of an occupational hygiene laboratory. Quality assurance of hygiene measurements and programmes.
Further Roles of Hygienists Coordinating data for standard setting. Serving on national and international committees. Liaison with many national scientific, industrial and academic bodies. Commissioning or conducting research. Producing guidance on the whole spectrum of prevention and control issues. Drafting and reviewing legislation.
Quality Assurance the size and status of the organization. the management structure and culture. the calibre of staff employed. the services offered. Quality systems may be formal or informal, and will be influenced by:
Hygienists as a Manager Managing occupational hygiene programmes - designing programmes, planning their implementation, conducting and monitoring them. Managing a hygiene service - either in-house or as a consultancy, with responsibility for staff, budgeting etc. Being part of a company's management team, advising line managers on specialised hygiene matters to meet the needs of the business. Changing careers - moving into an area such as marketing or line management on the strength of the abilities acquired through practising as a hygienist.
The Effectiveness of a Hygienist It may involve: influencing employees to use the control measures provided properly; supervising other hygiene staff to perform optimally; or influencing managers to make or support decisions.
Key Skills Executive & administrative skills such as setting objectives, planning, supervision, problem solving, decision making, time management, delegation, budgeting and auditing. People management skills including recruitment interviewing, training and development of staff, counselling, disciplinary interviewing, team building, leadership and motivation. Communication skills like report writing, making presentations and public speaking, handling meetings, persuasion (or selling) and negotiation.
Simple Development Exercises Attend a public meeting of a local authority to analyse how the debate is conducted and what type of arguments are effective. Give a presentation to a hostile audience on a sensitive health topic. Have someone track your use of time and give you feedback. Move from a small firm to a large one (or vice versa) to experience the cultural shift.