What is Occupational Hygiene?

Occupational hygiene uses science and engineering to measure the extent of worker exposure, and to design and implement appropriate control strategies to prevent ill health caused by the working environment. It helps employers and employees understand the risks, and promotes improved working conditions and working practices.

The 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.

In lay terms, occupational hygienists use their scientific and engineering knowledge and skills to champion the protection of workers from the hazardous chemicals and other agents they have to work with. We want Australian workers to be able to go home safely at the end of each day to their family and friends.