Industrial Hygienist

Last updated: May 5, 2019

What Does Industrial Hygienist Mean?

An industrial hygienist is a professional who is capable of assessing and controlling physical, chemical, biological or environmental hazards present in the workplace, work environment or public space that could cause injury or illness. An industrial hygienist also can advise on how to minimize or control the worker exposure to harmful conditions and hazardous materials.

Safeopedia Explains Industrial Hygienist

An industrial hygienist uses scientific methods while defining the potential hazards, assessing risk or evaluating exposures in the workplace or environment while finding suitable substitutes, which are harmless or less harmful. An industrial hygienist studies hazards including:

  • Physical hazards – breathable air, temperature, light, radiation, ergonomics, slip/trip/fall and other physical hazards in the workplace
  • Chemical hazards – hazards from work related chemicals, presence of toxic gas in the workplace, contact or contamination of harmful chemicals with body parts or in the air, food and drinking water etc.
  • Biological hazards – presence of germs in the workplace, blood-borne pathogens etc.

Industrial hygienists are qualified to suggest alternative safe processes, methods, chemicals and appropriate control mechanisms by administrative controls (i.e. physical isolation or restriction on entrance) or use of personal protective equipment (PPE).


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