Almost 7,000 industrial hygienists have CIHs

Occupational hygienists focus on hazards that may not have immediate outcomes, but may lead to serious consequences.

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) — now known as the Board for Global EHS Credentialing (BGC) — reported that at the end of last year, there were 6,940 certified industrial hygienists (CIH) globally, of which 6,225 were in the United States.

The term occupational hygiene (used in Canada, the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, as well as much of Europe) is synonymous with industrial hygiene (used in the U.S., Latin America, and other countries that have received initial technical support or training from U.S. sources).

Occupational hygiene is often defined as the science devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, prevention and control of those environmental factors or stresses (stressors) arising in or from the workplace which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being, or significant discomfort among workers or citizens of the community.

Occupational safety may be defined as the maintenance of a working environment relatively free from actual or potential hazards capable of causing physical harm to those who work in the environment.

Safety professionals are typically responsible for monitoring and managing workplace safety and developing programs in order to help senior management comply with occupational health and safety legislation and prevent accidents in the workplace.

Occupational safety professionals often focus on workplace physical safety issues that can cause immediate injury or death such as hazardous work, slips and trips and falls, logout or tagout protocols for hazardous machines, hazardous energies, workplace violence, loss time accidents, safety inspections and risk management.

Occupational hygienists, by comparison, focus more on workplace hazards that may not have immediate outcomes, but may also lead to serious consequences, such as occupational illness, a shortened lifespan or quality of life.

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