I meet Mabely Wise back in 2013 at AIHA’s CIH preparation course in Ann Arbour, Michigan where we quickly bonded, grumbling over calculations. Lucky for me we have stayed in touch and even got the chance to catch up at AIHce in San Antonio last year.
Mabely was born and raised in Cali, Colombia, and for over five years has provided Occupational Health and Safety consulting services to employers in North and South America. Since 2013 Mabely has been working in the role of Product Stewardship Specialist with Materion Brush Inc, a role that she very much enjoys, captivating her interest to continue learning and growing in this discipline complementary to industrial hygiene.
So some of the things that Mabely loves: Travelling, meeting people, dancing (she is Columbian after all!), playing play spy games (and winning!), being connected with awesomeness (God) and watching and cheering Colombian soccer games (Yes, the team of James Rodriguez, the World Cups Golden Boot! amongst many other Columbian Soccer Stars :) …. “Proud Smile”
So here’s 5 mins with Mabely:
1. Best location I have worked: This is difficult to respond without being biased and unfair…of course that I would say due to my ties to my native city that Cali, Colombia is the best location that I have ever worked in! (just think about it…awesome weather, people, food, lots of fun that without mentioning the endless opportunities to make a difference right there in the spot on workers’ health protection), but I’d most say that being in the USA and having the opportunities to work in St Louis, Missouri and currently in Cleveland, Ohio have given me the opportunity to expand and grow my professional experience exponentially in IH while fulfilling with my mission of protecting workers health, for which I am very grateful.
2. The best thing about my job is: Helping Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to protect the health of their workers. I work as a Product Stewardship Specialist, and thanks to the all-encompassing Product Stewardship Program at Materion Brush Inc., I have had the opportunity to support the EHS Programs of SME in the USA and that fulfils my heart! We do so by visiting our customers, vendors and fabricators (who at several occasions are SME’s) to educate them on how to safely use and handle our materials and to provide them as needed with related EHS services, including; air monitoring and exposure control reports at no cost…and for me, that rocks!
3.Career Highlight: Again, supporting SME’s to develop their EHS programs and protect their workers’ health. In my opinion, SME’s are in great need of our services but unfortunately due to either a lack of resources or resourcefulness, employers at these enterprises struggle to keep up with health and safety standards, consequently the health and well-being of their employees are jeopardized.
4. If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Being flexible and to temporarily giving up access to some commodities (bathroom, water, tea or whatever you drink). Also, you better get used to being surrounded by a circle of passionate and “science nuts” professionals, thus you must be willing to keep up with the professions scientific developments and be eager to continue learning and updating yourself in matter related to your career.
5. People normally think my job involves: Cleaning teeth or cleaning facilities.
6. The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: To participate in the American Industrial Hygiene Association 2014 Future Leaders Institute Program, that was an honor!
7. The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Hasn’t happened quite yet…still waiting for that “crazy” challenge.
“Following on from the recent 3M Young Hygienist of the Year competition, we are delighted to team up with BOHS to offer another terrific opportunity for a second young professional to attend IOHA 2015”.
“This new competition for a place at IOHA 2015 will offer the lucky winner a great chance to be exposed to four stimulating days of learning from the very best in the occupational hygiene profession, as well networking with colleagues, vendors and suppliers.” – Nicole Vars McCullough, 3M Personal Safety Division’s Global Technical Services Manager.
Young Hygienists don’t miss this opportunity!
To enter, you have to be:
- aged 40 or under as at 31 December 2015 (AKA a Young Hygienist); and
- a member of BOHS or any of the other IOHA member societies, in good standing.
You will receive:
- a full conference place for IOHA 2015 London (27th to 30th April), including a ticket for the gala dinner;
- hotel accommodation for 4 nights; and
- travel and subsistence costs of up to $2000, which are reclaimable.
NOTE: If you have are already registered to attend IOHA2015, you can still enter (as long as you meet the criteria of course) – if you win, your registration fee will be reimbursed!
The business end of the competition.
By the 24th March 2015 applicants need to:
- create a Powerpoint presentation on the following topic: ‘Getting your PPE Facts right – 5 facts and 5 myths’
- upload the presentation to www.slideshare.net/ and promote this via Twitter, tagging @bohsworld and using the hashtags #IOHA2015 #3Mcompetition
I am excited to introduce Julie Toseski, our first Young Hygiene Graduate SNAPSHOT participant!!
Julie is a passionate OHS practitioner who has worked in the Private Forestry Industry for the past 9 years. Lucky for us, Julie fell in love with OH in 2012, enrolled at the University of Wollongong (UOW) and in December 2014 graduated with a Master of Science (Occupational Hygiene Practice), one of the highlights of her life!
Julie’s infectious energy for life, love of a challenge and an eagerness to learn and grow within the OH profession has recently paid off as she has secured an internship with NIOSH, based at their Cincinnati office this coming June and July (Julie = happy face; Me = jealous face).
Julie reports her long-term dream is to someday develop and grow further within the OH research field. Did I mention Julie is now completing a Master of Public Health (Hons) at Griffith University in Queensland!!!
5 mins with Julie:
1. I chose to pursue a career in OH because: I actually stumbled on the field when I was asked to compile an Asbestos Management Plan and Register for the company I worked for. The more I researched what OH was all about, the more I fell in love with it and the diversity it offered. I was awarded a high commendation award from WorkCover NSW at the 2012 Safe Work Awards for my efforts and knew right then that OH was my calling….protecting and promoting worker health and safety and the community at large, and making a difference, however small it was.
2. My dream hygiene job is: Working alongside fantastic hygienists who are just as passionate, enthusiastic and driven as I am with a vision to influence, change and improve the health and well being of workers from all levels and vast backgrounds.
3. The hardest subject matter I had to learn was: Measurement of Hazardous Substances was my first every unit and after the week intensive at UOW I remember feeling a little overwhelmed and second-guessing my career choice! (this and the fact that Hendo (John Henderson) scared the hell out of me! :o))) As the weeks progressed, and I completed unit after unit, I gained more confidence in what I could offer. I never lost sight of what needed to be done and what I needed to do to achieve my goals. ‘Never give up’ is my motto…taking a risk and challenging your comfort zone can eventuate the most memorable and life changing experiences :o)
4. My hygiene god is: As I’m predominantly new to the OH field, I would have to say that I have a sphere of hygiene gods that have influenced my growth on this journey thus far. These predominantly include Jane Whitelaw, John (Hendo) Henderson, Frank Hearl, Alan Rogers, Linda Anthorpe, Tim White and Ross Di Corletto to name a few.
5. My advice to anyone thinking about pursuing studying occupational hygiene is: Go for it…you will never look back. The learning opportunities are vast and rewarding. A keen desire to learn, develop and grow with ever-changing environments of the workplace, evolving sciences and technologies is a must though. OH is soo infectious…once you’re hooked, your hooked for life…nothing else compares :o). Good luck on your journey!
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have worked with, or be taught and mentored by Jane will testify to her energetic and relentless action to promote the education and development of hygienists, not just in Australia, but globally. Speaking from my own personal experience I have no doubt Jane has significantly influenced the development and shaped the careers of countless hygienists and safety professionals, with many more yet to come. And yes, I do consider myself to be one of the lucky ones!
So here’s 5 mins with Jane:
Best location I have worked: My first job as an 18yr old chemistry trainee was at an aluminium smelter in the middle of the Hunter Valley Vineyards. Part of my job was monthly environmental sampling where we’d pick the grape leaves to analyse for fluoride – at the same time picking up a few bottles of grape juice for later!
The best thing about my job is: Being a positive influence of peoples health…a small intervention today can reap lifelong reward as far as health goes.
Career Highlight: Achieving CIH at the age of 29 (in the days when there were no cheat sheets for the calculations) and still being considered a young (at heart) hygienist!
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Thinking on your feet and using all five of your senses. As my Mum would say “God gave you two ears and one mouth – listen twice as much as you speak” I’m still working on that one!!!
People normally think my job involves: Health and Safety of some sort. I’ve had 30 yrs to get an answer ready for when I’m asked.
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Join Brian Davies and the team at the University of Wollongong. I learn something new every day and it’s a great environment to work in. The most fulfilling part is sharing my passion with and sowing into the lives of the next generation of Occupational Hygienists across the world.
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: For many years I analysed about 500 urinary fluorides/yr for smelter workers who weren’t always the most hydrated workforce I’ve seen….wish I had that data to write up now!
Kristie is one of the first graduates of the UOW’s Masters of Science Occupational Hygiene Program, and currently works as an energetic Workplace Health and Safety Coordinator at a Peabody Energy underground coal mine in NSW, Australia.
5 mins with Kristie:
Best location I have worked: That’s a hard one. I have been lucky enough to work on various remediation projects and a number of mine sites, always learning and improving skills at each role.
An interesting asbestos remediation project that always sticks in my mind was located in Batam, Indonesia. Instructions were to fly to Singapore, then ferry across to Batam. Upon arrival in Batam, I had to pay for my visa (US dollars), and I would be collected by a site representative. Simple enough I hear you say and I thought so too.
All was going smoothly until Indonesian border security starts questioning me. Unfortunately not being able to speak the native tongue; and watching your Australian passport being waved about and start walking away, can make you feel very nervous. Luckily for me the site representative had arrived and was able to sort everything out. (Heart back in chest, breathe!).
The best thing about my job is: There is never a dull moment. Locations and type of work can vary which always keeps my hygiene mind in overdrive, and makes work very interesting. Also meeting other hygienists and health professionals at different locations is a bonus.
Career Highlight: Being able to travel and work and see some amazing locations. And always surviving, after constantly being thrown in the deep end! I have met some wonderful hygienist along the way (You know who you are!) who are always there for support and assistance. It’s a privilege to know some of the #hygienegods, in particular studying under the fabulous guidance of Brian Davies, Jane Whitelaw and John Henderson.
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Being flexible and adaptable. Things don’t always go to plan!
People normally think my job involves: Ensuring everything is hygienically clean; from lunch rooms to bathrooms; including personal hygiene (ensuring you can wash your hands correctly).
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Join the UOW Occupational Hygiene program by Brian Davies at a career fair day. Originally I was studying to be a dietitian. I am passionate about maintaining good health, and I enjoy sharing this knowledge to help others achieve this, whether it is at work or socially.
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Nothing really comes to mind; I try to view everything as a learning experience. One such experience was my first trip in an underground coal mine, busting for the toilet, where I was taken and to this day I describe as a box trailer with a toilet seat attached to one end, and no brattice anywhere. My guide was my look out at one cut through – and those of you who have been underground can imagine being female and trying to use a toilet!
Custodian of the #younghygienist blog! Well I cannot guarantee I will be as funny, however I will exhaust all effort to be as enlightening as our #hygienegodintraining Kate Cole!
I would like to congratulate Kate on all that she has achieved with the blog during 2014, in particular promoting the Occupational Hygiene profession. Big shoes to fill you think? Yes, I think so!
So who am I then? I am Holly Fletcher and yes, you guessed it I am also a #younghygienist in my mid thirties. Those who know me would say I get slightly excited about all things Occupational Hygiene!
It’s hard to believe that I grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in a small farming town by the name of walcha in Northern NSW, Australia. As a child I am pretty sure I wanted to be a pop singer and by the time I reached secondary school, I was sure I wanted to be the physiotherapist for the Australian Rugby team thewallabies
I don’t know much, but one thing I do know, sometimes things don’t always work out as you expect it!
Now people will ask “how did you get “into” hygiene”? As much as I would love to say that my dad had a consulting hygienist to assist him to control workers exposure to agricultural chemicals, dusts, noise and in particular biological health hazards, and that occupational hygienist inspired me to pursue the same career path, unfortunately that is not my reality.
My story is similar to the majority of other hygienists I meet i.e. I was introduced to this career by introduction to another hygienist. Lucky for me I was inspired by a fantastic #younghygienist with a huge amount of energy and passion for her job. One day I ask her what “all the numbers meant”? In more or less words she explained how her team performed sampling activities to collect “the numbers” which she would then use to make decisions regarding risk for purposes of protectingworkerhealth.
Like most others I really didn’t understand the whole numbers bit, however I did accompany her in the field to perform sampling and that’s when I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up!
These days, although relatively early in my career as a #younghygienist I have had some amazing experiences working with inspirational #hygienegods in some incredible locations in Australia, the United Arab Emirates and now in Laos, where I am currently working.
My intention of becoming the custodian of the #younghygienist blog for 2015 is for one reason only. That is to promote the occupational hygiene profession, not only in Australia, but globally. I don’t doubt my story about how I came to be an occupational hygienist is unique in any way; it just presents the question “how many other occupational hygienists are out there that don’t know it yet”?