Welcome to the international edition of Young Hygienist Snapshot!
A graduate of the University of Bradford and the University of Nottingham, Alex is currently the Manager for REACH and Chemicals Policy at Tata Steel. He is also the chair of the BOHS Annual Conference Committee, he was incredibly fortunate to be selected to attend the AIHA Future Leaders Institute in the USA in 2011, and he was just awarded the 3M Young Hygienist of the Year Award in the UK which means that he gets an all-expenses paid trip to the US version of the conference – the AIHce! Here is 5-mins with Alex:
Best location I have worked: Well as I am a steel industry boy I have got to say in a steel plant where you have ladles full of 300 tonnes of liquid steel being moved around like it was a meccano set. The sheer scale of it is amazing and from a hygienists perspective it is also a very interesting environment to be in.
The best thing about my job is: At the moment I have such a varied job. I get to network with a great number of people at a global level which is very enjoyable. I also get to work with people from different backgrounds, sectors, and organisations.
Career Highlight: This is a tough one. I guess there are different highlights for different things. I have had the opportunity to speak in the European Parliament, I have worked as part of a number of teams ensuring compliance for the company for a number of pieces of legislation, the latest one being REACH. From a development perspective I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto the AIHA Future Leaders Institute which was a fantastic experience for me.
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: working hard, learning hard, negotiating hard and continually progressing.
People normally think my job involves: cleaning toilets and inspecting food preparation and cooking establishments.
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Not an easy answer here. I am going to go with a profession aspect and say something I am currently working on, which is to chair the IOHA London 2015 conference organising committee. This is a massive international conference in occupational hygiene and worker health protection and I am determined to give it my all to make sure it is a massive success for the profession as a whole.
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Make a decision to shut down a steel rolling mill due to an asbestos related incident. This cost the company a significant amount in loss of production but the risk to the employees was greater so that decision had to be made.