Young Hygienist Snapshot: Caitlin Purcell

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Caitlin is currently working as a District Safety, Health & Environment Manager in Canada – how’s that for a working holiday! She is a Health and Safety Graduate who has seen the light and is currently completing her Masters in Occupational Hygiene and Toxicology at ECU yay! Here is 5-mins with Caitlin:

The best thing about my job is:  The diversity! I love that one day I can be performing a noise survey, and the next I might be conducting ergonomic assessments or delivering various toolbox presentations. It’s great being able to keep things interesting with a mix of both field and office work.

Career Highlight: Reaching platinum Frequent Flyer status from all the FIFO work! And on a serious note, I have to say that working on a control strategy that saw silica exposures at a locomotive service shop drastically reduced was a great outcome for the health of the affected workers.

If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Crafting a good sales pitch. Any ‘Pump Jockeys’ out there who have ever tried to strap an exposure monitor to an unwilling worker will know the feeling!

People normally think my job involves: Cleaning of some description. My housemates can attest to the fact that I would make a really lousy Hygienist if that were the case.

The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Conduct a heat stress survey on various track machine operators. Spending a day in the true outback riding on locomotives wasn’t such a bad day at the office!

The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: I once had to assess formaldehyde exposure at a large scale chicken breeder farm in WA. It was great to get an insight into the industry, but I couldn’t help but want to scoop up all the chickens and set them free!


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