When her dad kept having accidents at work, Frances decided to pursue a career in Health and Safety. Frances has a BSc in OHS from RMIT, and is currently completing her MSc in Occupational Hygiene Practice at the UOW. I love it when Safety people turn into Hygienists!
Frances currently works as a Health Advisor in the Hunter Valley and has worked in remote mines in QLD as well as a gold mine [side note = jealous!] Here is 5-mins with Frances:
Best location I have worked: That would have to be currently in the Hunter Valley. I get to go home every night and enjoy the vineyards on the weekends and still be close to a capital city.
The best thing about my job is: That every day is different. Every day you are challenged, and you get to spend time with different people and see what they do…and every day I put my degree to good use!
Career Highlight: On a field excursion, our class got to go inside the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne. I took an elevator up the side of it, crawled through it, then stood on the top of the actual bridge. That felt like a rare opportunity.
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Strange hours, getting dirty and being told if you are going to stand there and monitor, you might as well help out!
People normally think my job involves: Cleaning things or making sure people are washing their hands.
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Make a video about heat stress to help educate workers about heat stress to get away from tool box presentations with PowerPoint slides…and letting off blasts with the shotfirers. That always cheers you up when you are having one of those days!
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had anything horrible to do… yet. But when I put dust pumps and dosimeters on workers, they like to give me a scare when I’ve got cold hands or like I’ve accidently pinched their skin. Gets me every time.
Confession: Have never made it to an AIOH conference [side note = known as the scientific and social event of the year!]
Influences: Kerry McDougall for bringing me to the dark side when starting out and teaching me the fundamentals of hygiene, and Ross Di Corleto for being my mentor and go to person for all those tricky questions.