Braxton works as a consultant Industrial Hygienist with Concurrent Technologies Corporation. He has degrees in both Engineering and Industrial Hygiene and has been involved with designing STEM educational programs under a partnership between the National Science Foundation and West Virginia University, and is Director of Research for WorldSPEED.org, a multinational Student Platform of Engineering Education Development. His programs have been presented at technical colleges across the globe with tremendous success toward retention and development of young professionals. He is the Chair of the AIHA Hazard Prevention and Engineering Controls Committee and is one of the founding Directors of the award winning AIHA Mentoring Program.
Pretty impressive hey! Here is 5-mins with Braxton:
Best location I have worked: Baie Comeau, Canada (in winter). I was able to watch small icebergs floating down the St. Lawrence river from my hotel window. The people, the food, the international experience (French speaking town) all made the exposure research effort that much better.
The best thing about my job is: Teaching Industrial Hygiene each time I have the opportunity to meet with a client or a shop-floor stakeholder. When we are afforded the time to explain what we do and why we do it, we gain far greater respect for our efforts and responsiveness to our tasks. You can feel it, the moment that supervisor buys-in, we’ve just made a new IH. This person will, from now on, keep the tenets of Industrial Hygiene in the back of their mind when overseeing, designing, or planning operations.
Career Highlight: My first experience in the field was to provide the data OSHA needed for the Beryllium Standard & Small Business Impact Study. This entryway into the field was a monumental team effort and it is the experience that hooked me as a career IH.
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: You’d better get used to the misinterpretation of your goals by the perception of your client and stakeholders. Communication is, by-far, the greatest tool in our box.
People normally think my job involves:Regulatory compliance inspections and fines.
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Make a business case for an investment toward Industrial Hygiene efforts. This experience broadened my understanding of the industry and created another tool that I can rely on for communicating.
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Carefully applying my skill, knowledge, and experience to a client who showed no interest in the protection of his workforce; who actively limited participation and would not take the time to discuss the necessity and long-term benefits of the effort. It becomes physically and emotionally draining to know your hard work will be left on the floor.