Young Hygienist Snapshot: Tina Conroy [INTERNATIONAL EDITION!]

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Tina is an occupational hygienist who has worked at Tata Steel for the last 6 years. She has a background in chemistry but now is a very enthusiastic hygienist. Tina helps with the organisation of the Yorkshire and East Midlands region for the BOHS and is about to start a new role to further her career. She has presented at several BOHS events including annual conferences. Here is 5-mins with Tina:

Best location I have worked: The majority of my work is centred around heavy industry (namely coke ovens) at Port Talbot or Scunthorpe, and I have to admit it’s a pretty hard choice between these two hot and exotic places!! I did enjoy a visit to Sweden to visit a manufacturers RPE (respiratory protective equipment) factory – found this very informative and interesting.

The best thing about my job is: There are never two days the same and plenty of variety in the work. This along with the satisfaction that you may have contributed to the prevention of people ending up with life debilitating such as NIHL (noise induced hearing loss), COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), etc. or even life threatening conditions such as cancer.

Career Highlight: Project managing and being part of the success of a companywide occupational hygiene programme to reduce exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at Tata Steel coke ovens. There are now several papers that been issued in the Coke Oven Managers Association (COMA) handbook. An overview of the project was also presented at the BOHS Annual Conference in 2014.

If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Strange hours, industrial workplaces, ever changing and developing workloads, communicating with people from all levels from shopfloor to senior management, using persuasion tactics and arguments to effect change, a lot of job satisfaction (and at times frustration) and a constant learning curve.

People normally think my job involves: all aspects of personal hygiene : ( and occupational health based work.

The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Project manage the aforementioned PAH project – Lots of research, awareness training, determination of control methods, implementation and sustainability strategies.

The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Luckily, I’m in an environment where people do know what I do. However, I’ve heard a few strange experiences from other colleagues, such as identifying worms, advising on how to clean a small patch of mould, etc.


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