I was lucky enought to meet Sara whilst studying at the UOW. Sara has worked in Occupational Hygiene for about 5 years, primarily as a consultant for the mining and manufacturing industries. She currently works for SLR Consulting and is based in Perth, but gets to travel throughout Australia. In Sara’s words, “I love my job!” which honestly is what most occupational hygienists say! Occupational hygiene combines science with helping people, problem solving, getting out in the field and chatting to workers and finding out about what they do. Hygiene is awesome 🙂
Sara also has a passion for horse riding and has 3 horses at home, with a new foal due anytime which is very exciting! Sara is interested in bringing hygiene to the equestrian industry and helping to investigate and solve some hygiene issues in the industry that may have been overlooked in the past. If you haven’t read her study on exposure to respirable crystalline silica from arena dust– you should! So here is 5-mins with Sara:
Best location I have worked: Rottnest Island! On a gorgeous spring day, it was fantastic
The best thing about my job is: That I get to meet so many different people and find out what they do for a living. I love to go behind the scenes at different workplaces and to see how things are made or processed.
Career Highlight: Getting to incorporate my hygiene skills with my other passion – horse riding, by doing a research project looking at the respirable crystalline silica exposure of horse riding instructors working in sand arenas. It turns out the exposure can be quite high.
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Not being able to let go of hygiene when you are not at work. Everywhere I go I see people exposing themselves to hazards and I have to point it out!! My family know all about some of the more common hazards and what PPE to wear. Now they also notice when others are exposed.
People normally think my job involves: Telling people to wash their hands.
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: As I mentioned above I love my job so every day is pretty awesome, but doing a noise survey and atmospheric monitoring at Rottnest Island was a great day.
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Noise and atmospheric monitoring at an indoor rubbish composting plant. It stunk so much, I definitely couldn’t eat anything that day!