When Kia Lidster was in her final year completing a Bachelor of Science, she had no idea what she wanted to do after she graduated…….That was until she stumbled upon an industrial hygiene job posting, and, like most other people, had no idea what IH was (she thought it was some type of intense janitor). After reading the job post, Kia knew exactly what she wanted to do!
In April 2015, Kia graduated with a MSc in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene from the University of British Columbia (Big Congrats Kia – – – So awesome!).
While completing her degree, Kia participated in a co-op work term at a large oil sands production company in Northern Alberta. With her future ahead of her Kia is excited to report that she will be relocating from British Columbia to Ontario to begin her career in OH!
So here’s 5 mins with Kia:
1. I chose to pursue a career in OH because: OH is such an exciting, diverse and dynamic field! I’ve always enjoyed science and the environment. I chose to pursue a career in OH because it is a perfect match for my interests and provides the opportunity to apply and continue to learn pretty much all forms of science (biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, toxicology…).
2. My dream hygiene job is: At the moment, I am not totally sure what my dream job is. I’m looking forward to starting my first OH position in consulting and the opportunity I will have to experience OH in a variety of industries. Eventually, I would like to write a textbook and teach at the undergraduate or graduate level.
3. The hardest subject matter I had to learn was: Having a science background, particularly with a focus in chemistry, was a huge help! There wasn’t a particular area that I would say was the hardest to learn, but just the huge breadth and amount of material that had to be covered in a two-year degree was at times a little overwhelming.
4. My hygiene god is: I don’t have one specific hygiene god in mind. I have found that anyone in the OH field is incredibly willing and happy to offer their help and/or advice. It’s a very nice circle of passionate and enthusiastic professionals!
5. My advice to anyone thinking about pursuing studying occupational hygiene is: If you like science, problem-solving, constantly learning, a mix of field and office work, and talking/working with lots of other people, OH will be a good fit for you! It is is an incredibly diverse field and you can choose to specialize in one area, or be a Jack/Jill of all trades.
Instagrams of the week. Yes, plural!
There are just way too many exciting grams being posted lately. I couldn’t just select one to blog!
BTW. If you love hygiene as much and I do and you want to see your hygiene related grams here just tag your pics with one of the following tags (or all 😀):
So what hygiene work happened across the globe this week?
Well Gilberto Martínez @gilbertomb1 showed us how thermal exposure assessments are done inside large vessel!
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Una de esas cosas interesantes que solo le pasa a un médico que trabaja en salud ocupacional e higiene industrial en minería. Entrando a Autoclaves analizando temperatura del ambiente de trabajo. #Safety #PrevencionDeRiesgos #SaludOcupacional #OccupationalHealth #HigieneIndustrial #IndustrialHygiene #Barrick #PuebloViejo
Meanwhile, Anne Rogers @annie8621 has been setting things on fire!
And it looks like Pete Aspinall @insta_aspis has been out and about at a coal mine.
Mark Houston lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and works in the Industrial Hygiene (IH) Department at Sandia National Laboratories (#SNL). Previously, Mark had IH internships with CSX Transportation, Marathon Petroleum Company, and Marathon Oil Company, Pipeline LLC. Outside his Industrial Hygiene role, Mark is a soccer fanatic and enjoys doing anything (almost) outdoors! 🙂
So here’s 5 mins with Mark:
1. Best location I have worked: Tough question… My top 3 (in no particular order): Jacksonville Florida, Birmingham Alabama, and Albuquerque New Mexico. Each place has is special to me in terms of my career and was/ is a great place to live!
2. The best thing about my job is: The best thing about my current job is the environment. Everyday working at a national laboratory is completely different from the last. I really enjoy the IH challenges that stem from an R&D environment.
3. Career Highlight: I had the opportunity to work on a confined space welding project. I was able to work with upper management and union employees to implement engineering controls to mitigate over-exposures.
4. If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Being able to explain your role in the success of the company/ organization. As an IH you have to be able to justify your worth to a company. Some people view IH as an overhead cost, that provides little benefit. Be ready to “prove your worth” every day, and help to change these people’s minds.
5. People normally think my job involves: Scrubbing very large toilets 😉
6. The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Providing IH support following a chemical spill was a good learning experience, but it’s not the best…. I got to perform noise monitoring during explosive testing....The IH portion was okay, but watching the blast was phenomenal!
7. The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Fit testing for days on end… What has two thumbs and knows the rainbow passage by heart? … This guy.. I may even sing it in my sleep (who knows) 🙂
This week’s Instagram has been brought to you by Claire Di Corleto @claire_amandah
This workplace not only has people that need protecting, it has Dalek’s too!
Sammy is a little pocket rocket and a super fun hygienist. I loved hearing about Sammy’s experience, especially the places she has worked around the world, not to mention the exciting projects! There is one thing that I know for certain about Sammy, that is she tackles life head on, never missing an opportunity.
So here is 5 mins with Sammy:
1. Best location I have worked: In terms of hygiene, my favorite was a refinery in Baton Rouge. I LOVED the people. In terms of ultimate living location, Orlando, Florida, USA or Lausanne, Switzerland.
2. The best thing about my job is: Saving lives, clearly. But the fact that we have so many opportunities within our field isn’t a moot point. We can work in a number of sectors and locations worldwide, we can see processes the general public couldn’t normally see and we have access to a network of exquisite individuals. Speaking of our network, AIHA’s Future Leaders Institute and IOHA London 2015 were among two of the most amazing experiences in my life.
3. Career Highlight: In a nerdy hygienist-sense, being able to implement an engineering control and having management buy into my rationale.
In a life sense, moving across the pond for a job I truly adore. How can it get better than that? Also, working on an EU Project, conducting research at multiple defense facilities in Europe. That covers hygiene and life…
Just to make a point [about how amazing OH can be], I’ve thought of about 40 other highlights I won’t include. Did I mention meeting Holly Fletcher and the rest of my Aussie OH soul mates?
4. If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: People telling you “no” or “it’s always been done this way”. It’s also slightly unnerving to continuously reassure someone that you’re essentially doing your job for his or her benefit – you understand that wearing a respirator isn’t actually fun, for example. You just have to remember why you’re there doing your job in the first place and fight for what you think is right!
5. People normally think my job involves: Cleaning teeth at someone’s workplace or keeping industrial equipment clean.
6. The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Work an emergency and assess a shark capture – not the same event. I almost forgot about reconstructing homemade explosive devices to sample throughout that process.
7. The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Roof inspections. We all know how hygienists feel about safety…
Check Sammy out working in a cleanroom at Oak Ridge National Lab during her first internship in 2010.
This week’s Instagram has been brought to you by Derek Farmer @sosu2005
A classic example of the Tyndall effect used by hygienist’s to observe dust generation during material transfer activities!