best job in the world
Wow blast from the past! Sometimes life gets in the way of a good blog…and that’s the only excuse I have for being so tardy when showcasing the fabulous hygienists of the world. Please forgive the time between posts…and welcome the first young hygienist snapshot of 2016 – Mark Reggers.
Mark first came across Occupational Hygiene through his role as an Account Manager at Protector Alsafe selling safety equipment and training in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. He was always more interested in the reasons why and how a certain level of PPE was determined as a suitable control measure for the customers he was dealing with, so we went to the AIOH 5 day Basic Principles Course to help him to assist customers in good hygiene practice and to be able to identify situations when they should engage a hygienist. Mark enjoyed this course so much he enrolled in a Graduate Certificate in Occupational Hygiene through the University of Wollongong in 2012. After a few subjects though he was hooked and continued his studies to complete a Masters degree and pursue a career in Occupational Hygiene. After graduation, he was fortunate enough to be able to transfer across to Greencap (sister company of Protector Alsafe) in April 2015 to start his career in Occupational Hygiene as a consultant and he hasn’t looked back! So here is 5-minutes with Mark:
Best location I have worked: No one location stands out but just the variety of different industries and workplaces is amazing. Being able to going behind the scenes at these workplaces is always interesting.
The best thing about my job is: The variety of work as no 2 days are the same. One day you will be dust monitoring then the next noise assessments then asbestos clearance certificates. Also not being stuck behind a desk in an office and getting out and about is great.
Career Highlight: Being so new into my Hygiene career after choosing a career change I would have to say getting my first job in Occupational Hygiene after completing my studies in 2014. Also attending my first AIOH Conference in Perth and meeting other people who get excited over dust as well. I was told was great they are and I wasn’t disappointed.
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: Early starts on sites, some long days, as well as explaining what you are doing and why.
People normally think my job involves: Hand washing and toilet cleaning.
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Dust sampling where they make chocolate food products. Tastiest dust sampling I will probably ever do.
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: There hasn’t been anything that bad yet, but you never know what the next job will be. It wasn’t a Hygiene job but I was helping our Environment team undertake Groundwater monitoring. Wandering around a landfill site in shoulder height grass in 40 degree heat for 10 hours wasn’t the most fun of days.
Here we have it – – – – Instagrams of the Week! 😀
So what hygiene work happened across the globe this week?
The Occupational Hygenius (awesome name BTW) @the_occupational_hygenius evaluated the effectiveness of “respiratory protection”
Ingrid @icmagordis even with five bags strapped to her body had a spare hand to take a selfie (love it!)
And Mike Slater @ms6282 recognised where some controls wouldn’t go astray
When I met Prescillia Chua “Percy” recently in Salt Lake City at #AIHce2015 I didn’t have to spend much time with her to know she has a remarkable amount of energy and a true zest for life.
Percy received a Bachelors of Science from the University of Alberta, majoring in Laboratory Medicine. And after working as a scientist in the Provincial Laboratories through the SARS epidemic, she decided that her social skills muscle needed more flexing. This lead Percy to research occupations that better meshed science and people and, as a result, she completed her Masters in Occupational Health at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Percy’s work journey has been an adventure ever since and includes the oil sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta (apparently majority of Canadian OH’s do their time there!) to the provincial healthcare system, to her current position as an Occupational Hygiene Officer with WorkSafeBC – – – the British Columbia provincial regulator of OHS.
Volunteer-wise, Percy has served on the board of the AIHA BC-Yukon local section for several years, including a term as President. Percy is currently the Western Director on the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists (the equivalent of the ABIH in Canada).
So here’s 5 mins with Percy:
1. Best location I have worked: Is it cheesy to say my current location? Vancouver, British Columbia has warm summers, mild winters with endless access to the ocean and outdoors. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to work and live!
2. The best thing about my job is: As part of my job, I have the opportunity to observe a variety of work sites. Every day is a field trip. I’ve seen OH issues like heat stress in a chocolate factory churning out sweets for the Halloween rush, biohazard issues in an abattoir during “pig day”, noise concerns in coffee roaster during packaging, carbon dioxide exposures during fermentation in a craft brewery (can you tell my passion is food?). I’m privileged to interact with front-line workers to ask poignant questions, and ensure that individuals in the workplace remain safe while they do their job.
3. Career Highlight: Pressing the “submit” button on the online CIH exam, agonizingly watch the progress bar run across the screen… and receiving my CIH on my first go!
4. If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to: The variety of work, and thinking “on your toes”. No day is the same, despite any scheduling – I could be sitting in a pre-construction meeting for a development, and then get called to respond to an emergency release of a hazardous substance, or investigating an occupational disease claim in chicken coops or examining thermal stress in steel foundry workers. It’s difficult to prepare for such a variety of situations, so quick thinking and being a modern-day MacGyver is important. Lesson learned: duct tape should be in any OH’s arsenal of field resources!
Also, be ready to respond to glazed looks or scrunched faces when asked “what do you do?”… which leads to the next question
5. People normally think my job involves: Breaking down the words “Occupational Hygienist” and “Occupational Health”, people think one of three things:
- “Occupational” must have something to do with physiotherapy
- “Hygienist” must do with cleaning teeth (or armpits!)
- “Health” must mean inspecting food facilities for health violations.
6. The best thing I’ve been asked to do was: Have I mentioned my passion for food? I enjoy learning about how food travels “from farm to table” and how our food is made and processed. Any time I’ve had the opportunity to work with the food industry has been a bonus for me.
7. The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was: Respond in the middle of the night to a death in the workplace. Luckily the fatality was from pre-existing cardiovascular issues (not from an OH exposure) – however this incident wasn’t all that bad considering it could have been much worse; I’ve yet to attend a gruesome fatality (knock on wood!)
As a tribute to all the Women Scientist’s out there, we here at the younghygienist.com loved all of the #distractinglysexy posts in response to biochemist Tim Hunt’s comments regarding the “trouble with girls” in laboratories.
So what #distractinglysexy work happened across the globe this week?
It’s not just @AmyRemeikis who’s glad that Curie managed to take a break from crying to discover radium and polonium!
And Kate Cole @katecole111 is making all the boys fall in love with her #impossibletogetanyworkdone
So what hygiene work happened across the globe this week?
Samantha Connell @sammyleigh10_4 cannot switch off the OH mindset! Always protecting the heath of others 😀
Sometimes I spend my weekends attempting to "work" on the farm (as in manual labor which is probably more painful for them than helpful) but you better believe I'm still working my day job too! Always doing risk assessments 😂#occupationalhygiene #inlovewithswitzerland #schweiz #suisse #switzerland #farmlife #industrialhygiene
Plenty of IH nerds joined together early one morning at #AIHce2015 for the annual fun run
While attending the American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference & Exposition (#AIHce2015) in #SaltLakeCity this week, #3M’s Jason Kunz ran the entire #AIHA Fun #Run 5K in full Personal Protective Equipment (#PPE). Why? It’s just that #comfortable!! He wore the 3M 4520 #coverall, the 3M™ #Versaflo™ Powered Air Purifying Respirator (#PAPR) TR-600, and the 3M™ Versaflo™ #Faceshield Assembly M-105. Let’s give him a #Shoutout! #AIHce #SafetySolutions #IndustrialHygiene #LifeWith3M
Meanwhile, @_misszaman_ has been getting down and dirty at a gold mine
And @stephavellaneda started her new job at Disneyland!!! Awesome!!!
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!
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.