What is Industrial Hygiene?

Industrial hygiene is primarily concerned with the control of occupational health & safety hazards that arise as a result of work. Industrial hygiene is defined as a “science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace, which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being, or cause significant discomfort among workers or citizens in the community”.

Industrial hygienists are certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (www.abih.org) with support and continuing education supplied by the professional society, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (www.aiha.org). The CIH is an internationally recognized certification.

The purpose of industrial hygiene is to improve the health and well being of workers, the community and the environment by using sound scientific principles and practices. This is done working alone or working with other safety professionals or environmental specialists.

Industrial hygienists are able to evaluate a situation that involves a hazardous agent, measure and document the amount of exposure to people caused by that hazardous agent, determine the level of concern that is required and develop or recommend corrective actions needed to control the hazardous agents.

Training Required to be a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)

Anyone can call himself or herself an Industrial Hygienist (IH) since there is no State licensing at the present time. But only about half of those can legally be called a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH).

A Certified Industrial Hygienist is a career professional who is devoted to the study and practice of industrial hygiene. To become certified in industrial hygiene the following requirements must be met and maintained through the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH).

The CIH is the only professional-level, comprehensive industrial hygiene certification in the United States and guarantees the following qualifications:

  1. A bachelors or advanced college degree in the sciences or engineering field.
    • All A.R.C.H. Consulting Group’ CIHs hold at least one Master’s of Science degree.
  2. A minimum of 5 years of full-time professional experience before one is eligible to apply to become certified. 
    • A.R.C.H. Consulting Group’ CIHs have a combined professional experience of over 35 years.
  3. Successful completion of a comprehensive written examination. 
    • All CIHs at A.R.C.H. Consulting Group have passed the Comprehensive CIH exam and have gone through at least one recertification process.
  4. Adherence to a strict code of ethics enforced by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. 
    • Something taken seriously at A.R.C.H. Consulting Group.
  5. Required continuing practice and ongoing professional education that must be documented and submitted for approval to the American Board of Industrial Hygiene every 5 years. 
    • All CIHs at A.R.C.H. Consulting Group attend several conferences and training classes each year and read the combined ACGIH & AIHA Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene to remain up to date on all the current issues.
  6. A Complete Range of Expertise 
    • By way of certification and continuing education, the CIH demonstrates competence through comprehensive examination in areas that include chemistry, toxicology, air sampling, risk assessment, radiation, noise/vibration, engineering controls, regulations, ergonomics, and other areas of occupational and environmental concern.