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Human Resources Department

Occupational Safety & Health Unit

Industrial Hygiene

Mechanic testing generator while technician measures sound levels.

Sonoma County utilizes the services of Industrial Hygienists on a case-by-case, as needed, basis to assist in the identification and mitigation efforts of workplace hazards encountered by county staff while conducting county business.

Cal-OSHA defines Industrial Hygiene as the “science of anticipating, recording, evaluating, and controlling workplace conditions that may cause workers’ injury or illness.” Industrial Hygiene is one of several disciplines recognized by Cal-OSHA and industry to evaluate and offer solutions to prevent exposure to hazards. It covers all disciplines related to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. However, traditionally it has come to refer to the practice of using sampling methods and scientific analyses to determine exposures. Practitioners of Industrial Hygiene are called Industrial Hygienists.

Industrial Hygienists can establish their credibility as professionals and subject matter experts by obtaining a certification through a credentialed professional association, the American Board of Industrial Hygienists.

Cal-OSHA has developed special alliances with several professional organizations whose members help implement regulations and establish programs to protect workers. One of these, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), is the authoritative body who develops and issues guidelines on levels and limits of exposure to chemicals and other contaminants. Cal-OSHA has used their recommendations in many of their standards.

To get more information on the applicability of utilizing an Industrial Hygienist for input on a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator.

For further information on Industrial Hygiene and  corresponding professional organizations please refer to the link(s) below.

OSHA– Industrial Hygiene Information Booklet