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What Workplace Hazards Do Occupational Hygiene Practitioners Assess?

Occupational Hygienist on site assessing primary hazards

Occupational hygiene is a critical aspect of workplace safety, focusing on the identification, evaluation, and control of hazards that can impact the health and well-being of workers. In this blog post, we delve into the primary hazards addressed by occupational hygiene, shedding light on the importance of maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

Understanding Occupational Hygiene:

Occupational hygiene, also known as industrial hygiene, is a multidisciplinary field that aims to protect workers from various workplace hazards. These hazards can range from chemical exposures and physical stressors to biological agents and ergonomic challenges. By systematically assessing and controlling these risks, occupational hygiene plays a pivotal role in preventing work-related illnesses and injuries.


Primary Workplace Hazards Addressed by Occupational Hygiene:

Chemical Hazards:

Wood dust on workers gloves

Substance Exposure: Occupational hygiene evaluates and manages exposure to hazardous chemicals such as solvents, gases, and dust. This includes assessing the toxicity, concentration, and duration of exposure to minimise the risk of adverse health effects.

Physical Hazards:

Worker using a drill causing vibration

Noise and Vibration: Excessive noise levels and vibrations can lead to hearing loss and musculoskeletal disorders. Occupational hygiene aims to control these physical stressors through engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Radiation: Workers in certain industries may face exposure to ionising or non-ionising radiation. Occupational hygiene involves monitoring and controlling radiation levels to protect employees from potential health risks.

Our very own Dave Lombardi doing a legionella risk assessment

Biological Hazards:

Infectious Agents: Occupational hygiene addresses the risks associated with exposure to biological agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This is particularly crucial in healthcare settings and laboratories.

Ergonomic Hazards:

Musculoskeletal Disorders: Poor ergonomics can contribute to musculoskeletal disorders, affecting joints, muscles, and the overall well-being of workers. Occupational hygiene focuses on optimising workstations and processes to reduce ergonomic risks.

In conclusion, occupational hygiene plays a vital role in creating and maintaining safe workplaces. By addressing chemical, physical, biological, and ergonomic hazards, occupational hygiene contributes to the overall well-being of employees, fostering a healthier and more productive work environment.

In conclusion, occupational hygiene is crucial for creating and maintaining safe workplaces. By systematically assessing and controlling these hazards, occupational hygiene significantly contributes to preventing work-related illnesses and injuries. Prioritising occupational hygiene is an investment in the health, safety, and success of both the workforce and the organisation as a whole, fostering a productive and secure work environment.

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Hopefully this article goes some way to providing a brief overview of the workplace hazards that will be assessed by occupational hygienists. If you wish to know more on this subject or need support from our team then please feel free to get in touch with us through social media or our website (, by email at or simply give us a call on 01709 931299.


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