A day in the life of a CTEH industrial hygienist
Each year, CTEH’s industrial hygiene (IH) department works on hundreds of projects in diverse industries by anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling workplace hazards. To learn more about the team’s work, we recently sat down with Dan L. Christensen, CIH, CSP, CTEH’s director of industrial hygiene services:
What does a CTEH industrial hygienist do?
Like any industrial hygienist, CTEH IHs are responsible for identifying potential sources of harm in the workplace and determining who it affects, to what magnitude it affects them and what controls are in place to prevent or mitigate the exposure or hazard. What’s different about CTEH IHs, however, is we have the unique experience and training to recognize and apply these broad concepts to any industry so we can immediately hit the ground running. This is just one of the reasons why we’re regularly able to work on multiple projects within four or five different industries at any one time.
How many industrial hygienists does CTEH currently employ?
There are nine direct employees in the industrial hygiene department. This includes six IH technicians who execute fieldwork; two regional IH managers who coordinate the activities of our field workers and manage projects as they move through various stages of completion; and me, the director of industrial hygiene. CTEH currently has seven Certified Industrial Hygienists on staff across all departments.
How do CTEH’s industrial hygiene services benefit the workplace?
CTEH has extensive experience developing and implementing industrial hygiene and other health and safety related programs. Many of our clients do not have the specific skillset or time to effectively manage the workload without assistance. We are able to provide the short-term boost of skills and manpower needed to protect their workers from hazards, ensure morale and maintain productivity.
How does CTEH’s industrial hygiene team contribute to the industry as a whole?
CTEH has been involved with the National Service, Transmission, Exploration and Product Safety (STEPS) Network, an all-volunteer organization founded by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its industry partners. In fact, I recently participated on a STEPS working group to help OSHA identify risks related to silica in fracking so it could identify improved standards and better meet current technology. Our team is also heavily involved with local sections of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA). Cole Ledbetter, CIH was past president for Arkansas AIHA, and I’m the current treasurer. Andy Britt, CIH, CSP, CHMM is the communications officer for the AIHA Gulf Coast Chapter.
What sets CTEH’s IH team apart from others?
Most industrial hygienists have to either maintain their own equipment or rent it. At CTEH, we’re fortunate to have an expansive suite of equipment and analytical media so we can mobilize immediately to any project site. Because of the cross-functional nature of our organization, we’re also able to provide toxicology expertise, emergency response, environmental protection and industrial hygiene services—all from under the same roof.
Want to find out more about CTEH’s IH team? Call Dan Christensen at 501-801-8500.