Industrial hygiene is an important piece of your EHS program, but many companies struggle to prioritize it.
The concept of industrial hygiene can be vague, especially when workers cannot see any tangible incentives for following safety best practices. Because of its intangibility, companies should place heavier stress on industrial hygiene practices to ensure workers understand its implications.
It Starts with Good Education
Your workers may not realize the health and safety risks they face every day. There’s always the obvious things, like toxic chemicals, machinery, and slick floors. But things like lighting, dust, noise, and air quality could have a lasting impact on their health.
Start by helping your team recognize the hidden dangers in the workplace and understand why they should care. Prolonged exposure to some hazards could take years to manifest in their health, and by that time they may be at a loss as to what could have caused their health issues.
Case in point: asbestos were once hailed as one of the greatest materials ever made due to its heat resistance, strength, and versatility. It wasn’t until decades later that its toxicity was brought to light, and the dreaded asbestos were officially banned in 1989. However, the damage was already done to many people by that time, causing cancer and other health issues for thousands in the industrial and construction fields.
That’s not to say you have something as drastically unsafe as asbestos in your facility. However, it serves a vital lesson that just because something doesn’t immediately impact your health doesn’t mean it never will.
Continually Seek Safer Practices
It’s scary to think about, but your company could be unknowingly exposing workers to hazardous materials whose toxicity has yet to be discovered.
Naturally, you want to do everything in your power to protect your workforce and company. That’s why it’s critical to stay up-to-date on industrial hygiene practices and information to ensure you’re maintaining the highest health standards possible.
Industrial hygiene isn’t something you can manually track, measure, and monitor with ease. However, with the right tools, you can provide ongoing training, case studies, and observations to align with your EHS program goals.
Contact us today for more ideas on how you can improve your company’s industrial hygiene practices—your employees’ health may depend on it.