Office of Research: Environmental Health and Safety

Industrial Hygiene

RACE Cycle (Image from Columbia University, N.Y.)

Industrial hygiene is defined as the recognition, evaluation, and control of workplace hazards. Its origins are based on limiting personal exposures to chemicals, and have evolved to address the control of most other workplace hazards including over-exposure to noise, heat, vibration, and repetitive motion.

Occupational exposure to chemicals is still considered one of the most wide spread hazards in industry. The use of engineering controls is the preferred method of limiting these exposures. Dilution and capture ventilation are two important methods to control occupational exposure. The design and position of hoods and vents, and amount of air infiltration can substantially change exposure conditions. Material Safety Data Sheets and other documentation provide a basis for predicting adverse effects, disposal needs, and fire and ignition concerns.