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8942_Anna
DANIEL H. ANNA, PhD, CIH, CSP, is president of AIHA and senior industrial hygienist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. He can be reached at (240) 228-1980 or dan.anna@jhuapl.edu.
What Did You Say You Do?
BY DANIEL H. ANNA, AIHA PRESIDENT
Many AIHA members participate in “career day” events. When describing the profession to a group of fifth-grade students, industrial hygienists face a much more daunting challenge than run-of-the-mill lawyers, doctors, and police officers. But if we use vivid descriptions and engaging stories about how we keep workers healthy and safe, we encourage students to see us as people who protect their own family members. In this way, we can generate interest and excitement no matter the age of our audience, whether we’re addressing children in elementary school, students in college, or even adults. Over the past several years, the “typical” industrial hygiene position has become even more variable, as normal duties and responsibilities have expanded into a wide variety of roles. This concept of an expanding job scope permeated discussions during development of the AIHA Strategic Direction (see my column in the November 2015 issue), the IH Professional Pathway, and the Core Competencies document for the profession (PDF). As our role in protecting worker health continues to evolve, our descriptions of who we are, what we do, and how we do it also need to evolve. Imagine a full-day career fair that included only industrial hygienists: students might think they were hearing about several different professions. Conducting that all-IH career day, using only descriptions of what we do, would be an interesting experiment.
Imagine a full-day career fair that included only industrial hygienists: students might think they were hearing about several different professions.
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