Jas Singh, PhD, CIH, is CEO of global consulting in occupational health and safety at JAS International, LLC. Based in Kamuela, Hawaii, Singh has provided IH/OH and EHS risk management training to large and small companies for the past 30 years. Previously he worked as senior environment, health and safety consultant for Golder Associates, a company that provides consulting, design, and construction services in earth, environment, and related areas of energy. Singh served as president of the American Academy of Industrial Hygiene in 2009, as a director on the AIHA Board from 1996 to 1999, and as a director on the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) Board from 1987 to 1993. In 2005, he received both AIHA’s Distinguished Service Award and the Academy’s Henry F. Smyth Jr. Award. And in 2015, ABIH presented him with a lifetime achievement award. Aside from the U.S., Singh has done most of his industrial hygiene work in Malaysia, where he was part of the movement to form the Malaysian Industrial Hygiene Association (MIHA) in the late ’90s and early 2000s. He’s also worked on IH projects in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, and Thailand. Singh still has ties in Malaysia, where he continues to work as an advisor for an oil company’s industrial hygiene programs. The Synergist: How did you first end up working in Malaysia? Jas Singh: In 1997, I was working with Clayton Environmental, one of the oldest hygiene companies in the U.S. at the time. From there I was hired by Liberty Mutual through Zack Mansdorf, a former president of AIHA. He’d been hired by Liberty to set up world-class industrial hygiene programs for Liberty’s operations around the world. Zack called and asked me to join Liberty and run this small risk management company in Malaysia. TS: How did the Malaysian Industrial Hygiene Association (MIHA) come about? JS: When I got to Malaysia, I started making contacts with some Malaysian companies and building the industrial hygiene group at the risk management company where I worked. Industrial hygiene was not really known in Malaysia when I was first working there, but I would get together with my colleagues and contacts, and one day somebody said, “This is a good profession, and we should have an association.” So I met with about seven other people in my little office in Kuala Lumpur. The group wasn’t sure how to form an industrial hygiene organization, so I suggested they follow the AIHA bylaws, and essentially they did just that. The Malaysian Industrial Hygiene Association has an incredible story; in just a few years, they went from having nothing about industrial hygiene in Malaysia to having a properly formed association. And along the way, they’ve put on many courses and events, including organizing a successful International Occupational Hygiene Association Conference in 2012 and co-hosting the AIHA/MIHA Asia Pacific OH Conference and Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in 2014.
Editor's note: This article is the second in a new Synergist series called “Pole to Pole.” Exclusive to the digital magazine, this series focuses on how industrial and occupational hygiene is practiced around the world. Each month, the digital Synergist will feature an edited Q&A based on an interview with an industrial hygienist about how the IH/OH profession differs from country to country. The first installment of “Pole to Pole” features AIHA member Tom Fuller, who discussed IH in France. This month, the series focuses on Malaysia.
|Pole to Pole: Malaysia |
An Interview with Jas Singh