Industrial Hygiene Controls

The Design and Implementation of Sound Industrial Hygiene Controls

Industrial hygienists focus on the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of health hazards in the workplace.  After a hazard has been identified and evaluated, industrial hygiene controls should be put in place to eliminate or reduce the risk of the hazard. 


Industrial hygiene controls fall into three categories:

·      Engineering controls that reduce or eliminate the hazard.  Examples of engineering controls include local ventilation for air contaminants and acoustical enclosures for noise sources.

·      Work practice controls that change the way tasks are performed.  Example of work practice controls include good housekeeping and following proper procedures to minimize exposures.

·      Administrative controls that reduce exposures by changing worker schedules or tasks.

If industrial hygiene controls are not feasible respirators, hearing protection, or other PPE may be used to protect workers.  This equipment must be carefully, selected, fitted, and maintained to be effective.


The key when it comes to industrial hygiene controls is that it is not a set it and forget it experience.  You need to stay on top of the controls and continue to test them over time. Process, material and personnel changes can affect the adequacy of control measures.