On any site, at any time, you can find a range of hazards that could put you or your project at risk. Ash Boss is a Senior Occupational Hygienist with Tetra tech Coffey with more than five years working in the industry helping clients navigate the risks in workplaces. Here she talks to us about the Leading with Science® approach to addressing Occupational Hygiene risks.
What is Occupational Hygiene?
Occupational hygiene is the science and art of controlling occupational health risks. We are scientists and engineers who help our clients navigate their way around the short-term and long-term impacts of health hazards.
What industries seek out our services?
I help clients manage and control exposure to health hazards in workplaces of all shapes, sizes and sectors. We work in a wide variety of industry sectors such as infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, research and Defence.
Across all of these industries we assess exposure to all sorts of weird and wonderful things like solvents, dusts, noise, vibration, radiation, and more recently mould!
Following the catastrophic floods and record-breaking rains in 2022, mould has been a significant issue for our clients across the East Coast of Australia. It can cause significant health issues if not identified and treated correctly.
What are some of the challenges you commonly help clients address?
Part of our occupational hygiene practice includes increasing our clients’ awareness of risks.
Many clients do not realise their sites and work practices are impacting their workers’ health until we provide them with guidance. The scope of health hazards can be significant, particularly in heavy industries, so it can be quite challenging for clients to get a good understanding of all the hazards that may be present and how to control them.
So that’s where we come in, we provide guidance on how to protect workers and implement best-practice solutions, whilst helping our clients to comply with work, health and safety legislation.
It is important to continually communicate with clients and have a clear understanding of the potential danger and what remediation will look like.
What do you most enjoy about your role at Tetra Tech?
I love the diversity that the role offers. No two days are the same, and our field work takes us to some incredible places we wouldn’t otherwise see. I am always learning and being part of a large firm like Tetra Tech allows me to work on some world-class projects and work at the coal face of the industry.
Each year in June, Tetra Tech runs a month- long campaign to promote safety to its workers and clients. Why do you feel it is so important that people understand the potential risks in their workplace or project site?
Many occupational health hazards are not immediately obvious, and many can have lasting impacts that may arise years after exposure.
We have a lot of work to do across industry to break the status quo and change work, health and safety cultures so that every worker goes home to their loved ones as healthy as they came to work.
In Australia, for every worker who loses their life to a safety incident, another eight lose their lives due to occupational illnesses and diseases. These statistics are very concerning, which is why we dedicate our careers to protecting people’s lives and livelihoods, and why the field of occupational hygiene plays such an integral role in industry.
To find out more contact Tetra Tech Coffey – Contact Us – Tetra Tech Coffey
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