Every workplace has its risks and hazards. The art and science of industrial hygiene (IH) is to predict, model, measure, and design solutions to protect your workers and your community. IH experts then test the solutions to prove they work and educate/communicate assessment results to workplace stakeholders.

Many companies are reactive in their approach to industrial hygiene — they wait until there’s a problem then scramble for a solution. But taking a more proactive approach can preserve your culture of trust, reduce injury- and illness-related absences, and save money in the form of worker compensation, employee turnover, productivity, fines for non-compliance, and indirect costs associated with accidents and injuries.

A first step in proactive IH is to conduct a gap analysis of your workplace to identify strengths, areas that require immediate attention, and opportunities for improvement. It should be conducted by someone who is knowledgeable about your industry and workplace, but can also be objective. A thoughtful analysis should result in a list of action items to be addressed by your team or IH experts.

We’ve provided a free Industrial Hygiene Gap Analysis Checklist to help you better understand your IH needs and get started developing solutions. Your company can use this self-assessment tool to identify three main categories of hazards and risks: physical hazards, airborne contaminants, and the work environment. It can help you identify the areas that should be your top IH priorities as well as the areas that don’t apply to you.

This gap analysis checklist only scratches the surface of IH in the workplace, but with it you can develop a 30,000 foot view of the state of your organization. In future posts, we’ll explore each of the sub-categories in more detail, including basic subject knowledge and more specific self-assessment tools.

Although it may be easy to identify risks in some areas, others may require the services of a Certified Industrial Hygienist. This tool will also help prepare you if you reach out to professional specialists for assistance.

With more than two decades of experience in the public and private sectors, TriMedia’s IH team can conduct a more detailed analysis and develop a customized plan that will protect your company’s workers, maintain productivity, and save you money. Contact our experts to learn more.