A chemical hygiene officer maintains standards of safety, centered around chemical handling and disposal within an organization or company. This job is important in maintaining a safe environment that is harmonious with the surrounding environment. A goal is to minimize liability for the company or organization. A hygiene officer should carry out objective risk assessments to make sure that all departments and operations are complying with the Occupational Safety Health Act and other regulations.
The officer should also carry out assessments of air and water quality to make sure that exposure to certain things is not above allowed thresholds. Some company and organization policies and programs should be evaluated and changed as necessary by the chemical hygiene officer. Public speaking skills may come in handy, as the officer is sometimes expected to provide training and information regarding chemical hygiene. The officer may also directly oversee the storage and disposal of chemicals and other hazardous materials, and he or she may have to test and maintain industrial hygiene equipment.
A bachelor’s degree or higher in a field such as chemistry, industrial hygiene, or environmental health and safety is usually needed, and a PhD is often preferred. Direct experience in the field of chemical hygiene is usually preferred. Strong knowledge of OSHA and other laws and regulations are essential to possess. The chemical hygiene officer may sometimes have an assisting team, so management skills may come in handy. Proficient computer skills are necessary in order to be able to carry out assessments and to create reports.