September 20, 2016 / Kay Bechtold

Digital Synergist Series Takes Readers Around the World

One of the clear takeaways from The Synergist’s reader survey conducted earlier this year is that many readers want to see more coverage of international topics. In the new Synergist series “Pole to Pole,” industrial hygienists who have worked in countries across the globe discuss the occupational and environmental health and safety challenges facing workers and the public in different regions. From asbestos and lead exposures in shipbreaking operations in Bangladesh to hospital sharps showing up on the beach in Haiti, vulnerable populations around the world are in need of IH expertise. The series, which is exclusive to the digital magazine, also shares IH experts’ insights on the state of the profession in different countries, ongoing IH- and safety-related efforts in various regions, and the growth and development of the practice of industrial hygiene internationally.

Following are snippets from Synergist interviews featured in previous installments of “Pole to Pole”:

“In the brick kilns, as one can imagine, there is a lot of dust. ... There are certain indications that at least some of the family members, including children, end up doing some of the work. We have some evidence that children as young as 12 are carrying these bricks and are exposed to the dust.” – Bill Carter, Nepal

“Many big companies outsource lots of jobs to local companies and use their technology because it makes more sense to outsource to local people. It gives them employment, and it helps companies reduce costs. On the other hand, this has caused what I think is the biggest industrial hygiene problem in the Asian countries: a lot of the tasks at these multinational companies are hazardous.” – Jas Singh, Malaysia

“Our whole approach with industrial hygiene is to anticipate and recognize hazards in the workplace, measure them, and then take controls to make sure that workers are safe and healthy. In France the approach is a bit more reactive than proactive. The approach has been for injured or sick workers to seek and receive medical attention, and then the job site is evaluated to reduce the hazards.” – Tom Fuller, France​

The Synergist recently spoke with Maharshi Mehta, CSP, CIH, about industrial hygiene and safety in India. Mehta, who helped establish the first master’s program in industrial hygiene in the country at Sardar Patel University in Gujarat, shared his perspective on the significant need for IH for the Indian work force, outlined OHS regulations in India, and discussed some of the most hazardous jobs in the country. A Q&A with Mehta will be published in the October 2016 digital edition of The Synergist.

As the series continues, AIHA’s editorial team wants to know: which international IH issues do you see as the most pressing in the world today? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to check the digital Synergist monthly for the latest installments of “Pole to Pole.”

Kay Bechtold

Kay Bechtold is assistant editor of The Synergist


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