#IAmIH: "We're Living the Dream Here"
AIHA member Candice Burton, CIH, has built her industrial hygiene career from the ground up. Even deeper: she started underground working as an IH in the gold mining and coal mining industries, where she encountered no shortage of health hazards. Today, she’s a regulator for the province of British Columbia providing education, consultation, and enforcement for OHS regulations for the public sector.
“Right now I’m doing a job that I absolutely love. It’s the best job in the world. I’m so thrilled,” said Burton, who credits AIHA with helping her understand IH across a wide variety of fields. “AIHA gives me the confidence to do the job I’m doing now really well and to stay on top of changing information. I don’t want to become siloed in what I do. So [AIHA] gives me that continuous growth, a personal growth in that way.
“AIHA has done a lot for me and I find it’s an amazing resource.”
Burton considers several AIHA publications the master reference materials that guided her early IH work. “If AIHA has endorsed a particular publication or has published it themselves, I have quite a bit of trust that I’m going to be making good decisions based on the information in those publications,” she said.
Burton’s focus now is on giving back to the organization that has given her so much. “This is such a great organization. You have to give back. That’s how we get our strength. We’re striving to protect the long-term health of people. We want to reach as many people as we can and give them the most credible information that’s available within our respective areas. So this organization is really important for bringing us all together.”
Would she recommend membership? Absolutely. “It’s good for professionals. It’s good for people who are trying to develop. It’s also good for the industry at large,” she said, adding that employers enjoy the benefits of helping IHs maintain their AIHA memberships. “Let’s say you have a specific problem in your industry and you bring that forward to your colleagues. Maybe you’ll be able to get some research and development for free in such a way that it would benefit an employer directly. Information sharing: you can’t put a price on that. So it’s such an important thing to invest in those folks.”
For Candice Burton, the intangible benefits of her AIHA membership are just as rewarding as all the others.
“AIHA is an organization that, as a professional, I feel very proud of. To do a job that you feel good about and to be associated with people that make you proud about what you are doing—you know, we’re living the dream here.”
For more information about AIHA membership, visit the AIHA website.