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Currently featured in the October 2021 Synergist

Mental Health in the Workplace

Tips for Supporting Workers' Mental Well-Being

As occupational and environmental health and safety professionals have grappled with COVID-19, another crisis is affecting workers around the world. Increased stress and isolation related to the pandemic have highlighted mental health as an important workplace safety and health concern, and many people have made public the struggles they previously managed in private.

Process Safety Management and the IH

Examining OSHA’s PSM Standard

Process Safety Management (PSM) is an OSHA standard focused on preventing the unexpected release of toxic, reactive, or flammable liquids and gases. The standard is very prescriptive and establishes a roadmap for OEHS professionals to ensure the safety of workers and communities. An industrial hygienist has much to offer PSM, and the skillsets needed for each are mutually beneficial.

The Riddles of Beryllium

A Short History of a Challenging Workplace Hazard

Chronic Beryllium Disease (CBD) is a lung disease that can be disabling or fatal and is caused by inhaling dust or fumes containing beryllium, often produced in industrial settings. This article recounts beryllium’s complex history as a workplace hazard and the difficult problems industrial hygienists encountered when trying to establish protective programs.

Digital Extra: Back to School

Webinar Panel Discusses How Schools Can Stay Healthy and Safe During the Pandemic—And Beyond

A Synergist Webinar held Sept. 13, 2021, brought together a panel of experts from diverse professional backgrounds to discuss practical measures schools can take to maintain a safe environment for students, teachers, and staff. A key theme of the webinar was that each school’s approach must be tailored to individual facilities.

Features from the September 2021 Synergist

Incorporating Equity Into Workplace Health and Safety

Accommodations for Disabled Workers

According to CDC, greater than one quarter of adults in the United States live with some sort of disability. Reasonable accommodations for disabilities remove workplace barriers, but sometimes neither the disabilities nor the barriers are obvious. Industrial hygienists can use familiar decision-making frameworks to incorporate equity into environmental health program management.

Controls in Industrial Environments

The OEHS Professional’s Role, Part 2

Historically, most life- and health-threatening employee exposures to airborne hazards have occurred in industrial environments. This article explains the controls typically used in these environments and offers examples of each. Part 1, published in the May 2021 Synergist, discussed the importance of determining and applying appropriate emission and exposure controls.

Looking Back on 9/11

Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001

The attacks on the World Trade Center initiated the demolition of the buildings and ignited the largest industrial fire in North America. Nearby buildings sustained structural damage and a debris cloud containing harmful substances enveloped Lower Manhattan. Twenty years later, the impact of the attacks and lessons learned from the cleanup are still significant.

From the Archives: Exposures at the World Trade Center

Ten Years Later, What Have We Learned?

From the September 2011 issue of The Synergist: "Ten years ago this month, the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and subsequent recovery efforts released huge quantities of particulate matter, combustion products, gases, vapors, and other contaminants into the environment. Unfortunately, the industrial hygiene community was largely unprepared for the health and safety challenges, which included monitoring and protecting first responders from respiratory and other hazards and extended into the process of reclaiming surrounding buildings."

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