CIH: Certified Industrial Hygienist
A Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) certification is a global standard for protecting employee and public health. In this guide, we will explore the key aspects of CIH certification, including its significance, steps required for certification, benefits of implementation, and more.
What is a Certified Industrial Hygienist?
A CIH is a certification issued by the Board for Global EHS Credentialing. Certified individuals have proven they can anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control hazards that may affect employees’ health in the workplace. These hazards include those that are chemical, physical, ergonomic, or biological in nature, and relate to the following areas:
- Air Sampling & Instrumentation
- Analytical Chemistry
- Basic Science
- Biostatistics & Epidemiology
- Community Exposure
- Engineering Controls/Ventilation
- Health Risk Analysis & Hazard Communication
- Industrial Hygiene/OEHS Program Management
- Non-Engineering Controls
- Radiation – Ionizing and Non-ionizing
- Thermal Stressors
- Work Environments & Industrial Processes
Who needs a CIH certification?
Organizations with CIH-certified employees demonstrate a commitment to safe and compliant working environments, and overall risk mitigation in the workplace. That said, CIH certifications are not usually mandatory for industrial hygiene-related roles.
How to become a Certified Industrial Hygienist
Those interested in earning a CIH certification must meet several requirements. They include:
- Completing 60 hours of university-level education
- Completing up to 240 hours of industrial hygiene-related courses
- Actively working in the field in the 12 months prior to applying
- Passing the CIH exam
For the full list of requirements – as well as in-depth descriptions of how to meet them – visit the Board for Global EHS Credentialing’s website, which is linked below.
Renewal requirements for CIH certifications
CIH certifications are valid for five years. During that time, certification-holders must earn points through field-related professional development activities that go toward recertification. They must also pay annual fees to keep their CIH certification up to date.
The benefits of CIH certification
A CIH certification offers several benefits to organizations. They include the following.
A CIH certification ensures that employees hold advanced knowledge in industrial hygiene, as well as have the ability to effectively address workplace health and safety challenges effectively.
CIH-certified employees must stay updated on industry regulations, helping organizations navigate complex compliance requirements and avoid legal issues related to occupational health and safety.
Organizations with CIH-certified individuals can proactively identify and mitigate potential health hazards, reducing the risk of workplace incidents.
Challenges in earning a CIH certification
Earning a CIH certification may pose several challenges to individuals and organizations. They include the following.
Earning a CIH certification demands significant time, effort, and financial investment, posing a challenge for professionals and organizations balancing training needs with operational demands.
Maintaining CIH certification requires ongoing education and staying abreast of industry changes, which can be challenging for on both an individual and organizational level.
Limited pool of certified professionals
There are a relatively low number of CIH-certified individuals in the talent pool. This may present challenges for organizations seeking to recruit qualified experts.
Tips and strategies for preparing for a CIH certification
Resources for CIH certification
For more information and guidance on CIH certification, you can refer to the following resources.
Board for Global EHS Credentialing. As the issuing body for CIH certifications, the Board for Global EHS Credentialing’s website will serve as the primary resource for CIH candidates. There, they will find a step-by-step guide for CIH certification, eligibility checklists, and a CIH candidate handbook that contains a wealth of valuable information for Certified Industrial Hygienists.
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. The Board for Global EHS Credentialing suggests CIH candidates read publications from the ACGIH.
American Industrial Hygiene Association. The AIHA’s publications are also recommended reading for those interested in CIH certification.
Skills management for Certified Industrial Hygienists
AG5 stores all certifications in the cloud, providing all authorized personnel with access to the right version of approved certifications. This helps you easily keep track of all data and documentation related to a CIH certification across your organization.
Using AG5’s skills management software, you can monitor the status of any type of certification that is relevant to your workforce, leveraging intuitive dashboards that provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what is needed to keep your employees skilled and safe.