Occupational hygiene

Occupational Hygiene is the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and prevention of hazards in the workplace. The occupational hygiene program aims to control exposure to workplace hazards such as chemicals, dust, fumes, noise, radiation, vibration, and extreme temperatures.

VIU’s occupational hygiene programs include the following:

Indoor air quality

Good indoor air quality (IAQ) enhances our health, comfort, and productivity. Each member of the university community has a role contributing to a healthy indoor environment. This includes building occupants, departments, Facilities Services, Campus Development and Health and Safety Services.

Heat stroke

Working in hot environments, both indoors and outdoors, can affect the bodies ability to cool itself, this can lead to heat stress. If not recognized early enough, this can quickly develop into more serious and life-threatening conditions. Physical exertion, personal health, and outdoor activities can increase the risk if precautions ae not taken.

Respiratory protection

VIU Departments with employees who are using any form of respiratory protection (i.e., N95s, and half- or full-face elastomeric respirators) must follow the OHSE Respiratory Protection Program to achieve compliance with WorkSafeBC Regulations. For more information on developing a respiratory protection program, please contact safety@viu.ca.

Hearing conservation

A hearing conservation program is designed to reduce the noise exposure of employees to a safe level and to prevent hearing loss, tinnitus, and accidents attributable to the inability to hear work instructions or warning bells.

The program applies to all workplaces at VIU where:

  • employee noise exposure equals or exceed 85 dBA Lex daily noise exposure level
  • employee noise exposure equals or exceed 140 dBC peak sound level