Allene Scotty Butler, CIH

Allene Scotty Butler, CIH

I am really glad that I have my CIH because I believe that it has been the major factor in my success. Having the CIH enabled me to get a wanted promotion, and be retained when others without the credential were laid off. Working toward the CIH gave me a leg up on the job, and working to maintain the CIH has helped me keep my skills at a high level. Most of all, the CIH is my proof of being a professional in a less than well-known profession. I got into (fell into, really) industrial hygiene through the laboratory. I was hired by the California State Health Department in 1973 as a result of the passage of the California bill for a state plan for OSHA. At the time I had never heard of industrial hygiene, or OSHA, or anything much in the way of safety. After about a year in the Lab, I was selected for a pilot program concerning the California Carcinogen laws, and sent into the field for the first time. I loved it. After three years, I was able to apply to transfer into the field portion of the program. I had to wait until the Supervising IH changed hands and the new one was willing to hire women for the field…since then I have never looked back. In the beginnings of the Cal/OSHA program the demand for field IHs was such that a number of people were hired as “junior” IHs with no experience. As a lateral transfer, I was expected to help train the new group. I really had minimal field experience at the time so I needed to educate myself enough to stay ahead of them. Working toward the CIH credential, with its broad scope was one of the tools I used. I went first for the ‘chemical aspects’ credential, since it was what I knew, but the core exam was field based and took a great deal of study and thought. So after the first one, I went for the comprehensive practice. In Cal/OSHA to be a senior IH or higher, you must have either a PE (yes, really) or a CIH. With my two CIHs, I was soon promoted to the supervisory level. Another value of the credential is credibility; very useful when testifying for in administrative law hearings. I left the state job after several years to take a job in private industry, a job that I believe I would not have gotten but for the CIH. During the course of my career, because of the CIH, I completed continuing education courses that I could not have sold to management but for the CIH. In the latter part of my career, the ‘fashion’ in manufacturing was do more with less or ‘lean’. My credentials made me a more valuable employee than others with similar experience but no CIH. And lastly, my experiences with the CIH credential lead me to pursue credentials in allied fields: the CSP in safety and the CHMM in the environmental field. Possessing the CIH made the application for and the process of obtaining these ancillary credentials so much easier.