Brenda Gordon, CIH

Brenda Gordon, CIH

"I am really glad that I have my CIH because it has helped me to secure a more safe and healthful work place for employees in a wide variety of industries, both manufacturing and construction. I am currently an Area Director with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), U.S. Department of Labor. Prior to becoming an OSHA manager, I spent many years in the field as an OSHA compliance officer. I have worked for the agency for 30 years. During my career with OSHA, I have used my enforcement authority to obtain compliance with the OSHA standards to the fullest extent possible.. However, it is widely recognized by professionals in the IH field that the OSHA health standards are frequently outdated and in many cases, nonexistent for other recognized health hazards, such as vibration, ergonomics, and nanotechnology, to name a few. OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits and Short Term Excursion Limits are likewise outdated or nonexistent for many chemical hazards. My CIH has enable me to achieve healthy work places in spite of the limitations of the OSHA health standards currently in place.

I have used my CIH to supplement the OSHA standards and to work with companies to achieve the best methods of abatement. As one example, during the course of my career I have had to work with several companies who had cadmium overexposures in excess of the current OSHA PEL of 5 micrograms/m3. For many applications, particularly in battery plants, Cd recovery operations, and casting and melting operations, it is very difficult to achieve technical compliance with the engineering requirements of the standard. The CIH has given me the technical background and the credentials to work with and to assist other safety and health consultants in the field with technical feasibility issues. Collectively, we have attempted to identify ventilation and engineering controls to help their clients to achieve compliance with the cadmium PEL to the fullest extent possible. The CIH has enabled me to converse in an educated manner with management and employees to help them to better understand the science behind and the need for the OSHA regulations, and the health effects they can suffer if they fail to comply with the standard.

The CIH has also provided me the credibility and the professional respect that I needed to defend contested OSHA cases in court. As both an OSHA manager and a compliance officer, I have had to defend cases against knowledgeable attorneys and safety and health professionals while giving testimony in court before administrative law judges. For example, I have had to give testimony regarding the health effects of silica exposure and feasibile abatement methodologies for silica overexposures. I have had to educate defendents, attorneys, and law judges on the meaning of technical terms such as """"mg/m3"""" and what this means in terms of actual employee exposure. The CIH has added to my professional qualifications in this regard. Also the CIH has helped me to maintain a high standard of professional excellence over the years which I believe is important to the profession.

And finally the CIH has afforded me the opportunity to network with other safety and health professionals with diverse backgrounds and jobs, and to keep abreast of new developments in the field of industrial hygiene. It has given me an extra sense of achievement in my career."