August/September 2012 (vol. 09/2)

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Dilemma: What’s in a name?

Occupational hygiene: is it time for a rebrand?


Is the term ‘occupational hygiene’ outdated and should it be changed to something that is more meaningful to those outside the profession? Two leading hygienists argue the case for and against.


The term ‘occupational hygiene’ does not do the profession justice at a time when there is an urgent need to address the toll of ill health caused by hazardous exposures at work, says Andy Gillies.

Was Juliet right? In the most famous scene from Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Romeo stood unnoticed beneath the balcony as Juliet mused over the significance of his family name: ‘Tis but thy name .…

Andy Gillies is a Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene, managing director of Gillies Associates, and a past president of BOHS.



Adrian Hirst believes that changing the name of the profession will not help to define, describe or publicise it, and that any such moves are likely to hinder and delay the important progress, which the profession is making.

‘Lamp lighters’, ‘typing pools’ and ‘taping movies’ are outdated terms, but ‘occupational hygiene’ is not.  Occupational ill health continues to fall and working conditions continue to improve...…


Adrian Hirst is a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester and a freelance occupational hygiene consultant.


Author: Gillies A, Hirst A


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2012 (vol. 09/2) pp30-31

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