Occupational hygiene exam questions

Typical occupational hygiene exam questions at NQF Level 2 and 3, based on the new QCTO Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner curriculum standard.

Q; Explain the potential occupational health hazards and routes of entry into the body?

Q; Identify eight typical occupational hygiene measurements that are taken in industry?

Q; Identify the instruments that are used to take typical occupational hygiene measurements with regards to:
Airborne pollutants;
Biological agents;
Dermal exposure and surface contamination;
Physical agents;
Air velocity and pressure;
Water quality;
Chemical agents?

Q; Explain where the threshold limits for the various occupational hygiene measurements can be obtained, in terms of;
Legal requirements;
Roles of the various stakeholders in determining the levels;
Role of safety representatives and employees in ensuring that they work in safe and healthy environments?

Q; Give two typical occupational hygiene reports covering different stressors, and;
Determine the extent of legal compliance;
Discuss the grounds for referral for professional inputs?

Q; Describe the various Occupational Hygiene Monitoring techniques, in terms of;
Thermal stress;
Airborne pollutants;

Q; Identify the relevant monitoring techniques to use depending on the different routes of entry?

Q; Interpret the results, in terms of Exposure Limits, of various Occupational Hygiene Measurements, and indicate actions to deal with unacceptable results, in terms of;
Occupational Exposure Limit,
Time Weighted Average,
Short Term Exposure Limits,
Ceiling Limit?

Q: Describe the different Occupational Hygiene Exposure limits, in terms of;
Occupational Exposure Limit,
Time Weighted Average,
Short Term Exposure Limits,
Ceiling Limit?

Give two typical scenarios depicting deficiencies with instrumentation, measurement techniques, misinterpretation of results, and poor reporting and:
Identify the actual deficiencies;
Recommend preventative and corrective actions?

Q; Explain the different roles and responsibilities of the sub disciplines related to Occupational Health, Safety and Environment; including Occupational Medicine, Hygiene, and others?

OHS management system questions

Q; What are the five functions of Occupational Health and Safety Practitioners?

A; OHS Practitioners;
1 serve as a link between employees and management regarding safety and health aspects in the workplace;
2 monitor and inspect the workplace;
3 record incidents;
4 investigate incidents;
5 implement and maintain Occupational Health and Safety systems, to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.

Q; What are the five main tasks of OHS Practitioners?

A; The five main tasks of OHS Practitioners are;
1 Inspect workplaces and environments to identify the occupational health and safety hazards, and determine the risks associated with the work.
2 Represent the needs of employees with regard to Occupational Health and Safety matters.
3 Facilitate and support actions to eliminate or control hazards in order to minimise risks in a designated work area.
4 Participate in the planning and implementation of operational occupational health and safety management system.
5 Monitor and continually improve the effectiveness of operational Occupational
Health and Safety systems.

Q; Name three details of the task of workplace inspection and risk assessment?

A; Workplace inspections;
1 review work sites and environments,
2 to identify the occupational health and safety hazards,
3 and determine the risks associated with the work.

Q; Name four Occupational Responsibilities of OHS Practitioners?

A; 1 Represent the needs of employees with regard to Occupational Health and Safety matters;
2 Inspect workplaces for exposures to hazards and risks;
3 Identify hazards and risks;
4 Take immediate action to ensure health and safety in the workplace.

Q; Name two tasks related to how OHS Practitioners represent employees?

A; Consult with employees regarding their risk exposures;
and raise their needs and issues at Health and Safety Meetings.

Q; Name three elements of OHS Practitioner participation in planning and implementation of operational occupational health and safety management systems?

A; 1 Develop a risk profile, and legal register, for a designated work area;
2 Establish, maintain and improve the health and safety documentation, and reporting systems, controls and processes;
2 Advise on the establishment, maintenance, and improvement of emergency response and preparedness.

• Source; Occupational Health and Safety Practitioner curriculum standard draft, under patronage of the MQA Seta, proposed to the QCTO.
• See extracts from the document, and the call to mining and general industry and labour to comment on the draft in July 2015, on Sheqafrica.com
* See other OHS, Sheq and environmental risk mangement exam quesition examples, in other posts.

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14 thoughts on “Occupational hygiene exam questions

  1. What will this mean for persons with NADSAM, SAMTRAC, ISO 18001, ISO 14000 courses?
    Under what qualification is this curriculum?

    ==== Editor notes; It is a curriculum standard, so any training provider could use it to develop course material and exams.
    Training courses should ideally all be qualifications, or be directly translatable into qualifictaions, but many courses are not qualifications. For example there is no single course that equals a construction health and safety officer qualifiction.
    Rudy and I are among the people who recognise this as one of the core problems in our practice, and have asked the DOL and everyone else to address it.

  2. I am interested in studying towards obtaining a qualification to be an occupational hygienist. Cane someone please assist with institutions that conduct the respective course, what the course name is and if possible, if it can be done with distance correspondence. I am residing in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Thanks

    1. Hi Riette

      There’s a couple of options depending on whether you want to study part time or full time. Full time there is an Environmental Health National Diploma offered by many SA institutions, most hygienists choose this path. Thereafter you register with SAIOH by going through an exam with the entry level being Assistant, then progress to Technologist eventually Hygienist.

      There’s also a practical route offered predominantly in the mining industry where a prospective hygienist gets accepted as a Ventilation and Occupational Hygiene Trainee while studying part time for a certficate in Mine Environmental Control. The governing body is the same, SAIOH and the levels are the same as well. Contact SAIOH http://www.saioh.co.za for more information.

      Incidentally an old friend I graduated with in 2003 was from Namibia and he went the Environmental Health route, i eventually also did the Mining route when I worked for Anglo Platinum.

    2. The only way to do it in SA is through a university. Online I would look at the British qualifications, possibly you could write the examination at the embassy.
      Notice that some of the terminology used is American, some South African mix.
      A free book online to download, is the Industrial envrionment and its control – old but excellent. Shane

  3. Good question from Naren. I would like to know the source of documentation on which this exam (questions) are based, and who the author of the exam questions is?

    ==== Editor notes; Johan, the questions derive directly from the new curriculum standard, that was written by volunteers. Invitations were initially not widely circulated. When we heard of the process, we attended and publicised it, see earlier posts about two years ago, and the draft we posted about a year ago. I repeated the cirriculum items near verbatim and added question marks. Note that I selected only the health and hygiene items, which form the minority. See the full scope of the standard in extracts from the current draft, in the recent post.
    The practical part of the ideal curriculum involves providing learners with scenarios, on which questions could be based. In this post, scenarios are not provided, and the learner is asked to provide scenarios, a skill that is probably above the stated levels of the standard. However since construction health and safety officers are required to submit project reports that demonstrate the applications of their skills in real scenarios, and since this is a vocational standard, it is practicable.
    In real exams at these levels, the scenarios would be given, and the required answers could be derived from these.
    You could formulate your own potential questions from the standard, where the relevant levels and points are listed. And of course your own study material.
    I would welcome some model answers on the OH and hygiene elements, based on SA legislation.

    1. Thanks a million for the reply back. I’ll definitely see what I can do to get the qualification.

  4. Many people use the occupational health and safety jargon loosely. People with SAMTRAC, NADSAM, 18000, 14000 etc, are practicing only within occupational safety.
    Occupational Hygiene, Occupational Medicine and biological monitoring are within Occupational Health. The inspection, evaluation and monitoring systems differ. Riette, call the self-appointed occupational hygiene regulatory body SAIOH, and find out which courses are permitted to write their exams. I currently know that Physiology, Environmental Health, Chemistry, and Occupational nursing are allowed. You will write an Assistant Occupational Hygiene technologist exam, and as you gather experience you will write Occupational Hygiene technologist and after five years combined as an assistant and/or technologist you will sit for an Occupational Hygiene exam.

  5. Many of the questions listed can be answered using the JJ Schoeman textbook, and if your pocket is deep enough, you could buy Industrial Hygiene textbook. There are also two guideline textbooks you can request from the Department of Mineral Resources, however am not sure if those guideline textbooks are free or sold.

  6. Why is there very little done to create awareness on the dangers of mould fungi and mycotoxins in terms of impact on health, wellness, degradation of internal / external structures and surfaces?

    1. Sarel, The answer to your question lies in a simple reason. Health is a medical discipline. Safety is an engineering discipline. Health & Safety is an HR discipline.
      I think Letesja has some very valid arguments.

  7. Sarel, good question there. I have seen a number of structures not properly waterproofed and had developed massive moss, fungi & mould. However, lot of ppl disregard hazardous biological agents. Having said that, ppl in the construction industry consume milk to reduce impact of cement inhalation lol. Now you want ths ppl to regard the impact of microbes. Let us push with the awareness though.

    Deon: The JJ, JR Johnston, W Stanton, R Guild textbooks saw us past Occupational Health 3, especially the Fundamentals textbook lol!

    1. Letesja, the Hazardous Bilogical Agents (HBA) Regulations does not apply to contaminated structures and buildings. It applies to companies that deliberately produce, process, use, handle, store or transport HBAs.
      The only exception is an incident or exposure during work –
      in a food production plant;
      where there is contact with animals or products of animal origin;
      in health care, including isolation and post-mortem units;
      in clinical, veterinary and diagnostic laboratories;
      in sewage purification installations; and
      in a general workplace.
      In these cases the exposure does not involve a deliberate intention to work with a HBA.

      The Construction Regulations require an owner of a building to ensure its continued safe use. That is why the design of buildings require “health” input to ensure HVAC and Vector and pest control systems are adequately designed. It would also include the proper study of meteorological conditions in order to design waterproofing, wind loading, water penetration etc etc. But that is the job of the Pr. CHS Agent (hopefully one with a “not so” NADSAM, or an electrical engineer with a SAMTRAC. No offence, but there is very little HEALTH in the engineering modules. But that is totally acceptable for registration.

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