I can respond regarding CHO positions & certification. The requirements to be eligible for the certification exam are not extensive; we require 12 credits in chemistry and one year of laboratory safety experience. The experience requirement does not require that she be employed specifically in a lab safety (IH or CHO) position; experience can come from serving on a safety committee or handling safety-related responsibilities as part of other duties. However, the exam is quite challenging for those without significant experience, so I would suggest attending workshops & seminars and additional study. There are a number of good references, including Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, Laboratory Safety for Students, and the Handbook of Chemical Health & Safety. Certainly there are a number of DCHAS members who have had successful careers in the lab safety field, and I would venture most, like your Wittenberg graduate, had other plans initially. It is not too late for her to get started! I will be glad to answer any questions she might have.
I wouldn’t discourage her from looking at industrial hygiene as a career choice, either, though that does require more schooling. I’m sure Harry Elston can fill her in on the requirements for the CIH.
Russ Phifer, Executive Director
National Registry of Certified Chemists
125 Rose Ann Lane
West Grove, Pennsylvania 19390
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