Are you looking to improve your knowledge and skills in occupational hygiene (OH)? Do you want to pursue a career as an OH technician/technologist doing measurements and controls in the field? Are you currently a practizing Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) professional who is looking for targeted training on a specific topic? Either way, OHTA training modules and in-person or online courses can help advance your knowledge and career.
With a modular design, you can take the courses you need when you want. This gives you the flexibility to build on your existing training and qualifications within the time constraints of your job and daily life.
There are four training levels:
- Awareness Level
- Foundation Level
- Intermediate Level
- Specialist Level
The intermediate level courses cover core topics in OH. So students who successfully complete 6 Intermediate Level courses will qualify for the ICertOHTA certificate in occupational hygiene. The ICertOHTA is the principal qualification of the OHTA.
How the Program Works
OHTA provides the training materials and on-line MCQ examinations which are delivered by OHTA Approved Trainers. The OHTA Approved Trainers are certified occupational hygienists and have achieved the highest recognized qualification in competency by the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA), www.ioha.net
From the OHTA website, you can download Student Manuals to review the course content and then find OHTA approved training providers and course locations. Keep in mind that you can take a Live On-Line course anywhere as long as the time zone and language work for you.
The OHTA program has four levels of training.
Courses at this level are designed for those who require an introduction to the topic of health and safety hazards and risks in the workplace, such as managers, supervisors, union representatives, and employees.
The courses provide an awareness of health and safety hazards and risks in the workplace and how they can be controlled to provide a safe working environment. Some employers have required their entire supply chain to take an OHTA Awareness Level course. There is no formal qualification for taking this introductory course.
OHTA provides the following Awareness level training resources:
- Occupational Safety and Health Awareness online course
- Health and Safety Awareness training materials (download)
- Silica Hazard Awareness training materials (download)
The OHTA Foundation level course was designed for OEHS other allied professionals such as occupational nurses, engineers, facilities managers, and anyone who needs an understanding of the basic principles of occupational health and safety. The knowledge will enable them to deal with problems in their workplace and know when to call in a specialist. This has been a popular course because of its comprehensive information on a diverse range of health hazards. Clients have included multinational companies who have required their employees to take the OHTA Foundation level course.
The OHTA Foundation Level course called Basic Principles in Occupational Hygiene provides an introduction to health hazards in the workplace which are frequently covered by national legislation. This 5-day program reviews a variety of topics including toxic materials such as organic vapors, metal dusts, respirable dust including silica, and asbestos, along with noise, the thermal environment, lighting, radiation, ergonomics, and behavioural science.
On successful completion of the Basic Principles in Occupational Hygiene course, students receive an OHTA Certificate of Completion.
Courses at this level have been designed for both technicians working in the field of occupational hygiene as well as OEHS professionals looking for more technical knowledge in key topic areas.
There are seven modules at the Intermediate level. They are designed as 5-day taught courses that provide practical, hands-on training. Students are taught in small groups by OHTA Approved Trainers and the courses are very interactive with workshops and exercises.
A multi-choice question (MCQ) examination will be held on day-5 which is an open book examination based on the student manual. On successful completion of each module, students receive an OHTA Certificate for that module.
- OHTA501: Measurement of Hazardous Substances
- OHTA502: Thermal Environment
- OHTA503: Noise - Measurement and its Effects
- OHTA504: Asbestos and Other Fibres
- OHTA505: Control of Hazardous Substances
- OHTA506: Ergonomics Essentials
- OHTA507: Health Effects of Hazardous Substances
The hands-on, practical training at Intermediate level will enable the students to take measurements, assess exposures and check the effectiveness of control measures.
The OHTA training framework also provides specialist learning opportunities for specific audiences. There is no formal qualification; instead training providers are invited to produce their own assessment as needed. OHTA provides one module at Specialist level at this time:
- OHTA1001 OH/IH in Mining & Mineral Processing Industries
Other Specialist modules in development:
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Pharmaceutical Industry
There are no formal educational requirements for people wishing to study any of the OHTA courses. However, the OHTA courses (Intermediate and Specialist levels) do require some knowledge of chemistry and mathematics. Students without a strong educational background in these areas may find the courses very difficult.
The next steps
- Identify the training level and course topic(s) which meet your requirements.
- Find courses taught by OHTA Approved Trainers in your area or via online/distance learning
- As necessary, seek the advice of the national OH association in your country for help in choosing a course appropriate for your career path
International Certificate in Occupational Hygiene (ICertOHTA)
The ICertOHTA is the principal qualification at the Intermediate level. Students qualify for the OHTA International Certificate in Occupational Hygiene (ICertOHTA) after the successful completion of 6 Intermediate modules including the 4 core modules.
Core Modules include: OHTA501, OHTA503, OHTA505, OHTA507
Option Modules include: OHTA502, OHTA504 or OHTA506.
If you plan to use OHTA training modules as a stepping stone to professional certification, note that OHTA training modules are accepted as meeting the IH/OH education requirement for those working toward the internationally recognized CIH awarded by the Board for Global EHS Credentialing (formerly ABIH).