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District Hires Chemical Hygiene, Safety & Training Officer

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District Hires Chemical Hygiene, Safety & Training Officer
Posted on 12/22/2015
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The Portland Public Schools recently hired Janis Smith, an experienced industrial hygienist, as the district’s chemical hygiene, safety and training officer.

Her districtwide responsibilities will include overseeing chemical safety in school classrooms, chemical inventory and audits and hazardous waste disposal. Among other duties, Smith, who also has taught industrial hygiene at the community college level, will be responsible for developing and implementing chemical hygiene and workplace safety programs, including the provision of training.

Smith has worked in the industrial hygiene field for more than 25 years and has been a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) since 1993.

Smith most recently worked in the Industrial Hygiene Specialty Services group for Zurich Insurance’s Risk Engineering Division. As an industrial hygiene consultant for Zurich and other private concerns, she has conducted chemical, noise, radiation, and biological exposure assessments, ergonomic assessments and ventilation assessments. Her work extended throughout the United States and Canada and was conducted within the manufacturing, health care, service, education and government sectors.

In addition to her consulting experience, Smith also was an instructor at Central Maine Technical College (CMTC) in Auburn, where she developed and taught Industrial Hygiene & Lab, Occupational Health, and Ergonomics in the Occupational Health and Safety Department.  While at CMTC, she also chaired the college’s Safety Committee.

“I am truly looking forward to 2016 and all that we can accomplish to improve the health and safety environment for our students, teachers, and staff throughout the district,” Smith said. “While I have some key priorities that I will be working on over the next months, I welcome and encourage any questions or reporting of safety concerns.”

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in earth science/geology from Bridgewater State College. She formerly worked as a marine geologist.