Slade K. smith

rpih, aieh & rci

President and CEO


Organization and Profession:
Slade K. Smith is President and CEO of Industrial Hygiene Consulting Corporation (
IHC, Corp.), a private environmental consulting and testing firm focused on identifying and solving indoor environmental problems, building related deficiencies and disaster restoration consulting (flood, fire and hurricane).
Mr. Smith is a Registered Professional Industrial Hygienist (RPIH), Accredited Indoor Environmental Hygienist (AIEH) and a Register Construction Inspector (RCI) and IICRC AMRT Science Instructor.

Mr. Smith is an active member in the IICRC, RIA Environmental Council Member, Indoor Air Quality Association, American Construction Inspectors Association, Association of Professional Industrial Hygienists, Indoor Environmental Air Quality Council, Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology-Minnesota Chapter, Minnesota Association of School Maintenance Supervisors, and the Minnesota Building Envelope/Enclosure Council (BEC).

Mr. Smith has a Bachelors of Science degree with an emphasis in environmental science, organic chemistry, soil physics, and hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. In addition, Mr. Smith has completed the Building Inspection Technology program from North Hennepin Community College.

Past Experience:
Mr. Smith has over seventeen years of experience in investigating and solving environmental problems. Mr. Smith spent one year with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Ground Water Monitoring and Assessment Program; sampling, evaluating, and mapping the quality of Minnesota’s drinking water.

Mr. Smith then worked eight years with the Institute for Environmental Assessment’s (IEA) Indoor Air Quality and Mechanical Engineering Design Division where he worked as the Operations Manager of the company. At IEA, Mr. Smith was responsible for business development and expanded environmental services to include reactive indoor air quality and industrial hygiene evaluations, proactive facility assessments, streamline management of large scale environmental remediation projects, design/build construction and management.
Mr. Smith has performed over one thousand facility related evaluations totaling over 200 million square feet that encompass a variety of disciplines, including industrial hygiene, reactive, and proactive building and environmental evaluations. Mr. Smith is regarded as an expert in the indoor environmental consulting industry, including national and local speaking engagements, article publications, visiting professor of Industrial Hygiene at Miami-Dade College as well as being qualified as an expert witness for court and arbitration related testimony.

What is an industrial hygienist and why would I work with one?
(The following information was courtesty of APIH and ABIH)
The Association of Professional Industrial Hygienists (APIH) was formed to offer credentialing to industrial hygienists who meet the legal definitions of industrial hygienist or professional industrial hygienist regardless of their geographical location.

"Industrial Hygienist" means "a person who possesses a baccalaureate degree, issued by an accredited college or university, in industrial hygiene, engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, medicine or related physical and biological sciences and who, by virtue of special studies and training, has acquired competence in industrial hygiene."
"Professional Industrial Hygienist" means "a person who possesses a baccalaureate degree, issued by an accredited college or university, in industrial hygiene, engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, medicine or related physical and biological sciences who has a minimum of three (3) years full-time industrial hygiene experience. A completed master's degree in a related physical or biological science, or in a related engineering discipline, may be substituted for one (1) year of the experience requirement; and a similar doctoral degree may be substituted for an additional year of the experience requirement."

The Association of Professional Industrial Hygienists (APIH) was established to maintain, publicize, and distribute a registry of those persons working in the field of industrial hygiene who meet the above education and experience criteria.  Each application for registration is evaluated by the APIH Registration Committee and information submitted is verified and documented in the member's record. Registrants must update their records on the fifth anniversary of their initial registration date.

Industrial hygiene is a term designed to evoke a simple view of what the practice means. However, it comes from a time when the words had a different interpretation to them.  Industrial seems clear enough - practicing in a work or factory setting, but even that gets blurred these days when defining a problem in an office setting. Hygiene comes from the area of practice relating to cleanliness, sanitation, or health.  Therefore, as initially determined, an Industrial Hygienist (IH) is a professional who is dedicated to the health and well-being of the worker. Typically, this would have an IH evaluating the health effects of chemicals or noise in a work place.  This has been expanded a bit by the changing of our society from an industrial/agricultural base to more of a service economy to address issues of productivity.  It also now relates to an expansion of workplace to areas of the community outside the traditional place of employment.

The IH professional traditionally has gained knowledge by some combination of education, training, and experience. Ideally, this knowledge is used to anticipate when a hazardous condition could occur to cause an adverse health effect on a worker or the environment.  Failing that, the IH must be able to recognize conditions that could lead to adverse health effects to workers or a community population.  Still, there would be no real meaning to defining hazards if an evaluation of the probability and severity of a recognized adverse effect and some realistic control means would not be forthcoming to remove or reduce the impact of the situation.

The technical knowledge of industrial hygiene practice has been divided into eight content domains: Basic Sciences; Occupational Disease, Illness, Injury and Surveillance (biostatistics, epidemiology, toxicology); Health Hazards (ergonomics/human factors, physical stressors, biological stressors, chemical stressors); Work Environments (indoor air, industrial processes); Program Management Principles (investigation methods, ethics, risk communication, guidelines and standards, data management and integration, emergency response); Evaluation Practices (instrumentation, sampling methods/techniques, analytical chemistry); Hazard Controls (engineering, PPE, administrative); and Community Stressors (air pollution, hazardous waste).

Still, there are means of applying this knowledge that differ in many situations.  Application is seen in the recognition of a hazard, the evaluation of the stressors, in the actual control of the situation, and in industrial hygiene program management.  These "domains" of practice differ as one advances through ones career.  Efforts to create reasonable standards of practice have led to the development of a code of ethics for the practice of industrial hygiene.  While it does not in itself define competence, it certainly becomes recognizable when it is absent.

However, it is not rote knowledge that identifies a competent Industrial Hygienist. There is an "art" to applying the technical principles in a manner that provides a reasonable solution for a workplace health issue. Also, experience in as wide a practice as possible is helpful when you must demonstrate your knowledge in these eighth content domains. This has become extremely difficult for "specialists" or those who practice in narrow areas.  Limiting your experience to indoor environmental quality, or lead abatement, or confined spaces control can be a disadvantage when trying to demonstrate competency in other areas.

What is an Inspector and why should I work with one?
(The following information was courtesy of ACIA)
According to Webster's Dictionary, inspect:is to view closely in critical appraisal: look over: to examine officially.

Reason dictates, an inspector must...

- determine what to examine.
- be able to determine where and when to examine.
- be able to determine whether the item examined is correct.
- be able to determine the proper action to take.
- accomplish all of these honestly and fairly.

In construction, the requirements for inspection are numerous and varied for the component parts, which require different kinds of testing functions and verification.  Construction is a progressive inspection of the parts comprising their assembly. Judgment is required because of various tolerances in application of such terms as "straight", "plumb", and "level".  Each of these must be judged for exactness, dependent upon use, material, and practicality. It is necessary that the inspector display the utmost tact in public relations with office and field personnel, which is vital to a successful completion of a quality project. Integrity is essential because all members of the construction enterprise are dependent upon the Inspector's observations and the timeliness and accuracy of his findings.

What does an Inspector Do?
Competent inspection requires basic duties of inspectors regardless of the extent of their responsibilities. Predicting an outline on the premise that "proper inspection results in the opportunity for all work to be done correctly the first time", it follows that:

Inspectors must determine the exact identity of the project and all of its parts. This includes all plans, specifications, contract documents, and all references to law, codes, manufacturer's specifications, and other referrals.

Inspectors must determine and establish procedures and arrangements to fulfill their duties without unnecessarily interfering with the work. They must assist the contractor in obtaining all clarifications, interpretations, and corrections required, prior to installation. They must check all installations for performance and completeness.

Good public relations maintained by the inspector are essential to every member of the complex interests in the building project.  These are established through competence, judgment, timeliness, understanding, industry, and integrity. It is also essential to record and document the project in the whole and in its parts in sufficient detail to enable an "historical reconstruction" of the events and progress of the project.

What Should an Inspector Know

An Inspector should know...

 - How little he knows compared to what is available.
 - How to read and be able to comprehend what was read.
 - The author's meaning and intent.
 - How to recognize, analyze, and specifically identify problems.
 - When, where, and how to secure the solutions to any problem.
 - An inspector should be able to see what is before him and to visualize its effect on preceding and succeeding work.
 - How to understand and correlate cause and effect.
 - Applied mathematics, arithmetic, geometry, physics, chemistry, and statistics, as related to everyday field conditions and operations.
 - Drafting to the extent of transmitting ideas with sketches, diagrams, isometrics, or graphs.
 - To keep the purpose of the design in mind and to exercise judgment in the use of his authority.
 - How to get along with people while asserting himself to obtain quality work.

Inspector’s Creed:
Ø      Dedicate ourselves to professional service to the public
Ø      Improve the profession of Construction Inspection
Ø      Advance, protect, and improve the mechanic arts
Ø      Encourage education for ourselves and the public
Ø      Establish and maintain a set standard of qualifications
Ø      Assist all allied professions to dependable inspection services
Ø      Educate the public to the value of proper uniform inspection service
Ø      Maintain the honor and integrity of the profession, and encourage ethical practices
Ø      Secure uniformity of action upon principles established
Ø      Have close relationship of communication and understanding
Ø      Work for better legislation affecting inspection 
Ø      Cultivate social and economic exchange within the membership