By Michelle Coutu
While blogging about her adventures and observations in the consulting world, Morgan Bliss takes the time to inject creativity and humor into her work. Frequently she uses manga, a Japanese cartoon style, to illustrate herself as “The Industrious Hygienist,” tackling current issues and obstacles. Her most recent posts include a series of holiday-themed manga that address workplace grievances in Santa’s Workshop and a “Sock Puppet Safety” feature on proper PPE donning and doffing procedures for Ebola Virus Disease infection prevention. Check out her work at:
http://industrious-hygienist.blogspot.com/ We got a chance to catch up with Morgan, and ask her some questions:
Why did you start your blog?
“I started my blog as a way to share my experiences, useful resources, funny (redacted) stories, and manga with a wider audience. Most of my early drawings were a “client appreciation” activity, where we would have a particularly trying or frustrating experience on a project, and I would make a manga about it to help bring the humor back into the relationship.”
How has the online community responded to your creative depiction of the profession?
“The online community seems…bemused. Some of them feel that safety and industrial hygiene should be a very serious thing, while others beg to use my posts and drawings in their EHS training to lighten things up and keep the workers’ interest. Fans of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, where my character stylings are borrowed from, find the adventures entertaining.”
What advice do you have for folks just starting out in the field of environmental, health, and safety?
“Network, network, network. Go to society (ASSE, AIHA, EIA, etc.) meetings in your area whenever possible. Attend every free or cheap educational event you can – there’s always a chance you’ll meet a potential client or company to partner with. Don’t assume your employer (future or current) will help you with your career growth. You’ll have to do that yourself. Seek out training and certifications in areas that challenge you. Learn to be a generalist before you become a specialist, otherwise you might find yourself pigeon-holed into a specialty you don’t particularly enjoy. Don’t be afraid to be your complete self – it takes a special kind of crazy to be successful in safety and industrial hygiene.”