Early Days of Industrial Hygiene
While the Industrial Hygiene profession was generally started as the Industrial Hygiene Section in the American Public Health Association in 1914, OSHA, NIOSH, and EPA were not created until 1970, and MSHA was not created until 1977. ACGIH and AIHA were established in 1938 and 1939, respectively. In the 1940’s through the 1960’s, the limited number of practicing Industrial Hygienists were generally with large industrial companies, insurance companies, and selected governmental agencies such as health departments and the military.
Industrial Hygiene in the Military
John A. Jurgiel started his career in industrial hygiene in the military. After attending Manhattan College on a ROTC scholarship, he earned a BS degree in Civil Engineering and joined the US Air Force. He served ten years in the U.S. Air Force as a Bioenvironmental Engineer with various assignments. The Air Force also sent him to Harvard University to study the new field of Industrial Hygiene, where he earned an MS degree. While in the military, he was involved in various major health-related projects, including manned space flight and missile propellants. After his service in Vietnam, he was also awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service.
John A. Jurgiel Career Beginnings
After leaving the military in 1969, John A. worked for the Industrial Health Foundation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as an Industrial Hygiene consultant on a large project to study the effects of exposure to cotton dust. He was also an associate editor of the book “Industrial Environment: The Worker and the Community,” that was published in 1972. He moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1973 to join the environmental engineering consulting firm of Envirodyne Engineers, Inc., where he worked on a variety of IH related project for various clients.
Establishing the Business
Due to a corporate reorganization to focus on environmental projects in 1978, John A. had the opportunity to start his own firm, John A. Jurgiel & Associates, Inc. with his existing clients. During the initial years, he performed numerous Industrial Hygiene evaluation surveys in light and heavy industries, including chemical, metals smelting and fabrication, food processing, foundries, rubber, electronics, and utilities.
Growing the Business
Over the years, additional associates were added to meet the needs of our clients, and to serve as corporate Industrial Hygiene consultants to many Midwestern companies. Jurgiel & Associates was also in the forefront of the asbestos abatement industry, having served on several hundred asbestos-related projects with regard to asbestos identification surveys, preparation of technical specifications for asbestos abatement, and monitoring during asbestos abatement for industry, contractors, and academic institutions, as well as government agencies, such as the State of Missouri, U.S. Army, Department of Labor, and the U.S. Postal Service.
John P. Jurgiel Education & Career
John P. Jurgiel earned a BS in Civil Engineering in 1985 from the University of Missouri – Rolla. He worked for an environmental consulting firm in St. Louis for two years before attending Harvard School of Public Health to earn a MS in Industrial Hygiene in 1989. He then spent 8 years with The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan and Freeport, Texas. While with The Dow Chemical Company, John P. conducted Industrial Hygiene surveys for Dow customers, provided Industrial Hygiene support to various product lines, and provided field Industrial Hygiene support to several chemical manufacturing facilities. John P. took a position with Petrolite Corporation in St. Louis. After Petrolite was bought by Baker-Hughes, and was moving operations to Houston, Texas, John P. joined Jurgiel & Associates in 1997.
Rob Jurgiel Education & Career
Rob Jurgiel earned a BS in Civil Engineering in 1991 from Northwestern University. He worked as a construction inspector for Sverdrup Corporation (now Jacobs Engineering Group) on a cable-stayed bridge project over the Mississippi River in Burlington, Iowa for 2 years, and another 2 years working for Steinman, Inc. (now Parsons Corporation) in Chicago, Illinois inspecting and designing rehabilitation projects for bridges and roadways. Rob joined Jurgiel & Associates in 1995, and earned a MPH in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health in 1998 from the University of Michigan. Rob has significant experience with Asbestos and Lead consulting, as well as with Construction and Heavy Industry sites.
Focusing on the Client
John A. emphasized the need to be a results-oriented firm to his sons and other staff members, offering practical solutions to the unusual issues and problems that were experienced. He stressed the importance on building relationships and trust with our clients to foster long-term relationships. While other firms in the early asbestos era took advantage of business opportunities, John A. always prioritized the needs of the clients and the Industrial Hygiene profession.
Continuing the Legacy
After over 50 years of practicing Industrial Hygiene, John A. decided to officially retire in 2013, leaving the reigns in the hands of both John P. and Rob Jurgiel, who are striving to adhere to the philosophy that the company was founded on. Since taking over the company, major changes and expansions included the purchase of a bank building originally constructed in 1908 in the Main Street historic district of St. Charles, Missouri, and the addition of a new office in Dallas, Texas.