Melanie Cyrenne: Public Health Inspector - Local 40 - Civil Service, Physical Sciences Component
Every day I come into work, I know I’m there to promote and protect public health.
Every day, public health inspectors protect the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. It’s their job to help ensure no Manitoban is harmed by the vital necessities we all need to live.
“We’re professionals whose training generally includes a degree in Environmental Health, followed by an extensive accreditation program,” says long-time PHI Melanie Cyrenne. “Every day I come into work, I know I’m there to promote and protect public health.”
In carrying out their duties, PHIs interact directly with individuals, industry and various agencies to ensure Manitobans are protected from health risks such as infectious diseases, chemical contaminants and physical hazards.
For instance, PHIs inspect all food establishments, including restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, cafeterias and food manufacturers/warehouses to reduce the risk of food borne illness. They also ensure rental housing, child care facilities, and public arenas meet strict environmental and air quality standards.
Cyrenne says she and her colleagues are involved whenever public health is at stake. Sometimes this means inspecting a range of facilities, investigating complaints and enforcing the Public Health Act. Other times it means educating the public or conducting research into potential hazards.
The quality of our air and drinking water, as well as our lakes and rivers, are paramount to our health and quality of life. That’s why PHI’s help ensure quality standards are adhered to. They work closely with public and private water suppliers and regularly enforce the Non-Smokers Health Protection Act at restaurants, hotels and other businesses.
“We even inspect water used for recreational purposes like lakes and pools,” Cyrenne adds. “These water venues can become contaminated by various human activities and we strive to make sure no one get sick from a fun day swimming.”