2016 AIHA ELECTIONS
Paul Harper, MBA Principal and Global Practices Leader, Occupational Health and Safety Ramboll Environ Phoenix, Ariz.
The science and profession of industrial hygiene adds value for the spectrum of stakeholders that our underlying proposition touches—that is, management of exposures potentially impacting individuals, and by extension their families, organizations and communities. AIHA understands and believes in the value we add to the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit. Through that lens and our strategic plan, AIHA sets the clear course for our leadership mission—championing our vision and path for the future of our profession. AIHA’s strategic initiatives support the value added by objective science- and risk-based decision making, a cornerstone of our practice and the key linkage with complementary fields where “exposure” and “management” are foundational issues. AIHA is the critical melding point to consolidate these threads and the platform from which we are poised to grow. No other profession enjoys the close community of our practitioners. AIHA champions a global understanding of our mission, fosters the growth of our science and presents the opportunity to our members and future practitioners to participate in and contribute to a “sustainable quality of life” for people. Together, we make a safe and healthy workplace a reality for all stakeholders, and through that reality continue our contributions to a sustainable, livable society.
Michael Rosenow MPH, CIH, CSP Industrial Hygienist - Nanomaterials IH SME Group Leader Argonne National Laboratory Argonne, Ill.
As designed, execution of the #stratplan is key to meeting the three C’s identified above.
Via forward-looking volunteer groups and environmental scans, our association is firmly positioned to anticipate potential occupational health and safety challenges not yet understood by such rapidly evolving technologies as: additive manufacturing, nanoenabled advanced materials or synthetic biology. This methodology ensures our products and services remain current.
As AIHA members and practicing hygienists, it’s imperative we actively influence our association and profession by holding it to a higher bar. It only exists because of us. As a Director, I fully comprehend how deliberate our management team and volunteer leaders are at continually raising that bar. Your volunteer time is scarce and volunteers must ensure there’s equivalent return. Adding your voice is the best way to ensure we remain connected. The association knows this and strives to offer new products such as the recently announced Career Stages program. This personalization of your member benefits is no longer optional.
Lastly, we can’t do it alone. Partnering with like-minded organizations, when mutually beneficial and necessary, makes sense with ever increasing demands on scarce resources. To remain relevant we must capitalize on our strengths, but seek strategic partnerships when doing so will improve the product outcome as well as our credibility as a global leader in worker health protection.
What Kind of Near-miss Was Ebola? As I write this in mid-October 2014, Americans are still getting used to the new and scary risk of Ebola. Ebola fears led to a number of airline passengers being yanked off planes because they exhibited flu-like symptoms and had some connection, however remote, to Africa. So far they’ve all tested negative for Ebola. If that remains true, the number of such disruptions will soon decline precipitously.
Are these events warnings that we should continue to take seriously, “casting a wide net” to reduce the odds of missing an actual Ebola case onboard? Or are they false alarms that we should learn to stop worrying about? Most experts, officials, and journalists say they’re false alarms. But that answer will change in hindsight if a traveler from West Africa ever infects some fellow passengers with Ebola.
Ebola also offers an object lesson in learned overconfidence. The discovery that two nurses were infected with the virus while treating an Ebola sufferer at a Dallas hospital raised many questions. Did the nurses breach PPE protocols? Were the protocols insufficiently protective in the first place? Is it realistic to expect healthcare workers to be 100 percent meticulous in following such protocols?
One relevant fact: every nurse has considerable experience with breaches of infection control protocols that didn’t end in infection. And all too often the lesson learned isn’t that “We need to be more meticulous.” It is that “Infection control is pretty forgiving. Even when we mess up, it doesn’t usually do any harm.” Then along comes a much less forgiving pathogen, Ebola, and learned overconfidence becomes life-threatening.