Donna S. Heidel, MS, CIH, FAIHA Industrial Hygiene Practice Leader Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. Health, Safety, and Environmental Division Research Triangle, N.C.
AIHA professionals must continue to engage students not only to discuss our profession’s focus on protecting human health but also to share specific examples of the impact each of us has had on preventing adverse health effects. As a profession, we are modest when discussing our impact in preventing occupational disease. It is time to embrace our contributions and talk with our next generation of IHs about how we advance worker health and the hard work ahead to reach our goal to eliminate occupational disease. Our youth are committed to careers that have a positive social impact on their communities, as well as on society as a whole. Our profession can fulfill their career aspirations.
Next, we need to showcase the contributions of our students and early career professionals at AIHce, Fall Conference, and local section meetings and conferences by inviting them to the podium with us to present their unique perspectives on current IH topics.
Finally, each of us needs to reach beyond our comfort zone of speaking only to each other. Discussing our role in safely launching new products and commissioning new processes with scientists, engineers, and managers will engage a whole new group of students and early career professionals in the value of our profession.