CHANTA’ STEWART is AIHA’s public relations specialist. She can be reached at or (703) 846-0700.
AIHce Charts “Pathways to Progress” Inner Harbor Baltimore to Host Premiere OEHS Conference
For the first time ever, Inner Harbor Baltimore, Md., will host nearly 5,000 industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals for AIHce 2016, the must-attend experience of the year for IH/OH practitioners. The conference offers world-class education and a variety of networking opportunities, as well as the opportunity to earn up to 52 CM credits. Pre-conference education will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, and the main conference will take place Monday through Thursday, May 23–26. The conference will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, steps away from the waterfront, which hosts a diverse selection of restaurants, bars, shopping, and historical attractions. Rich in history and charm, the city is also home to many museums, parks, and fun activities such as the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center. Attendees interested in art or history can visit the American Visionary Art Museum or head over to the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. More information about Inner Harbor Baltimore is available from the website of Visit Baltimore. WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION The main conference program at AIHce 2016 comprises an extensive selection of technical sessions covering more than 40 topic areas, from sensor technologies and incident preparedness to hazardous chemicals and confined spaces. Technical sessions are offered in various formats including lectures, general sessions, roundtables, and podium and poster sessions. AIHce 2016 will feature the new Thought Leader track, a comprehensive selection of sessions, PDCs, and workshops that spotlight important ideas, knowledge, and skills essential for tomorrow’s IH thought leaders. The sessions in this track stem from AIHA’s content development priorities: data management and interpretation; work force demographics; emerging markets and global IH/OH standard of care; exposure banding and OEL process; IH business case development; and sensor technologies. Also new at AIHce 2016, the Laboratory Testing track includes technical courses and sessions developed for laboratory personnel and others interested in improving their knowledge of laboratory testing, sampling, and analysis. Look for these new areas of focus throughout the AIHce program. Twenty-five percent of the PDC program is brand new this year. Courses can take place over one or two days, and topics range from exposure banding/OEL process and healthcare to ergonomics and construction. One of the new courses, “OHS Management System Auditor,” is a two-day PDC that provides attendees with audit skills and an understanding of occupational health and safety management system requirements. Day one will focus on understanding OHSMS requirements, as set out in ANSI Z10, OHSAS 18001, and the new ISO 45001. Day two will develop the auditing skills needed to perform OHSMS audits. The course prepares individuals to complete a proficiency exam in order to demonstrate competency as an OHS Management System Auditor. The Science Symposia at AIHce are four roundtable sessions recognized for their high quality scientific content. These sessions will take place Tuesday, May 24, and Wednesday, May 25. The Tuesday symposia are “The Why and How of Sampling and Analyzing Biomolecules,” to be held at 10:30 a.m., which will explain how to monitor for large biomolecules and the analytical techniques used to measure them; and “Investigating Dermal Exposures: Sampling, Assessment, and Control Strategies,” which will take place at 2 p.m. Dermal exposures are often overlooked in occupational exposure assessments, and speakers in this session will cover several topics, including methods used to measure dermal contaminant concentrations and the potential for absorption, sensitization, and ingestion via hand-to-mouth transfer. On Wednesday at 10 a.m., the symposium “Progress and Current Issues in Nanotechnology—Occupational Risk Assessment and Management” will discuss the current state of the science and practices for nanomaterial risk assessment and management, including updates on key initiatives and research, as well as program management strategies and resources for EHS practitioners. The final symposium, “Wearable Sensors in Occupational Safety and Health Practice,” begins at 1:30 p.m. and will focus on how sensor technology and real-time detection systems can help reduce harmful workplace exposures and prevent occupational illnesses and injuries. Another unique roundtable featured at AIHce will be “Women Leaders in the Occupational Safety and Health Movement.” Women have been leaders in AIHA for many years, and an increasing number are becoming seasoned IH professionals. Each of the six speakers of this roundtable will review some of the highlights of their career in safety and health and their views on where the field is headed next. The 16th Annual Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture, “Unvarnished: Behind the Story That Revealed the True, Human Cost of Those Nice Nails,” will honor journalist Sarah Maslin Nir of The New York Times for her outstanding EHS investigative reporting. Nir was chosen for her work on “Unvarnished,” a 13-month investigation of New York City’s nail salon industry, which was published in two parts: “The Price of Nice Nails” and “Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers.” Nir will present the Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, May 24, at 10:30 a.m. The AIHce Movie Matinée will return for its third year. On Wednesday, May 25, at 2:30 p.m., AIHce will screen “The Cost of Construction,” a 90-minute documentary about the dangers of construction work. Jordan Ehrlich, the film maker, will be available for a question-and-answer session immediately after the film. For the fifth year in a row, AIHce will feature its own version of the worldwide phenomenon “Ignite.” Ignite presenters share their professional and personal passions using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes. Presenters must “enlighten us, but make it quick!” This year, AIHce’s technical sessions will feature new room setups based on principles of adult learning to enhance the attendee experience. The new room setups will facilitate engagement among attendees and presenters. For more information on the AIHce 2016 conference program, visit the conference website. Stewardship 2016, a conference for product stewardship professionals, will be co-located with AIHce in Baltimore. This year, the fees to participate in Stewardship are separate from those for AIHce. Attendees interested in attending Stewardship sessions may purchase a Stewardship 2016 All Access pass when they register for AIHce 2016. Visit the Stewardship 2016 website for details. NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES In addition to world-class education, AIHce also features a variety of organized networking opportunities for attendees to connect, share knowledge and ideas, and relax between or after sessions. AIHce 2016 will begin with the second annual Welcome Party on Sunday night, May 22, from 7 to 10 p.m. Sponsored by Chemwatch, the Welcome Party offers attendees the chance to kick off the conference with food, drinks, and live music. Attendees will have the opportunity to connect with exhibitors and network with colleagues at the Expo Hall Networking Reception located in the exhibit hall on Monday, May 23, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. After Tuesday’s General Session, there will also be an Expo Hall Refreshment Break from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be served. This year, the AIHce Power Hour, sponsored by MSA, will take place on Tuesday night from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Hilton Baltimore. The second annual Mark of Excellence Breakfast will be held Wednesday morning from 6:30 to 8 a.m. in lieu of the Wednesday morning General Session. This event, which recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary contributions made by AIHA and ACGIH members and volunteers to the industry and the profession, will feature entertainment, awards, networking, and a breakfast buffet. The Mark of Excellence Breakfast is included in conference registration, but pre-registration is required. New this year, the Expo will open one hour earlier at 8 a.m. on Wednesday immediately following the Mark of Excellence Breakfast to offer attendees additional time to learn about OEHS products and services. New to AIHce is the networking event “Cocktails and Conversations.” Various bars throughout the Inner Harbor will host discussions around ten topics of interest for AIHA members. Attendees can meet fellow professionals also interested in that topic, buy appetizers and drinks, and see where the conversations will turn. Keep an eye out on the AIHce website for more information. AIHce attendees can also participate in the new "Meet Your Match" game, which encourages individuals to meet other IH professionals throughout the conference. When attendees pick up their registration materials, they will receive a button with a number on it. To participate in Meet Your Match, attendees must attach the button to their lanyard. Participants who find colleagues with a matching number and bring their business cards to the AIHA booth in the Expo will be entered into a prize drawing.