AIHA Comments on DOL Proposal to Allow Young Workers to Operate Power-driven Patient Lifts On Nov. 1, AIHA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor on the department’s proposed rule that seeks to allow 16- and 17-year-old employees to independently operate power-driven patient lifts. One of DOL’s Hazardous Occupations Orders, HO 7, currently prohibits youth from working in occupations that involve operating, riding on, and assisting in the operation of most power-driven hoisting apparatus, including power-driven patient lifts. The Federal Register notice announcing the proposed rule posits that patient lifts “substantially differ in form and function” from the other heavy industrial equipment governed by the HO, including forklifts, backhoes, and cranes. In its comments, AIHA expresses concerns that the department provides no scientific evidence for this proposed rule.  “It is possible that the technologies of power-driven patient lifts and healthcare industry work environments have improved … such that the hazards to 16- and 17-year-olds have been reduced,” AIHA’s comments read. “However, the Department has provided no evidence that this is the case, and absent a new study by NIOSH, it would be irresponsible to place young workers at greater risk in an industry with one of the highest rates of injuries based upon a handful of letters and tangential anecdotes.” AIHA urges DOL to protect America’s young healthcare workers by issuing a new rule that would prohibit 16- and 17-year-olds from manually lifting patients who cannot bear weight; maintaining the current conditions under which 16- and 17-year-olds can operate power-driven patient lifts under HO 7; and asking NIOSH to revisit the work it conducted from 2010 to 2011 (see the letter by NIOSH Director John Howard to Wage and Hour Division Deputy Administrator Nancy Leppink on DOL's website, PDF).  AIHA’s full comments on this rulemaking are available as a PDF

CEC Gears Up for AIHce EXP 2019 The AIHA Continuing Education Committee met this October to review 65 professional development course proposals for presentation at AIHce EXP 2019. Each proposal undergoes a rigorous and competitive bi-level review by the CEC and experts from AIHA volunteer groups. This review helps guarantee that quality courses are presented to ensure an excellent educational experience.  Fifty-six proposals were selected for presentation at AIHce EXP 2019 in Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday, May 18; Sunday, May 19; and Thursday, May 23. With benefits and value-added items ranging from hands-on demonstrations and workshops to e-handouts, essential publications, and software, the 2019 PDCs will provide practical skills and tools that attendees can apply immediately. In addition, PDC attendees earn extra certification maintenance points and network with experts. Full PDC descriptions will be available on the AIHce EXP website.
2019 AIHA Board Election Updates AIHA has partnered with Votenet, a nationally recognized company, to provide a safe, secure web-based voting system during the 2019 Board of Directors election cycle. From Feb. 15 to March 1, 2019, AIHA members will use their last name and membership identification number to access the voting system. Members who require a paper ballot must submit their request by email no later than Wednesday, Jan. 23. The paper ballot will be mailed by early February and must be returned postmarked no later than Friday, Feb. 22, to be counted in the election. There’s still time to nominate a candidate by petition. In addition to nominations made by AIHA’s Nominating Committee, nominations for officers and directors may be made by petition of not less than two percent of members who are eligible to vote. Each petition must include a letter from the nominee stating the nominee’s willingness to stand for election. Petitions must be submitted to the chair of the Nominating Committee via email by Jan. 22. To be included in the Candidates’ Forum in the February issue of The Synergist, individuals must submit petitions three weeks sooner—by Jan. 1. Important information about this process is available in the AIHA Member Center (member login required). Email questions to the chair of the Nominating Committee.
Awards, Fellows Nominations Due Dec. 31 AIHA requests nominations for the 2019 Fellow and AIHA awards. The deadline for both AIHA awards and Fellows nominations is Dec. 31, 2018. AIHA’s awards honor individuals who provide significant contributions to the IH and OEHS professions. Any AIHA member may submit an award nomination. The AIHA Fellow designation is limited to no more than five percent of the membership. More information on AIHA awards and honors, including links to nominations forms, is available on AIHA's website. The award recipients will be recognized during the Mark of Excellence Awards Breakfast at AIHce EXP 2019 in Minneapolis, Minn.  Call for Volunteers: AIHA Finance Committee The AIHA Finance Committee is a standing committee that works with AIHA’s Board of Directors, chief executive officer, and managing director of finance to monitor the finances of the association. There is currently one opening on the Finance Committee that the Board must fill for a three-year term beginning May 2019. If you are interested in serving on the Finance Committee, please review the roles and responsibilities (PDF) and submit your application by Jan. 31, 2019. The application is available for download as a PDF. Once your application is received, you will be contacted to set up an appointment for a 30-minute phone interview with a member of the AIHA Board. Email Belinda D’Agostino or call (703) 846-0721 with questions. In Memoriam William (Bill) H. Krebs, PhD, CIH, FAIHA, a past president of AIHA, passed away on Oct. 1, 2018. On Oct. 3, AIHA made a donation to the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, per Bill’s wishes. The donation was made in his name, in recognition of the dedication he showed to the industrial hygiene profession and the association, and on behalf of AIHA’s Board of Directors and staff. Read more about Bill’s life in this issue. AIHA Office to Close for the Holidays  The AIHA office will close for the holidays beginning Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, through Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, reopening on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Online resources, including the marketplace and Member Center, will remain available. Any orders placed between Dec. 24 and Jan. 1 will be fulfilled when the AIHA office reopens on Jan. 2.  Members will continue to receive AIHA’s two weekly e-newsletters, The Synergist Weekly and The Synergist Newswire. Our staff wishes you a safe and enjoyable holiday season! 2019 Buyer’s Guide Available  The print version of the 2019 AIHA Buyer’s Guide—your source for IH- and OEHS-related services and products—was mailed with the November issue of The Synergist. If you have not received your copy, please contact AIHA customer service at (703) 849-8888 or via email. View the online version. Dates and Deadlines December 14, 2018 Deadline to submit order forms to be included in the printed 2019 AIHA Consultants Listing. December 31, 2018  Deadline to submit nominations for 2019 AIHA Fellows and AIHA awards. January 31, 2019 Deadline to submit applications to serve on the AIHA Finance Committee. See details above.
March 25–28, 2019  Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene course in Westerville, Ohio. May 20–22, 2019 AIHce EXP 2019 in Minneapolis, Minn. For a complete list of events, visit AIHA's website.