Nicole Greeson, MS, CIH Director, Occupational Hygiene and Safety Division Duke University and Health System Durham, N.C.
While all five domains in the 2019–2021 Strategic Plan support AIHA’s mission and vision, I believe the most critical one is advancement and dissemination of knowledge. Realizing that many customers (both members and nonmembers) come to AIHA for its educational products, it is critical that the association continue to research, develop, and provide industrial hygiene resources for those working domestically or abroad to protect worker health. We can’t achieve the mission to empower those who apply scientific knowledge without providing a way to obtain that knowledge. AIHA should continue successful ways and explore new avenues for disseminating industrial hygiene resources to those tasked with protecting workers from occupational hazards, whether or not they consider themselves industrial/occupational hygienists. Many practitioners rely on AIHA’s publications, conferences, webinars, road courses, etc. to obtain the technical information they need to perform their jobs and to stay current with emerging issues. AIHA can advance this domain by not only continuing to provide popular educational products and services but also encouraging volunteer groups to create new content in their areas of expertise, increasing collaboration with allied organizations who complement our expertise in order to fill content gaps, and expanding availability of online resources so users can access anytime, anywhere on-demand. We can also improve dissemination of information by stepping up marketing efforts and social media presence.
Joselito Ignacio, CIH, CSP, REHS, MPH, MA U.S. Public Health Service U.S. Department of Homeland Security DHS/FEMA Response Directorate, CBRN Office Washington, D.C.
If the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s mission is “to empower those who apply scientific knowledge to protect all workers from hazards,” then achieving awareness of the industrial hygiene practice is critical to ensuring this end-state. AIHA’s strategic plan defines awareness as promoting IH practice of its value and sustainment of the association and the profession. Leadership is required to achieve awareness by actively engaging the public health and non-public health arenas. Through one-on-one engagements (government, the private sector and nongovernmental organizations), mainstream media, social media, and other effective marketing strategies, awareness is attainable so that all workers and, in general, our citizens recognize the industrial hygiene value in protecting worker health. AIHA and our IH professionals should serve as a primary spokesperson for worker health regarding all industry and non-industrial sectors where hazards exist. Through engagements with our nation’s high schools (particularly in addressing health and safety awareness among teenager employments) and colleges, AIHA can promote increasing academic programs in IH and, consequently, ensure future generations of our profession. Prioritizing awareness first is key for achieving our association’s strategic mission of protecting all workers from hazards.