Virtual Once More
A Preview of AIHce EXP 2021
In March, due to lingering concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, AIHA announced that its flagship conference would be held entirely online for the second straight year. On these pages are summaries of select education sessions that were part of the conference schedule as of early March. For a complete, up-to-date agenda, visit the AIHce EXP website. To read more about the decision to hold an all-virtual conference, see AIHA President Lindsay Cook’s article elsewhere in this issue.
Dr. Bose is a former Army major and Iraq War veteran who served one of the longest combat tours by a physician since World War II, a distinction that earned him the Bronze Star. Best known as the U.S. physician who treated Saddam Hussein following his capture in December 2003, Dr. Bose’s wartime experiences include providing medical care in the streets during the Second Battle of Fallujah. Following his return to the U.S., Dr. Bose implemented an emergency training program for the ER team at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas. During the mass shooting in Odessa in 2019, Dr. Bose was called in to treat 13 gunshot victims. “What I found in my personal experience is you want to take much of the thought process out in a high-pressure situation to keep your calm,” Dr. Bose told Time magazine. “You want to automate.” Following his keynote address, Dr. Bose will answer questions from AIHce EXP attendees during an “ask the expert” session.
THE CHALLENGES OF USING REAL-TIME DETECTION SYSTEMS, PART 1—DATA GATHERING TO ACTIONABLE INFORMATION May 24, 10:00–11:00 a.m. Examples from actual use of real-time detection systems highlight this first of four related sessions to be held May 24. Presenters will share a process for selecting appropriate sensors, datalogging parameters, and alarm configurations. The alarm-setting material builds on a 2013 publication of the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive that identified a need for users of toxic gas and oxygen detectors to better understand factors related to setting alarm levels to minimize the risk of potentially dangerous exposure levels (PDF).
LESSONS LEARNED FROM 9/11/2001—20TH ANNIVERSARY REVIEW May 24, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, generated enormous amounts of particulate matter and other airborne contaminants. This session presents information on the analysis of the dust matrix resulting from the attacks, which continues to guide laboratory analysis of complex emergency situations; and lessons on corporate risk management from the standpoint of an OEHS professional whose company headquarters overlooked the Pentagon.
RESEARCH ROUNDUP: BIG DATA May 25, 8:00–9:00 a.m. The first of two presentations in this session explores the fundamentals of Big Data, a term for algorithm-based data analytics, and its current and future applications to industrial hygiene. The second presentation presents findings from a study intended to determine the reliability of an app jointly created by OSHA and NIOSH that workers use to assess heat risk.
RELATED: Predictive Purposes: Will Big Data Change Industrial Hygiene?”; “It’s the Heat—and the Humidity: Critical Factors for Heat Stress Assessment and Prevention.”
OHS STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS COVID-19 IMPACTS IN MINORITY COMMUNITIES May 25, 8:00–9:00 a.m. According to CDC, evidence is increasing that some racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. OEHS professionals are uniquely positioned to address these disparities. This session discusses how the experiences of minorities during the pandemic affect the workplace and presents strategies OEHS professionals can use to advocate for equitable worker protections.
A NEW APPROACH TO REAL-TIME RESPIRATORY PROTECTION ASSESSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE May 25, 8:00–9:00 a.m. This session teaches attendees about measuring protection factors using a wearable, dual-channel CNC-based particle counter that enables real-time respirator fit evaluation while a worker performs tasks. One of the scenarios presented addresses N95 respirator reuse and extended wear and provides new information about PPE effectiveness for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
RESEARCH ROUNDUP: RESPIRATORY PROTECTION 1 May 25, 10:00–11:00 a.m. The first of two presentations in this session is a case study of the challenges of implementing respiratory protection guidelines at a global retail business during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second presentation discusses tests conducted by the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory to assess the quality of non-NIOSH-approved respirators that appeared on the market following widespread shortages of N95 filtering facepiece respirators in the early stage of the pandemic.
A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF ETHICS, ACCEPTABILITY, AND DATA OF WEARABLE SENSORS May 25, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Wearable sensor technologies include accessories and clothing that alert workers to harmful exposures. This presentation will provide recommendations for implementing a “workplace wearables” program. Important considerations include facilitating worker acceptance of the instruments and transforming the data into useful knowledge.
RELATED: Making Sense of Sensors in PPE.”
CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS FOR FLAME RESISTANT CLOTHING HAZARD ASSESSMENT AND SELECTION, PART 1 May 26, 8:00–9:00 a.m. AIHA’s Protective Clothing and Equipment Committee has developed a tool for evaluating a process or job task to determine if flame-resistant clothing is required. This session presents examples of how to apply the tool to different job tasks and includes a review of the NFPA 2113 standard on protecting workers against short-duration thermal exposures. Attendees will also learn practical tips for establishing an FR clothing management program.
RELATED: "Dual Hazard Protection: Selecting Protective Garments for Both Chemical Resistance and Flame Resistance."
KEY TOPICS IN ADDRESSING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PART 1: THE VARIED INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE May 26, 8:00–9:00 a.m. A panel that includes former OSHA administrator David Michaels explores the varied experiences of countries that have suppressed the pandemic and those where disease transmission is still accelerating. Panelists will identify lessons for fighting a global pandemic with a focus on protecting workers.
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON WORK TRANSFORMATION—BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF MODIFYING THE WORKPLACE TO MATCH REMOTE WORK OF THE FUTURE, PART 1 May 26, 1:00–2:00 p.m. The increase in remote work unleashed by the pandemic has led to many new challenges for OEHS professionals. Among the topics discussed in this session are the risk factors involved in work-from-home settings and the potential risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Presenters will also focus on tips for reducing injuries and improving productivity.
CLOSING SESSION: WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE—NEW RULES FOR A NEW WORLD May 26, 3:30–4:45 p.m. For more than a year, people have longed to “get back to normal.” But what if normal has been forever changed? According to Mike Walsh, a futurist and author who has written about artificial intelligence and automation, a radical new future of work has arrived, and OEHS professionals are among the leaders who will need to navigate a period of seismic change. The new challenges waiting on the other side of the pandemic will require OEHS professionals to embrace new technologies and reimagine their roles.
AIHce EXP 2021 will be held virtually from May 24 through May 26. To register, visit the conference website.