AIHA Awards Over $36,000 to International OHS Projects During a meeting on February 25, the AIHA Board of Directors approved $36,924 in total funds to be awarded to projects aimed at improving occupational health and safety in workplaces around the world. The 16 projects included among this year’s awardees, along with the 14 countries where they will be completed, are:
  • an exploration of OHS risks in the time of COVID-19 for transportation workers in the Philippines
  • a study on OHS practices in the Bangladesh stone crushing sector
  • an initiative to address mental health impacts among healthcare workers in Vietnam during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • air monitoring of safer artisanal mining practices in Cameroon
  • an analysis of carcinogenic exposures in Guatemala
  • a collaboration between Workplace Health Without Borders U.S. and Wolaita Sodo University to build OHS capacity in Ethiopia
  • an evaluation of the occupational health of military personnel working in a World War II-era warehouse in Malaysia
  • an effort to introduce safer artisanal mining practices in Tanzania
  • mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic among apparel workers in Sri Lanka
  • an OHS initiative for workers and communities in Bangladesh
  • a one-day training workshop on workplace risk assessment, prevention, and control measures for COVID-19 infection in Vietnam
  • a project to prevent hearing damage in Kenya
  • a training program for risk assessment and occupational hazard prevention in artisanal mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • a study of the effects of mercury on artisanal gold miners in Uganda
  • a study on the effects of silicosis among mineworkers and improving mineworkers’ health in India
  • an assessment of welding fumes exposures in Mongolia
Funding for these projects was recommended by the Microgrants Subcommittee of AIHA’s International Affairs Committee (IAC). According to the IAC’s webpage, the committee’s goals include building OEHS capacity in areas of the world where it is lacking; serving as a resource for organizations, groups, and individuals outside the United States that request assistance from AIHA; and supporting groups and individuals who provide industrial hygiene training, resource materials, and equipment in areas they are needed. The IAC’s Emerging Economy Projects Fund was created to support industrial hygiene projects in developing economies. This year, the Emerging Economy Projects Fund received additional financing from Amazon, allowing IAC to support more projects.
For more information, including the list of project eligibility criteria, visit the AIHA Emerging Economy Microgrants Program webpage.
AIHA/ACGIH Initiative Aims to Improve Awareness of OEHS Tools Via the recently chartered Improving Exposure Judgments Advisory Group, AIHA and ACGIH have begun a collaborative effort to promote more accurate qualitative and quantitative exposure judgments. According to the group’s charter document, issued February 2 (PDF), “systematic approaches to decision-making, including the routine use of statistical tools, accurate feedback loops, group discussion, practice, and structured characterization of determinants and decision rationale, show promise in improving risk assessment accuracy, yet the integration of these improvement activities and tools into routine practice remains very low.” The initiative’s objective is to investigate the use of such activities and tools in ways that enhance but do not replace quantitative methods.
According to the charter, the advisory group will comprise seven AIHA members and five ACGIH members, supplemented by staff and partner organization members as needed. The call for member applications ended February 28.
AIHA to Form Standards of Care Advisory Group To support the development of the Standards of Care Initiative, AIHA is creating the new Standards of Care Advisory Group to engage subject matter experts in the project, which is intended to bring OEHS professionals into alignment with a common baseline of protections for workers and communities. According to the new advisory group’s draft charter (PDF), its mission is to “document a concise, easy-to-use summary of minimum recommended global standards of care for the professional practice of OEHS that incorporate best risk management practices whenever feasible.” Selection of advisory group members began with a call for volunteers that closed on February 15. As of early March, the AIHA Board of Directors had begun reviewing the applications, but no selections had been announced.
The Standards of Care Initiative was also the focus of the President’s Message in the January Synergist.
2022 Future Leaders Institute Held in Tampa, Florida The 2022 Future Leaders Institute took place March 3–6 in Tampa, Florida. The annual event focuses on strengthening the leadership skills of young occupational and environmental health and safety professionals. FLI attendees participate in workshops to learn best practices for effective leaders and also receive training in strategic decision-making, integrating OEHS into key business priorities, and increasing their contributions and scopes of influence as OEHS professionals.
Forty OEHS professionals were accepted to the 2022 FLI. These individuals represented countries including Ghana, Australia, Mexico, Zambia, and India. Four international attendees also received travel assistance through the Stephen C. Davis FLI Memorial Grant, which is provided by the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) to support future global leaders in OEHS.
On February 1, AIHA announced that this year’s FLI would be co-sponsored by Amazon. Thursa La, senior manager of AIHF, expressed her gratitude to Amazon on behalf of the AIHF Board of Directors. “Amazon’s generous support means that we can increase the impact that the Future Leaders Institute has on young industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals,” she said.
For more information about FLI, visit AIHA's website.
Apply for an AIHA Volunteer Leadership Position The Conference Program Committee is accepting applications for membership through April 11. Responsible for ensuring the highest quality AIHce EXP content and speakers, the CPC’s input is critical to building a dynamic conference educational program. Applicants must be AIHA or ACGIH members in good standing, have served on at least one technical committee, local section, or volunteer group, and available to serve a three-year term. Apply via AIHA's website.
Through May 25, the Local Sections Advisory Group is accepting applications to fill the advisory group’s vice-chair position. The vice chair advances to be the advisory group chair after one year of service. In addition to being available for two years of service, applicants must be AIHA national members with experience with the local section community. Visit AIHA's website for more information.
Give Back to the Profession The mission of the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) is to advance the profession by awarding scholarships for funding education and professional development in industrial hygiene and related disciplines. Since 1982, AIHF has distributed more than $2 million in scholarship funds to students pursuing degrees in industrial hygiene or occupational and environmental health and safety. These scholarships have enabled talented students to complete their education and have encouraged the most promising scholars to enter and remain in the IH profession. Donations to AIHF help ensure that deserving students preparing for careers in IH can pursue their educational goals. Information about making a donation to the Foundation can be found on the AIHF website.
Notice of Annual Business Meeting AIHA’s annual business meeting will be held at AIHce EXP 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee, at 4:45 p.m. Central time on Wednesday, May 25, to introduce incoming officers and directors and address other association business. In order to establish a quorum for this meeting, a call for proxy votes will be made electronically.
Change to the Board of Directors In February, Bernard L. Fontaine, CIH, CSP, FAIHA, resigned from his role as director on AIHA’s Board of Directors. At its meeting later that month, the Board expressed its appreciation for Fontaine’s dedication to the OEHS profession and appointed Lucinette Alvarado, MS, CIH, to fill Fontaine’s seat. Alvarado is a current Board director whose term ends in May. At that time, she will begin serving the final year of Fontaine’s term.
AIHA Accolades Dennis Driscoll, PE (retired), FAIHA; Elliott Berger, MS, INCE Bd. Cert., FAIHA; and Larry H. Royster, PhD, have been inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. All three are past chairs of AIHA's Noise Committee and were acknowledged for their achievements in hearing conservation. More information is available from the AIHA website.
AIHA Makes Donation to Help Ukrainian Children In March, AIHA donated $5,000 to the United Nations Children's Fund to support UNICEF's efforts to protect Ukrainian children affected by the Russian invasion. UNICEF reported that it is working with partners to provide humanitarian supplies and essential services across Ukraine. Individuals in the United States and Canada who wish to donate to UNICEF can do so at unicefusa.org and unicef.ca.
Dates and Deadlines
April 11 Deadline to apply for membership on the Conference Program Committee.
April 19 AIHA webinar: "Smart Devices and the EHS Professional."
April 19 Synergist Product Demo: "Introducing the Vortex3 and Wireless Technology Air Sampling." Registration is free.

April 19–22 CIHA 2022: 9th International Industrial Hygiene Conference (Virtual).
May 5 AIHA webinar: "Assessing Ventilation for COVID-19 Mitigation and Beyond: Proactively Identifying Ventilation Vulnerabilities."
May 23–25 AIHce EXP 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
May 25 Deadline to apply for Local Section Advisory Group vice chair position.
For a complete list of events, visit AIHA's website.