September Is Worker Health and Safety Month AIHA is leading an effort to encourage local, state, and federal government entities to recognize September as Worker Health and Safety Month. The goals of the initiative are to honor workers, engage employers and communities in initiatives that promote healthier workplaces, educate policymakers and the public about the importance of worker health and safety, and inspire the next generation of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals.
AIHA members are encouraged to request their government officials to issue official proclamations recognizing September as Worker Health and Safety Month. More information, including a model proclamation, is available from AIHA's Healthier Workplaces website.
Each week in September, AIHA will emphasize different themes related to workplace health and safety. The four themes are Discover IH, Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools, Keeping Teen Workers Safe, and Get the Facts about Mold. Resources related to these themes for both the general public and OEHS professionals are available from the Healthier Workplaces website.
AIHA will also host a Virtual Congressional Advocacy Week from Sept. 25 through Sept. 29 to encourage AIHA members to meet with their U.S. senators and representatives to discuss congressional support for workplace and community health and safety. AIHA members who would like to participate in Virtual Congressional Advocacy Week are asked to complete a short survey. Through the survey, participants can request that AIHA staff schedule their meetings with members of Congress.
During Virtual Congressional Advocacy Week, AIHA Government Relations staff will host an online briefing on Monday, Sept. 25, to discuss federal funding for OSHA and NIOSH and passage of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act. Introduced in December 2022, the act would provide support for long-term improvements to public elementary and secondary school facilities and would include funds for improving indoor air quality.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, an in-person congressional briefing will be held on Capitol Hill to discuss indoor air quality, school infrastructure, and OEHS. A webinar scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 28, will feature a panel of reporters who cover education and infrastructure issues and will discuss how OEHS professionals can work with the media to raise awareness of OEHS priorities.
For more information, visit the Healthier Workplaces website or email Mark Ames, AIHA’s director of government relations.
AIHA, ACGIH Appoint JOEH Associate Editors AIHA and ACGIH have appointed Igor Burstyn, PhD, and Qingsheng Wang, PhD, PE, CSP, as the new associate editors of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Burstyn and Wang will assist JOEH Editor-in-Chief Mike Larrañaga, PhD, CIH, CSP, in selecting articles prior to peer review and guiding authors on manuscript development.
Burstyn is an associate professor at Drexel University and adjunct professor at Utrecht University. His research focuses on identifying the sources and health impacts of occupational and environmental exposures. Burstyn has led several studies as the primary investigator. Wang, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University, has extensive experience in occupational safety, process and reactive chemical safety, nanocomposite manufacturing, and computational fluid dynamics.
AIHA and ACGIH have jointly published JOEH since 2004. Further details, including more information on the backgrounds of the journal’s new associate editors, can be found in AIHA’s press release.
AIHA Accolades Congratulations to Andrew Perkins, CIH, CSP, of Alabama Power Company and Michael Larrañaga, PhD, PE, CIH, CSP, FAIHA, of REM Risk Consultants for their appointment to the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. NACOSH advises the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Health and Human Services on matters related to administering the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Three AIHA members were also appointed to the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, or ACCSH, which advises the Secretary of Labor and the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health on policy matters and the setting of construction standards. Kenneth G. Seal of the International Finishing Trades Institute and Mindy Uber, CIH, of Skanska USA Building Inc. were appointed as employer representatives, and Marissa G. Baker, PhD, of the University of Washington was appointed as a public representative.
Nancy Wilk, HBSc, MHSc, CIH, of the engineering firm WSP was recognized with a Distinguished Lecturer Award from the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. Wilk was honored for her work promoting the NIOSH Total Worker Health program.
Letters to Policymakers Address PCE, HICPAC, Pro Codes Act In July, AIHA sent three letters concerning public policy issues to agency administrators and members of Congress.
A letter dated July 18 to Representatives Jim Jordan and Jerrold Nadler, the chair and ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, expressed AIHA’s support for the Protecting and Enhancing Public Access to Codes Act, also known as the Pro Codes Act. The act seeks to ensure that standards-development organizations can maintain necessary funding while also requiring SDOs to make all portions of standards incorporated by reference into law freely available to the public online.
On July 19, AIHA sent a letter to Mandy Cohen, MD, director of CDC, to express concerns with draft recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) that would identify “air” and “touch” as the only modes of infection for healthcare-related infections. “This approach underestimates the importance of inhalation of respiratory pathogens and could lead to severe consequences for healthcare workers and vulnerable patients and clients,” the letter states.
Another letter dated July 19 to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan concerns the agency’s proposed rule on perchloroethylene, or PCE. The rule would ban most uses of PCE, a solvent that is widely used in dry cleaning, aerosol degreasing, and petroleum manufacturing. The letter identifies concerns with EPA’s risk assessment for PCE, asks the agency to further clarify the conditions of use that the proposed rule would prohibit, and observes that the rule’s proposed requirement to use area sampling instead of personal breathing zone samples is insufficient for a comprehensive industrial hygiene evaluation. See NewsWatch for more information about the proposed rule.
To read the letters, visit the AIHA website.
AIHA Welcomes Nelson’s Appointment to MACOSH AIHA member Thresa Nelson, CSP, CIH, has been appointed to the Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. MACOSH advises OSHA on issues relevant to the safety and health of employees in the maritime industry.
Nelson has more than 30 years of leadership and management experience within private industry, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy. She previously worked with OSHA on consultation products such as the Shipyard Employment eTool, which highlights common hazards workers may encounter during ship repair.
"Ms. Nelson is passionate about training and workforce development and has been instrumental in commissioning projects that utilize technology to enhance learning and appeal to new generations of shipyard workers,” said AIHA CEO Lawrence Sloan. “I am confident that she will provide a high level of expert value to MACOSH.”
Nelson chaired the Environmental Health and Safety Panel of the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) for many years. She was instrumental in establishing an alliance between NSRP and OSHA, which later became a joint OSHA alliance with the Shipbuilders Council of America and NSRP. Nelson has also worked with MACOSH as a presenter and member of the public in addition to providing input to MACOSH working groups.
For more information on MACOSH, visit OSHA's website.
List of Allied Organizations Available Online A complete list of associations and other organizations that partner with AIHA for various activities is available on the AIHA website. For each organization, the list identifies points of contact and AIHA staff liaisons, whether AIHA has a formal agreement with the entity, and activities undertaken in 2022 and 2023. More than 60 organizations are listed on an AIHA Smartsheet.
Present at AIHA Connect AIHA Connect is accepting proposals through Sept. 13 for professional development courses, education sessions, case studies, scientific research, or posters on the latest OEHS information, trends, technology, and best practices. Proposals for pop-up sessions are due by Jan. 17, 2024, and students have until March 13, 2024, to submit proposals for student posters or presentations. The conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio.
Connecting OEHS Professionals to the Gig Economy AIHA has a partnership with YellowBird, a nationwide gig economy marketplace that focuses on occupational and environmental health and safety. YellowBird’s platform connects vetted professionals with on-demand opportunities. To sign up for YellowBird, OEHS professionals need to register for the service and complete a vetting process that includes a short conversation with YellowBird staff, attendance at a virtual orientation, and a background check. Registration is free.
Dates and Deadlines
Sept. 12–14 The Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) Summit will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana. AIHA is a cosponsor of the event.
Sept. 12–Nov. 16 Virtual Comprehensive Industrial Hygiene Review Course. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12–2 p.m. ET, cosponsored by the University of Michigan and the Michigan Industrial Hygiene Society.
Sept. 13 Proposal deadline for AIHA Connect 2024.
Oct. 17–19 PSX 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.
For a complete list of events, visit AIHA's website.