KAY BECHTOLD is assistant editor of The Synergist. She can be reached at or (703) 846-0737.
AIHA's Veteran of Hearing Conservation Noise Control Engineer Joins IHs to Prevent Hearing Loss BY KAY BECHTOLD, ASSISTANT EDITOR, THE SYNERGIST
Editor’s note: The individuals featured in this series were selected from responses to a survey that AIHA conducted in 2014. For background, see "The IH Hero Gap" in the January 2015 issue. In 1981, Dennis P. Driscoll, fresh out of North Carolina State University with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, presented a paper at AIHce on OSHA’s pending Hearing Conservation Amendment. He remembers the conference as the educational experience that taught him about industrial hygiene and the different disciplines within the IH community. “There were other speakers on noise, hearing conservation, and hearing protection who were all part of that conference,” says Driscoll, who is now president and principal consultant of Associates in Acoustics, Inc., in Evergreen, Colo. “But noise was just one small facet, even though it's a critical technical expertise within [industrial hygiene]. Networking with many health and safety professionals [at AIHce] helped me understand their purpose and how we work hand-in-hand to protect employee hearing.” Driscoll joined AIHA following the 1981 conference, and he hasn’t missed an AIHce since. He became a member of the Noise Committee in 1982 during a time when hearing conservation was becoming more clearly defined in regulation. OSHA’s hearing conservation amendment was incorporated into its occupational noise exposure standard in March 1983.