What is the AIHA?
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) was formed in 1939 and is a 501c6 non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois. The association is managed by an elected governing Board of Directors. The overall objective of the association is to help ensure that work related occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) hazards are anticipated and eliminated or controlled. It seeks to achieve this by:
- Promoting the profession and OEHS practice in industry, government and the general community
- Improving the practice of OEHS and the knowledge, competence and standing of its practitioners
- Providing a global forum for the exchange of OEHS information and ideas
- Representing the profession nationally and internationally
Our mission statement defines who we are and why we exist. It gives us something to work towards on a daily basis.
Our Mission: Empowering those who apply scientific knowledge to protect all workers from occupational hazards.
Our vision statement acts as an internal compass, expressing what we hope to be the end result if we continue to successfully fulfill our organization’s mission.
Our Vision: A world where all workers are healthy and safe.
Who are OEHS Professionals?
OEHS professionals (also known as industrial hygienists) practice the science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, controlling, and confirming protection from hazardous workplace conditions that may cause workers injury or illness. Through a continuous improvement cycle of planning, doing, checking and acting, OEHS professionals make sure workplaces are healthy and safe.
What is OEHS?
Depending upon where in the world you are, the Occupational, Environmental, or Industrial Hygiene Professions (generally known as OEHS) are defined as the art and science dedicated to the Anticipation, Recognition, Evaluation, Control, and Confirmation of industrial hygiene and environmental stressors in, or arising from, the workplace that may result in injury, illness, impairment, or affect the well-being of workers and members of the community. These stressors are varied and include biological, chemical, physical, ergonomic and psychosocial factors.
Our Core Values:
- We prevent illnesses and injuries: AIHA members strive to prevent occupational illness and injury as a fundamental principle of the industrial hygiene and related occupational and environmental health and safety professions.
- We advocate and develop science-based policy and practice: AIHA members advocate for the profession and develop sound science-based public policy and practice through collaboration across scientific and technical communities to ensure that safe and healthy environments are provided for all workers and communities.
- We respect workers and communities: AIHA members respect the rights of workers and communities to have healthy and safe environments.
- We support employers and employees: AIHA members recognize and support that operational excellence is complementary to both business and industrial hygiene and related occupational and environmental health and safety goals and priorities.
- We respect our members: AIHA’s Board of Directors, volunteers, members, and staff conduct the business of the Association with respect for diversity of opinion, transparent and open communication, and with due consideration of each member’s limited volunteer time.
Industrial Hygiene is both a science and an art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and confirmation of those environmental factors or stresses arising in or from the workplace which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being, or significant discomfort among workers or among citizens of the community.
More than half of our nearly 8,500 members of the Association are certified industrial hygienists (CIHs), and many hold other professional designations.
Consider that in the United States:
- Every day, approximately 275 people die from occupational injuries and illnesses in the United States alone.
- Approximately 95,000 workers died in 2017 from occupational diseases.
- About 3.5 million workers suffered occupational injuries or illnesses in 2017 alone. These were just the reported injuries and illnesses – the actual total numbers may be even higher.
- 5,250: The number of recorded workplace fatalities from injuries in the U.S. in 2018. This was a 2% increase from 2017.
And consider that globally:
- Each year, approximately 2.7 million worker die from occupational injuries and illnesses.
- One worker dies from occupational causes every 11 seconds.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2018
- AFL-CIO. Death on the Job, The Toll of Neglect: A National and State-by-State Profile of Worker Safety and Health in the United States (2019)
- ILO, 2013; WHO, 2013 and 2016; Armed Conflict, 2016 + Homicide, 2012 (WHO) + Terrorism, 2016 (Statista)
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AIHA's Strategic Plan
An outline of the 5 critical domains of focus for AIHA through 2021.