November 30, 2023 / Alla Orlova

Education and Technical Initiatives: 2023 in Review

As the end of the year approaches, AIHA continues to be at the forefront of developing cutting-edge, science-based education and resources. Below is a summary of the courses developed and titles published during a very productive year.

Technical Frameworks

A technical framework defines the core knowledge and skills needed for effective performance in a specific practice or expertise. These frameworks are widely used as resources by individuals looking to expand or refresh their knowledge or skills or develop new training programs within their organizations.

In 2023, AIHA published new technical frameworks on:

  • Susceptible worker protection. This framework establishes the core components of professional competency in identifying, evaluating, and controlling occupational exposures to susceptible workers. Worker susceptibility is defined as "the combination of genetic factors or exposome that impact the severity of exposure to a given agent." For more information about susceptible workers, see the recent article in The Synergist.
  • Climate change adaptation. This framework can be used to identify and understand the areas of expertise needed to assess climate change-related occupational hazards. The framework discusses emerging hazards, chemical hazards, biological hazards, physical hazards, psychosocial hazards, and hazards associated with climate-related emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.

We also published updated technical frameworks on emergency preparedness and response, indoor air/environmental quality, and occupational exposure banding.

Guidance Documents, White Papers, and Toolkits

AIHA's volunteer groups routinely produce resources in their areas of expertise. In 2023, we published the following new documents:

  • Cultural Heritage Emergency Preparedness and Response: Guidelines for the OEHS Professional (PDF)
  • Establishing a Process for the Setting of Real-Time Detection System Alarms (PDF)
  • Industrial Hygienists' Role and Responsibilities in Emergency Preparedness and Response (PDF)
  • Human Capital/Environmental, Social, and Governance and the Role of the OEHS Professional (PDF)
  • Hazardous Drug Surface Contamination (PDF)

We also published an updated Ergonomic Assessment Toolkit (PDF) and a new series of Total Worker Health "talking points." Each document in the series focuses on an issue relevant to the NIOSH Total Worker Health framework. In 2023, we produced TWH talking points on psychosocial hazards (PDF), sensors (PDF), and ergonomics (PDF).


This year, two volumes were added to AIHA's library for OEHS professionals:

  • Industrial Hygiene Performance Metrics, 2nd edition. This manual provides IH and safety managers with clear and concise measures for tracking operations and organizational performance. It presents metrics that focus on anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of techniques and implementation to improve the function of industrial hygiene programs and aid in the prevention of health hazards. 


eLearning courses updated this year include the SDS and Label Authoring Course, Welding: A Case Study in Occupational Hygiene, and the CIH Crash Course. For a complete list of online courses, visit the AIHA website.

In October, AIHA University held a successful Virtual Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for OEHS Professionals. More than 550 people registered for the event, and an average of 200 attended every session.

The four-day Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene (FIH) course, which was offered in partnership with SafeX Inc., had 90 attendees this year, both on site and virtual.

The highlight of our year was, of course, AIHce EXP 2023. Attendees' evaluations gave the conference high marks for offering "a wide variety of topics and making many options available online as well as in person." Other comments included references to the "incredible continuing education opportunities" for maintaining certification. AIHce instructors delivered top-notch education through professional development courses (the average attendee rating for PDCs was 4.42 out of 5) and educational sessions, including research roundups (the average rating was 4.56 out of 5). Attendees rated 56 percent of sessions at 4.56 or above.

Looking Forward

Every year, we review what was done in the prior year, identify gaps, read member feedback and course evaluations, and purposefully develop content to fill in the gaps in our offerings.

We are excited by the evolution of the conference brand from AIHce to AIHA Connect. The first conference under the new name will be held next May in Columbus, Ohio. The education program, which launched this week, offers OEHS topics traditionally covered by conference programming as well as Total Worker Health, human capital/ESG, academic, and lab tracks. Visit the site to browse the agenda that the Conference Program and Conference Education Committees have designed. I hope you'll appreciate the variety of sessions and professional development courses offered and will begin planning your 2024 education journey.

The 2024 eLearning subscription registration is now open to both companies and AIHA local sections. You're invited to check out the courses we've planned for individual and group subscribers in the coming year. You are also invited to let us know which courses, webinars, and content you would like to either develop or participate in by responding to our education needs assessment survey. Please be on the lookout for an invitation to participate in the survey in January.

Next year, we will offer two in-person and one virtual option for the FIH course. The first in-person course will be offered immediately following AIHA Connect.

I'd like to conclude by letting you know that the Content Portfolio Advisory Group (CPAG) conducted an environmental scan and identified 75 trends affecting the OEHS profession and AIHA. CPAG is working to prioritize those trends and will be sharing their work with staff and the AIHA Board of Directors in early 2024.

On behalf of the Education and Technical Initiatives team, I wish you all a happy and healthy 2024! It's going to be a great year of learning for everyone!

Alla Orlova

Alla Orlova, MA, is AIHA’s managing director of education and technical initiatives.


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