January 21, 2020 / Gouhar Nayeem

Introducing the “Proud to Be an IH” Series

If you renewed your AIHA membership before the end of 2019, we invited you to tell us why you’re proud to be an IH by sharing a personal #IAMIH story about how your job impacted an individual worker, a group of people, or the profession as a whole. These “proud-to-be-an-IH” stories will be showcased on both Catalyst and SynergistNOW, starting this month throughout the year.

The first story is from Marcus Nunes, a student international member. He writes that his #IAMIH story begins in Brazil, where he writes:

"Industrial hygiene [is mostly] unknown in business [and the workplace] and practiced poorly among most safety professionals. In order to gain knowledge and share high-level experiences, it is necessary to resort to international materials.“

AIHA publishes reference books, courses, and an [online] base for professional interaction [and networking] on the Catalyst. By accessing these publications, I was able to bring news at the Brazilian Occupational Hygiene Congress promoted by ABHO (the Brazilian Association of Occupational Hygienists) this year with my presentation on mathematical modeling and stochastic simulation for reconstruction of occupational exposure. All my colleagues particularly commented that this presentation had a significant impact on the congress and exceeded expectations.”

Christopher Fish, CIH, CSP, REHS, an AIHA early-career professional, is an Environmental Health Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. He has worked at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s (ANTHC) Division of Environmental Health & Engineering since 2010. His roles at ANTHC have included construction safety and health, and field environmental health consultation. Chris has been an AIHA member since 2012 and is currently on the AIHA Direct Read Instruments Body of Knowledge Workgroup. He writes:

“I am proud to be an IH because the IH field and my many mentors have helped me develop the expertise [needed] to prevent injuries and illnesses. I currently oversee occupational safety and health for public health infrastructure projects valued at over $60 million a year in 35 remote Alaska Native villages.

“Two years ago, I also began investigating occupational safety and health disparities faced by construction and utility workers in Alaska and found that they experience lost-time injuries more than double the national rate.

“To address this disparity, I applied for competitive grants from the OSHA Susan Harwood Grant Program in 2017, 2018, and 2019. My organization was awarded Susan Harwood grants for each year, which was necessary to establish the rural Alaska Native worker safety program.

“Through this program, I have led the development of activity-based safety training curricula and materials meeting the needs of the rural Alaska Native workforce, including confined space entry, electrical safety, ergonomics, excavation safety, and fall protection.

“As a result, over 700 workers have received training, and a total of more than 4,000 total hours of safety training have been delivered.”

These inspiring stories illustrate how AIHA membership provides essential resources and networking and volunteering opportunities to help you write your own #IAMIH story. Find out more on how to join as an individual member or how to support your employees through organizational membership.

Gouhar Nayeem

Gouhar Nayeem is AIHA’s membership marketing specialist.


International Collaboration with WHWB

Please note the Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting worker health. Please consider joining for experience, occupational health experience, mentoring in your country. This rewarding experience can enhance your network of colleagues and knowledge of host country issues.

By Bernard Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP, FAIHA on February 2, 2020 9:36am

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