May 26, 2020 / Larry Sloan

The Vital Role of Education in a Changing Industry and Unprecedented Times

Recently, I’ve been talking here about changes in the occupational health and safety (OHS) industry, and how AIHA is evolving to better serve our members and advance the profession. In just a few days, at this year’s Virtual AIHce EXP conference, some of these exciting changes will be unveiled.

Today, though, I’d like to focus on something that has not changed: AIHA's role in advancing the profession through education—providing informative content and a range of educational resources. As one of the most highly respected organizations serving OHS science professionals, we are devoted to helping our members achieve and maintain the highest standards for health and safety. Education is a powerful tool for doing just that.

Protecting worker health is no small feat, so we offer a wide range of educational resources and continuing education opportunities that help current and aspiring members refine and enhance their practice throughout their career. And we create 24/7/365 online classroom and eLearning opportunities to meet the pressing demands of OHS professionals, and allow them to save time and money while securing and maintaining their credentials.

Through conferences such as AIHce EXP, other events, and Catalyst (our online community), members can engage with one another, stay up to date on the latest professional knowledge, and share career advice throughout the year.

We also produce a range of publications to keep members and others informed. The Synergist, a monthly magazine, offers in-depth news and information on the industry; the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene enhances the knowledge and practice of OEHS; and the Consultants Listing provides a searchable print and online directory of AIHA consultant members to the public.

We understand that our educational efforts serve more than just our members. AIHA is a valuable resource for those who work in large corporations, small businesses, and independently as consultants. Together with our members, we work proactively on behalf of the public to research and disseminate the latest developments in applied science. By doing so, we are able to better protect workers and entire communities.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of this. In the face of spreading misinformation on personal protective equipment (PPE), decontamination, and indoor air quality, AIHA has launched a public education effort to provide expertise and clarification. The effort covers critical resources including properly selecting, fitting, and decontaminating PPE; maintaining indoor environmental quality; disinfecting surfaces; and more.

And as many states approach returning to work, AIHA has just launched, a website that offers tailored guidelines for a variety of workplaces on how they can reopen safely. This site features expert, industry-specific guidance targeted at small businesses, and includes practical information for employers, employees, and the general public on safely reopening and re-engaging as we emerge from COVID-19 quarantines. I am pleased to report that we are ramping up our communications efforts to expand awareness at the state and local level—with a goal to get this information into the hands of those who need it the most. I’m also pleased to report the CDC has posted a link to from its portal.

In these unprecedented times, the need for up-to-date, reliable, actionable information has never been greater. And as Chief Executive Officer of AIHA, I can promise you that we have never been more strongly committed to delivering it.

Larry Sloan

Larry Sloan is AIHA's CEO.


Thank you, AIHA Staff -- and AIHA Members

As member of AIHA for over 40 years, I very much appreciate AIHA's devotion -- through its member volunteers and its staff -- to the maintenance of high standards of health and safety practice. I could not agree more that education is a powerful (and an essential) tool that enables such practice. So thank you, Larry, for this timely reminder. I love the photo of the book case behind the keyboard which illustrates, to me anyway, that I still need to consult at least some hard copy references on my bookshelf in order to be able to communicate credible information via my keyboard. :-D

By Stephen W Hemperly on May 26, 2020 3:33pm

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