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Concurrent Session 6

Emerging Issues & Internatio​​nal

Emerging Issues & International Track

Monday, October 30

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Moderator: Chris Laszcz-Davis, MS, CIH, AIHA & AIC Fellow, Founder & Principal, The Environmental Quality Organization, Lafayette, CA.

3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 

21st Century Manufacturing: The Challenge of Emerging Technologies for the OS&H Practitioner

Presenter: Charles Geraci, PhD, CIH, FAIHA, Associate Director, Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, NIOSH, and Manager, Nanotechnology Research Center, Cincinnati, OH. 

Advances in material science, created by nanotechnology, are combining with the development of new manufacturing technologies, promoted by the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative, to give us a vision of the new materials, processes, work organization, and products that make up 21st Century Manufacturing. Responding to these new challenges will require the OS&H practitioner to employ trusted practices and adopt new and more flexible strategies to meet a manufacturing environment that is being referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.

4:15 p.m. - ​​5:00 p.m. 

Disrupting the EH&S Landscape

Presenter: Dave Johnson, Editor, Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, Troy, MI.

The US Environmental Health and Safety profession is in for disruption on a scale not seen since the arrival of OSHA, perhaps even greater. Technology will revolutionize workplace health and safety practices and the professional skill sets required. Drones will replace humans in observation and inspection routines, not all, but some. Wearables will generate more data about worker health (exertions, fatigue, posture, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) than previously easily accessible and create privacy issues. Wearables will also produce exposure analytics that may overload EHS staffs. 

The Internet of things, smart factories, wireless connectivity, and cloud-based sensors will routinely audit equipment assets, LOTO procedures, confined space procedures, etc. Mobile devices used by workers will be tools for observations, inspections, hazard, and near-miss reporting. Robotics will replace humans in high-risk jobs. 

Professionals will spend less time on the shop floor and more time analyzing risk data and making risk-based decisions. But will all EHS pros be able to take advantage of these tech advances? Will there be a gap between the haves and the have nots? Will there be the need for as many professionals? (Think driverless trucks). How will the profession’s changing demographics, the leadership of Generation Y, and Millennials affect the use of disruptive technology? ISHN reader research takes a look at the early stages of EHS technology disruption and what lies ahead.​​​​​​​​​​



Name and Bio

Charles Geraci, PhD, CIH, FAIHA, Associate Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, and Manager, Nanotechnology Research Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Dr. Charles Geraci is the Associate Director for Nanotechnology at NIOSH. He provides overall strategic guidance to the nanotechnology research program at NIOSH and is recognized internationally for his leadership in the field. He has served at NIOSH for more than 24 years, starting at the beginning of his scientific career, and then rejoining the institute as an experienced professional after working in private industry. He has made major contributions in the form of developing policy documents, refining research methods, developing field investigation strategies, and directly applying research outputs to effective worker health and safety approaches needed to responsibly develop emerging technologies. He serves as a subject matter expert on various national and international panels and advisory boards, including representing NIOSH on the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Sub-Committee on Advanced Manufacturing. Dr. Geraci is also active on the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 229 on Nanotechnology, as well as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials, and serves on the executive committee of the American Industrial Hygiene Association Nanotechnology Working Group. Charles is this year’s winner of the Director’s Intramural Award for Extraordinary Science, Distinguished Career Scientist.​

David (Dave) Johnson, Editor, Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, Troy, MI.

Dave Johnson has been chief editor of Industrial Safety & Hygiene News magazine since 1980, back in the days when Ronald Reagan was trying to trim the regulatory thicket. His first interview was with an official of the American Conservative Union’s “STOP OSHA” campaign in a Washington office. 

Dave has gone on create ISHN’s White Paper reader survey on the State of the EHS Nation, ISHN’s web site in 1995, and has written articles and commentaries for more than 440 issues of ISHN. Dave has a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University.​