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Quick Talk 3

Emerging Is​​sues and International

Emerging Issues and International Track

Monday, October 30

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

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

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Transforming Required Training into Inspired Learning

Presenter: Padma Viswanathan, PhD, President & CEO, RiTEX Inc., Davie, FL.

Dr. Viswanathan’s presentation will address the need to apply new technologies to safety training for multiple industries. She will elaborate on the challenges faced by safety trainers in the 21st century – specifically the issues of a multi-generational workforce, the problem of retention and feedback, the rise of the mobile workforce, and the 70-20-10 rule in training.

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Moving Toward a Comprehensive Chemical Risk Management Strategy

Presenter: Thomas J. Lentz, PhD, Chief, Document Development Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, OH.

Chemicals are a ubiquitous and ever-expanding resource with broad utility across many industrial sectors. Manufacturing and commerce are reliant upon chemicals for multiple processes and products. Hence, the burden of assessing and controlling the hazards for the workers whose jobs expose them to these chemicals persists and rests completely on the industrial hygiene community. Given this responsibility, the industrial hygiene profession must adapt to evaluating ever-evolving chemical applications and emerging chemical substances using a variety of risk assessment and management options. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has focused its efforts on this task, utilizing advances in toxicology, risk assessment, and engineering controls to address chemical hazards encountered in the workplace. A combination of NIOSH approaches and guidance will be discussed, including Prevention through Design (PtD), occupational exposure banding, dermal exposure assessments, tools for emergency preparedness, and the state-of-the-science of occupational exposure limit methods. Drawing upon research from NIOSH and the broader industrial hygiene community, these efforts comprise a comprehensive strategy designed to promote hazard awareness and best practices for minimizing exposures and protecting workers encountering chemicals in the workplace.​​​​​​​​​​



Name and Bio

Padma Viswanathan, President & CEO, RiTEX Inc., Davie, FL.

Dr. Padma Viswanathan is the President/CEO of RiTEX Inc. is a global instructional design company that creates visual, interactive, multimedia modules in safety training for industries like construction, utilities, electrical services, tower climbing, crane operations and so on. The modules can be in multiple languages serving the global market. Have made numerous presentations to training organizations on moving from a one-dimensional e-learning model to a multi-dimensional learner centric model. She is also a contributing Faculty at Walden University in the areas of Applications in Global Business, Innovation and Technology and Fostering a culture of innovation. 

She has been in the area of Technology and Information Systems for over 30 years. She has worked for major companies like IBM, AT&T and Ryder. She has successfully run and managed a global company. She holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio and a PhD from Nova University, Florida. She has been successfully creating and implementing 21st century eLearning modules for major corporations. She has conducted webinars on these topics to audiences locally and in the global arena.​

Thomas J. Lentz, Chief, Document Development Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH.

T.J. Lentz is a lead health scientist/research occupational hygienist and Chief of the Document Development Branch with NIOSH. Dr. Lentz conducts research to evaluate occupational and environmental hazards, with projects and interests that include: investigation of small business industries and their hazards; assessment of safety hazards in construction trades; and evaluation of toxicology and epidemiology data on chemical and physical agents to determine health risks and appropriate prevention strategies. Dr. Lentz is particularly interested in studying how design, planning, and control engineering can be used to address safety and health challenges in the work environment. Major duties include developing informational materials and guidance for other agencies, industry, labor groups, and the public. Dr. Lentz previously served as the Policy Response Coordinator for the Institute. Dr. Lentz earned a BA in Biology/Philosophy from Wittenberg University, an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences/Health Policy from Yale University, and a PhD in Environmental Health/Industrial Hygiene from the University of Cincinnati.​