The Multi-Cultural Workforce: Challenges and Solutions for Occupational & Environmental Professionals Webinar Recording

Date: Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 - Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (EDT)
Event Type: Webinars, AIHA Webinars

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Member $99 | Nonmember $125 | Student $25

The average workplace is composed of workers from many different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. While legal norms exist to prevent discrimination in the workplace, in real life employers may not understand their obligations to protect the health and safety of workers, nor have the expertise to do so.

This webinar explores these issues in the context of OEH Scientists’ professional ability to understand complex changes in the workforce due to global economic shifts, migration, racism, discrimination against women, and other historic injustices. The presenters will unravel these complex national and international issues and provide suggestions for the OEHS profession and its allies to enhance the health safety of workers.

This webinar is organized by the Officers of the International Affairs Committee with the assistance of AIHA member Jonathan Rosen.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how and why having insight into the multi-cultural workforce will enhance your ability to protect the health and safety of workers.
  • Analyze through specific examples some major attributes of multi-cultural workforces, including workers and employers which have zero experience with IH/safety professionals.
  • Identify some work processes (for example, in the long-term care, salon, and construction industries) in which occupational diseases are preventable through OEHS interventions.
  • Discuss cultural nuances to health and safety behaviors in the workplace.


Teni Adewumi-Gunn, PH.D.

Dr. Teniope Adewumi-Gunn is currently a Science Fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) focusing on the intersection of climate change and worker health. Her research looks for solutions to address the climate impacts faced by workers, with a focus on underserved worker groups, emerging occupational climate hazards, and pathways to science-based policies.

Adewumi-Gunn completed her B.S. in Health Sciences at California State University, San Bernardino, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences⁠ (Industrial Hygiene) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In addition, she holds a Leaders in Sustainability Certificate from UCLA and is a Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation fellow.

An industrial hygienist by training, Adewumi-Gunn has occupational and environmental health consulting experience in the United States, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Her experience in worker health spans numerous industries including manufacturing, aerospace, real estate, construction, and agriculture.

Laurence Svirchev, MA, CIH

Laurence Svirchev is a CIH, an Officer of the AIHA International Affairs Committee, and a member of the International Scientific Committee for IOHA2021 Korea. He holds a BSc in OHS from the Montana School of Mines and an MA in Disaster and Emergency Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria BC Canada.

In his 35-year career in OHS, Svirchev has worked in occupational cancer epidemiology, as a workplace inspector with WorkSafeBC Canada, and as Health-Safety-Environmental-Social manager for Chinese construction companies building hydro-electric dams in developing countries, and a COVID Compliance Officer in the movie industry.

Steven Verpaele, Master of Science in Environmental Chemistry – Industrial Hygiene

Steven Verpaele is currently the industrial hygiene manager at the Nickel Institute (global association of leading primary nickel producers). He is also the founder and president of the Belgian Centre for Occupational Hygiene, a non-profit organization focused on research and laboratory services to the industry regarding occupational hygiene exposure assessment. BeCOH has an MOU with Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB) and provides free-of-charge analysis for OH projects.

Verpaele has more than 20 years of experience as an Industrial Hygienist and as an expert in different ISO and CEN workgroups, mainly focused on workplace atmosphere. He's also a board member of the Belgian Society for Occupational Hygiene, and co-chair of the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA), and chair of the International Affairs Committee (IAC) of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

Questions? Contact us at [email protected].