Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Factors that directly impact the occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) profession reflect changing weather patterns, such as a warming climate (e.g. increased likelihood of heat stress) and its impact on natural disasters (e.g. increased number/intensity of wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes) and global pandemics (e.g. COVID).
This task force is being established to serve as a strategic advisor to the AIHA Board in defining how we as an association and the OEHS profession should approach our role in the realm of climate change adaptation
We envision input from multiple volunteer groups whose interests align with the areas of concern noted above, as well as allied associations (e.g. American Geophysical Union).
Purpose and Objectives
The purpose of this task force is to provide strategic direction which will help AIHA:
- Demonstrate a lead role and communicate to our members ways in which our profession can respond to the changing climate.
- Educate and engage our members in critiquing systems and setting sustainability metrics for “green” products and materials from the lens of toxicity to worker health to prevent “regrettable substitutions”.
- Inform members about our ability to prepare the profession for the challenges presented by an evolving climate.
Primary Project Focus Areas
- Development of a new Body of Knowledge framework that summarizes the competencies needed of the OEHS professional in helping workplaces cope with multiple hazards attributed to climate change. This document is envisioned to provide the OEHS professional with a value proposition that can be used to communicate with clients (business owners, managers) showcasing the key role our profession plays in this space.
- Future AIHce sessions and Synergist articles are also planned.
- Provide education to AIHA volunteer groups as needed over time.
The group is to be comprised of 8 to 10 members representing a broad diversity of member representation. One member of the task force will serve as chair. Task force members must be AIHA and/or Product Stewardship Society members.
For more information, please contact, Larry Sloan, FASAE, CAE (Staff Liaison).