Purpose and Objectives
ACGIH and AIHA pride themselves on serving as advocates for the occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) profession and the workers and their surrounding communities that rely on their expertise. Successful protection of workers and communities from exposure risks depends on accurate exposure judgments. Yet studies have shown that the accuracy of exposure judgments is often poor 1,5, sometimes not statistically different from random chance5,7, and tends to be biased low1,7.
The Improving Exposure Judgments initiative seeks to drive a significant shift in the OEHS practice paradigm: from one where tools and activities to improve exposure judgment accuracy and interpretation are rarely or sporadically used, to one where their use is routine and expected. The clear objective of this initiative will be to investigate methods to use qualitative tools and methods to supplement quantitative methods, not supplant them.
Driving such a large change in OEHS practice will require that ACGIH and AIHA take advantage both of their technical expertise and of their marketing / communication expertise. The advisory group will assist by addressing such matters as:
- Advising the ACGIH and AIHA Boards and staff on where technical and marketing/communication resources should be focused to drive the changes in OEHS practice needed to ensure accurate exposure judgments.
- Working with appropriate technical committees and volunteer groups to understand opportunities to improve upon current tools and activities for improving exposure judgments.
- Identifying partnership opportunities for improving exposure judgments beyond ACGIH and AIHA (e.g. NIOSH, BGC, IOHA, ASSP, NSC)
- Identifying key opportunities for enhancing OEHS training program curricula in ways that will better prepare new OEHS graduates to incorporate into their practice the routine use of the tools and activities needed to ensure accurate exposure judgments.
While advisory group team members can expect to serve up to three years (see Organization section below), the overall initiative to improve exposure judgments is expected to run in phases for up to ten years as follows:
Phase 1: Focused communications to generate heightened global awareness of 1) existing tools and activities that will improve judgments if incorporated into routine OEHS practice; and 2) the need to change OEHS practice to routinely include the use of judgment improvement activities and tools.
Phase 2: Evaluation of the effectiveness of existing tools and activities at improving exposure judgment accuracy and interpretation.
Phase 3: Development of new and improved tools and activities to fill gaps identified in Phase 2.
Phase 4: Communication and “hyper marketing” effort to drive the use of the improved tools and activities.
The group is to be comprised of seven members from AIHA and five members from ACGIH representing a cross-section of OEHS practitioners with expertise and experience in improving exposure judgments and in marketing/communication. Members from staff and additional partner organizations may be added as appropriate.
Each member serves up to a three-year term. Terms are staggered so that as members rotate off, they are replaced with new members.
The Advisory Group will also have an AIHA Board Liaison and an ACGIH Board Liaison appointed by the AIHA President and the ACGIH Chair; this individual does not serve as Chair or Vice-Chair of the Advisory Group.
Roles and Responsibilities
To learn more about the roles and responsibilities, please see the ACGIH/AIHA Improving Exposure Judgments Charter document.
For more information, please contact Michele Twilley, CIH, DrPH.