The institutions benefitting from the work of this forum include, but are not limited to, museums, art galleries, archives, historical houses, national parks, local nature centers, botanical gardens, university teaching collections, private industry or governmental agency historical holdings, conservation laboratories, and private conservation studios. This Working Group will strive to enhance the productive partnership between AIHA, the American Institute for Conservation (AIC), and the OSHA On-site Consultation Program.

Goals and Objectives

  1. Raise awareness by participating in mutual conferences and promote allied networking between AIHA Local Sections and regional Conservation Guilds/Associations.
  2. Develop OEHS core curriculum for museum studies programs and provide museum occupational learning opportunities for public health undergraduate and graduate students.
  3. Contribute OEHS resources to cultural heritage emergency preparedness and response networks.
  4. Provide cultural heritage professionals with evidence-based best practice guidelines and occupational risk management tools for work tasks and public exhibit space.
  5. Promote OSHA Small Business and On-site Consultation Services to employers of non-government-funded small museums and other cultural institutions.

Current Projects

  • Creating AIHA Fact Sheets/White Papers on collection-based hazards/controls, OEHS sampling techniques accommodating collection restrictions, museum H&S management policies/practices, and exposure assessment studies.
  • Developing interdisciplinary teaching collaborations and training modules for museum studies/conservation programs on pilot project campuses.
  • Introducing AIHA Student Sections to a new career or research opportunities via arrangements with campus museums, galleries, and teaching collections.
  • Writing an AIHA White Paper on OEHS emergency planning interface with cultural heritage response teams.
  • Promoting OSHA On-site Consultation Program services to assist museum and cultural heritage facility employers identify and control hazards.
  • Working with AIC Health & Safety Network to connect regional conservation organizations with AIHA Local Sections.

Interested? Join Us!

Our members range from students to career-long professionals, with a varied mix of OEHS practitioners, conservators, and collection managers. We are a friendly and active group, with engaging monthly Zoom meetings. You can choose the level of involvement that fits your availability by:

  • Joining a project team: learn from each other and produce real-world tools to protect workers,
  • Participating in monthly meetings and suggesting other areas of concern to explore,
  • One and done micro-volunteering tasks as needs arise,
  • and/or stepping up to a leadership role (Secretary-elect, Secretary, Vice-Chair, Chair)

For more information, contact one of our officers:

  • Chair Kathryn Makos, MPH CIH; MPH CIH; Smithsonian Institution (ret)
  • Vice-Chair Jeffrey Sotek PE, CSP, CIH; Sr. Associate Industrial Hygienist; Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.
  • Secretary Ralph Froehlich CIH, CSP, QEP; President, Helix Environmental, Inc.

EXTERNAL RESOURCES: Relevant to Cultural Heritage Occupations