AIHA Leadership Meets with the Secretary of Labor

In late July, AIHA’s president, CEO, and other senior leaders met with U.S. Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta​ to discuss his views on how to improve worker health and safety and help him better understand the key roles that industrial hygienists play in society.

During the meeting, communication arose as one of the areas that all agreed is of greatest import. With so many groups broadcasting different messages, the signal threatens to be drowned by the noise. A need was observed for a sober voice that bridges the divides with technical knowledge and recommendations. AIHA’s leadership suggested – and the Secretary agreed – that AIHA can be that voice, and that our voice is strengthened by our grassroots members and partnerships with other organizations.

Other areas AIHA explored with the Secretary included regulatory reform and his views for OSHA. On regulatory reform, Secretary Acosta noted that this is an ongoing process that AIHA is invited to participate in. While receiving no commitments from him, we expressed AIHA’s strong support for OSHA’s respirable crystalline silica rule. Regarding his views on OSHA and its leadership, Secretary Acosta hinted that an announcement may be coming soon.

The overall impact of this meeting was highly positive. AIHA has the distinction of being among the first groups the Secretary met with early in his tenure. It was clear at the end of our meeting that Secretary Acosta was left with a deeper understanding of the role IHs and AIHA play in protecting worker health and safety. In like fashion, we too were left with a much better sense of how he views our most important issues and his vision for the future.