January 12, 2021

Happy New Year: A Message from the AIHA President

Dear AIHA Members,

I want to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year from the Board of Directors and staff of AIHA! Every new year brings a time of reflection – of what we’ve accomplished, what our new goals will be, and for what we are grateful. At AIHA, we are proud of the work done in 2020, ready for the big plans of 2021, and thankful for the support of members like you.

Before touching on our 2020 accomplishments, I want to address the escalation in violence we have seen this past year, culminating in the recent tragic events at the U.S. Capitol. This violence has no place in America. We can and must do better as a nation. To that end, AIHA issued a press release last week urging OSHA to quickly move forward with a standard on workplace violence to better protect America’s workers from senseless violence, wherever it occurs.

2020 was marked by unprecedented -- and one might argue, unimaginable change. Yet, in spite of the obstacles we faced, AIHA took the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic head-on from the very beginning, starting with our decision to host AIHce EXP 2020 as our first fully virtual conference. We learned a lot from this experience, and we will be better positioned to deliver best-in-class online education, leveraging more robust virtual event platforms in the coming months.

In April 2020, we launched the Back to Work Safely (BTWS) initiative to help American businesses operate safely amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. What started with a restaurant guidance document grew to be a library of 26 guides, all of which have since been translated into Spanish. This was no small achievement, and I want to thank the BTWS working group for their hard work and diligence in drafting the guidelines.

Over the course of 2020, a number of additional guidance documents, white papers, and infographics were developed by various AIHA committees on COVID-19 related topics. These included engineering controls, cleaning and disinfection protocols, proper use of PPE, ergonomic considerations while working remotely, and leveraging data from real-time detection systems. All of these have also been translated into Spanish. We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to these committees for their time and dedication to developing these highest-quality documents.

Besides making sure you are aware of these resources and acknowledging the diligent work of the volunteers who developed them, I want to ask you to continue to share them with your colleagues and families, as appropriate, to help businesses prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep workers and customers healthy and safe. With over a million downloads, these documents have done more than any single thing I can recall to increase the visibility of the great work done by AIHA. I encourage you to help us continue to spread the word as far and wide as possible.

During the summer the new AIHA brand evolution was unveiled. Our repositioning, including a new tagline, is meant to appeal to a variety of audiences unfamiliar with the important work we do and the value our members bring to society. In 2021 we’ll be ramping up public outreach efforts to both business leaders and students of all ages.

2021 will bring new challenges, and I am sure we as AIHA will turn them into successes because of members like you, <>. You are the reason we can do what we do and continue pushing forward with our mission for healthier and safer workplaces. Because of your commitment and dedication, we are able to raise awareness and influence of OEHS professionals around the world so that when the next emergency arises, businesses everywhere are better prepared and protected.

Once again, Happy New Year to you and yours!

Best regards,

Lindsay Cook
AIHA President 2020-21

P.S. Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you, hopefully in person in Dallas (if not, then virtually) at AIHce EXP 2021!