Letter to Members: Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion and AIHA in the News
What a week in the macrocosm of our world…and in AIHA’s microcosm.
First, we would be remiss in not recognizing what is happening in our nation currently. We are horrified and saddened by the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and other recent acts of violence, particularly against young, black men. We are concerned for our colleagues who are people of color and their families, and we condemn racism. As you can see from our Diversity and Inclusion policy, AIHA is committed as an organization to equity, inclusion, and respect, regardless of who they are and where they are on life’s journey.
Amidst the civil unrest and COVID-19 affecting the world, AIHA hosted our first entirely virtual AIHce EXP and launched a refresh of our brand earlier this week …neither of those things happening without incident.
Despite a rocky start due to technical issues on the first day of AIHce EXP, this year’s first-ever entirely online conference turned out to be a success for over 2,200 registrants, with hundreds of positive remarks being openly shared on the event’s public chatrooms and via emails to staff. As a reminder, the Monday, June 1 sessions will be rebroadcast on Monday, June 15 and access to the entire conference through OnDemand will be available the week of July 6. For those interested, space is still available to register for PDCs which are scheduled all throughout next week.
Next, let me touch upon the unveiling of the new AIHA brand evolution, which includes a fresh new logo and tagline: “Healthier Workplaces. A Healthier World”. In the coming months, AIHA will leverage this through a series of new awareness campaigns to stakeholders who are not familiar with IH/OHS. This initiative will strive to educate employers about the value our profession brings to a workplace. We’ll be targeting business leaders initially in the construction, chemical manufacturing and first responder sectors. In addition, AIHA will reach out to undergraduate and graduate STEM students, as well as career/guidance counselors to raise awareness of the profession. Simply put, AIHA’s brand refresh is primarily a public awareness campaign to raise the visibility of you as the go-to experts for all matters pertaining to worker health. Note: COVID-19 has enabled us to get a jump-start on this effort; more on that later.
This announcement was met with apprehension by some and applause from other members. Please rest assured that the name of the association remains “American Industrial Hygiene Association,” and you’ll continue to see that reflected on our websites, in our #IAmIH member campaign, and even for our IH Heroes outreach materials.
Over the next few weeks, incoming Board President, Lindsay Cook, CIH and I will issue a series of emails to you about different aspects of our brand evolution and answer questions that have come in from the membership. In the meantime, please mark your calendars for our Brand Evolution Townhall Meeting on June 30, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET. If you’d like to receive a personal email reminder, please fill out this form.
AIHA in the News
As you probably know by now, one month ago AIHA announced to the national media its new Back to Work Safely Initiative, a public education effort involving a dedicated website BackToWorkSafely.org with guidance documents designed for small businesses to re-open safely as we continue to deal with this pandemic.
The public reception of these documents has been overwhelming. As of today, there have been, in total, over one million downloads of all 19 of the guidance documents; large news outlets have done interviews with and published articles that mention AIHA: Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Bloomberg, NPR, Washington Examiner, CNBC, Yahoo Lifestyle, Nashville Fit Magazine, Business.com, Oregon Live, Ask the Expert Show, Modern Restaurant Management, etc.; and the Back to Work Safely guidance documents have been noted as trusted resources listed on several states’ COVID-19 and Workplace Safety websites, including New Jersey, Michigan and Alaska. This gives a great boost to our credibility among employers, employees and the general public who are seeing AIHA in the forefront as an expert source.
Since our last media update in late May, AIHA’s COVID-19 Re-Open America Guidelines Task Force* developed guidance documents for 8 additional business sectors: Amateur Sports, Bars; Business Services (i.e. banks, dry cleaners, and cell phone stores); Daycare Centers; Houses of Worship; Lodging and Small Hotels; Libraries; Small Manufacturing and Warehouses; Small Entertainment Venues (i.e. Chuck-e-Cheeses, mini-golf); Street Vendors and Farmer’s Markets.
David S. Rodriguez Marin, PCHI, and colleagues have translated several documents into Spanish (At-home Service, Construction, General Office Settings, Gyms and Workout Facilities, Hair and Salon, Retail, Restaurants and Rideshare/Limo Drivers). They are currently working on translating a second batch of guidance documents, due to be released in the next week.
Guidance documents for Dental Offices, Massage Therapists, Small Museums, and Small Theaters are in the works.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank each and every member of the Task Force for their tireless work on these critically needed guidance documents. Click here to learn more about our Back to Work Safely efforts. Although this is just the tip of the iceberg, AIHA has started to plant the flag with the media and the general public as the “go-to” experts about healthier workplaces.
More Resources on COVID-19 from AIHA Volunteers and Committees
In the past two weeks, the following invaluable resources were published on our Coronavirus Outbreak Resource Center and shared with the media: Personal Protective Equipment for SARS-CoV-2 White Paper and Use of Real Time Detection Systems to Protect the Public During COVID-19.
Please join me in celebrating and sharing the successes of AIHA with your personal and professional networks.
As always, we are open to your feedback and corrective criticism, so please reach out if you’d like to share any thoughts with us: Infonet@aiha.org.
Lawrence D. Sloan, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
*Members of AIHA’s COVID-19 Re-Open America Guidelines Task Force: Hamid Arabzadeh, CIH, CSP, CHMM, FAIHA; David Beatty, MPH, CSP, CCEP; Corey Boles, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Bussman, CIH; Carter Ficklen, CIH, CSP; Alan Fleeger, CIH, CSP, FAIHA; Bernard L. Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP, FAIHA; Shannon Gaffney, Ph.D., MHS, CIH; Thomas G. Grumbles, CIH, FAIHA; John Henshaw, MPH, CIH, FAIHA; Dana Hollins, MPH, CIH; Catherine Hovde, CIH, CSP; Perry Logan, Ph.D., CIH; Eric Miller, MPH, CIH; Amber Hogan Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH; Justine Parker, CIH, CSP, CHMM, CPH; Aaron Schoemaker, CSP; Ken Unice, MS; Rachel Zisook MS, CIH; Matt Zock, CIH.