February 3, 2022

Letter to the Membership: Update on two important AIHA initiatives

Dear AIHA members,

I'm writing to update you about, and invite you to get involved with, two important AIHA initiatives aimed at improving the health and safety of workers and their communities.

Standards of Care
As I noted in the President’s Message published in last month’s Synergist issue, AIHA is developing the Standards of Care Initiative to better align occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) practitioners with a shared conception of what constitutes minimum protection for workers and communities. As OEHS professionals, we understand that adequate protection depends a great deal on the performance of risk management programs. As currently implemented, the effectiveness of those programs is highly variable, resulting in excessive risk for many people at work and hindering the realization of AIHA’s vision of a world where all workers and their communities are healthy and safe. Through the Standards of Care Initiative, AIHA aims to improve the performance of risk management programs. This will be done by concisely and accessibly summarizing the minimum expected standards of care or performance for critical aspects of risk management and by providing tools to help OEHS professionals practice at those minimum performance levels or better.

As a first step, a new advisory group is being formed to engage subject matter experts in this performance improvement project. I am personally inviting you to respond to our call for volunteers, which can be found on AIHA’s website. Applications will be accepted until February 15, 2022 11:59 ET.

Improving Exposure Judgment Accuracy
Another exciting new project focuses on improving the accuracy of exposure judgments. This joint AIHA/ACGIH initiative aims to bring about a significant shift in the OEHS practice paradigm, transforming it from a practice in which tools and activities that improve exposure judgment accuracy are used sporadically to one in which their use is routine and expected. To drive such a significant change, we need the engagement and technical expertise of members like you. We are currently looking for seven (7) new members to represent AIHA in the AIHA/ACGIH Improving Exposure Judgments Advisory Group. Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2022, 11:59 ET.

Furthermore, I want to direct your attention to several industrial hygiene e-tools that use algorithms and checklists to help OEHS professionals make accurate judgments about exposure risks. These e-tools are freely available through the AIHA website and are ready for immediate integration into your professional practice. More information about these tools appears in my November and December Synergist President’s Messages and in the free AIHA webinar “Top 10 Imperatives for the AIHA Exposure Risk Management Process.” I highly recommend taking advantage of these online IH tools and apps.

Finally, thank you for your hard work and dedication to our profession. Your efforts and engagement in these new initiatives will accelerate our progress toward our shared vision: a world where all workers and their communities are healthy and safe.

Best regards,

John R. Mulhausen, PhD, CIH, CSP, FAIHA
AIHA President 2021-22