AIHce Daily: Highlights from Philadelphia

AIHce EXP 2018 was held May 21–23, in Philadelphia, Pa. Conference news from The Synergist is published on this page.

Friday, June 1, 2018

With Legalization Imminent, Canadian Cannabis Industry Unprepared for Occupational Protections

With the legalization of recreational marijuana throughout Canada slated to take effect this year, a surge in the cannabis work force is expected as growing operations shift from small shops to large factories. Encompassing tens of thousands of acres, these facilities will present health and safety problems for which the emerging cannabis industry is unprepared, according to a presentation delivered at AIHce EXP 2018 in Philadelphia. READ MORE

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Closing Session Speaker Charts Path to Individualized Worker Protection

At the closing session of AIHce EXP 2018, retired Air Force Colonel Kirk A. Phillips, BSC, praised the potential of Total Exposure Health, a holistic approach to occupational health and safety that proposes to capture workplace, environmental, and lifestyle exposures in order to create individualized protection for all workers. READ MORE

Cummings Lecture: What Industrial Hygienists Do When They Can’t Sample

At the Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award Lecture yesterday, Mark Stenzel, CIH, FAIHA, argued that industrial hygienists should place greater emphasis on estimating exposures relative to conducting sampling. Stenzel, an industrial hygiene consultant and the 2018 recipient of AIHA’s Cummings Award for outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of industrial hygiene, made his remarks on the final day of AIHce EXP 2018. READ MORE

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Reporter Goes Undercover to Expose Hazards Facing Temp Workers in Ontario

Sara Mojtehedzadeh of the Toronto Star, the latest reporter to present the annual Upton Sinclair Lecture for Outstanding EHS Investigative Reporting at AIHce EXP, shared what it was like working undercover inside one of North America’s largest industrial bakeries with a history of fatalities among temporary workers. READ MORE

Researchers Call for Improvements in Infectious-disease Protections at Healthcare Facilities

Emergency rooms need to make significant improvements to adequately protect both patients and healthcare workers from hospital-acquired infections, according to a presentation at AIHce EXP 2018 by researchers from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Rachael Jones, PhD, CIH, an assistant professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at UIC, and Lin Phan, MS, a PhD candidate at UIC, discussed the challenges of managing exposures to infectious diseases on Monday, May 21. READ MORE

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

AIHce EXP Panel Addresses Dangers of Opioid Crisis for First Responders

AIHA Past President Steven E. Lacey, PhD, CIH, CSP, set the tone for Tuesday morning’s general session on mitigating opioid exposure risks to first responders with some sobering statistics: in 2016, more than 65,000 Americans died of drug overdose, which means that overdoses killed more people in one year than the number of Americans killed in the entirety of the Vietnam War. Two-thirds of those deaths were attributed to opioids. The opioid crisis carries an economic burden as well: Lacey noted that in 2015, the U.S. spent 2.8 percent of its GDP to fight the opioid crisis. READ MORE

Dunn Lecture Addresses Hazards of Impulse Noise

Elliott Berger, a scientist with 3M’s Personal Safety Division, delivered the 2018 Derek Dunn Invited Noise Lecture at AIHce EXP 2018 yesterday. Berger’s thorough address recounted current research on the hazards of impulse noise and recommended approaches to protecting the hearing of exposed workers, particularly military personnel. READ MORE

Monday, May 21, 2018

Panel Raises Concerns about OSHA, NIOSH Under Trump

On Monday morning at AIHce EXP 2018, a panel of experts shared their perspectives on how OSHA, MSHA, and NIOSH are faring under the Trump administration. The tone was serious, and the panel—including speakers Jordan Barab, who was the deputy assistant secretary of OSHA under the Obama administration; Peg Seminario, director of occupational safety and health for AFL-CIO; and Mark Ames, AIHA’s director of government relations—focused on OSHA’s regulatory activity, enforcement, and budget in a passionate discussion about the agency’s current status and future under the new administration. READ MORE

AIHce Keynote: Forbes Publisher Predicts Sustained Growth

Forbes magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard opened AIHce EXP 2018 today with an optimistic summary of economic trends affecting businesses in America. Karlgaard, who has worked as an economic forecaster, author, and television commentator, argued that the stagnating effects of the Great Recession are wearing off and that recent strong growth is likely to continue, helped along by technological developments and the Trump administration’s efforts to limit regulations. READ MORE