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​Life is Better with Friends: The Power of Coalitions

By Mark Ames

Excitement lies in working on something you believe in. Yet, transformative change on any scale rarely occurs without the help of others. To succeed and grow, we must come together into communities. It’s no surprise then that year after year, one of the top values of AIHA membershipThinkstockPhotos-122566752.jpg is networking—the professional communities that often lead to lasting personal relationships. The same is true for government relations.

Government relations is, at its core, all about people and how to make their lives better. Improving people’s lives by strengthening the rules by which society operates is challenging business, filled with uncertainties, hidden pitfalls, and unintended consequences for even the most altruistic of actors. To succeed in government relations and reach our goals, we look to the strengths found when organizations come together, forming coalitions in support of shared objectives.

AIHA is a unique organization with its own core competencies, perspectives, and priorities. Just as our members work not in isolation but with a diverse array of other professions to protect worker health and safety, so too does AIHA’s government relations work with many other organizations through formal and informal coalitions and partnerships. AIHA has been a longtime member of several coalitions, has recently joined even more, and even created some of our own. The diverse topics covered by these formal and informal coalitions and partnerships include funding for OSHA, NIOSH, and similar Federal entities; work force development; chemical safety; occupational exposure to opioids; and many others. Through these government relations communities, we build relationships, share knowledge, and engage in a variety of activities that amplify our voice and activities, increasing our chances of success and enhancing member value.

We have come a long way in our 79 years of existence, and we’re poised to do even more. This is an exciting time in government relations, and an exciting time to be an AIHA member! Please be sure to check out AIHA’s Government Relations Action Center​, where you can learn more about our activities and how to get involved.

Mark Ames is AIHA’s director of Government Relations.


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