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Protecting Our Veterans

​​​By Cynthia A. Ostrowski

ThinkstockPhotos-466428522.jpgSome of our nation’s greatest workers are those in our Armed Forces. I am sure we all know family and friends who have served or are active in the military. Of course, AIHA also has members who are veterans. On behalf of AIHA’s 8,500 members, allow me to express a collective, heartfelt thank-you to these men and women for their service.

These brave veterans risk so much to protect all of us. Most times we associate those risks with combat. But there are so many other risks associated with hazards under unique circumstances. Some of these hazards are obvious, such as noise and chemicals. Others, like radiation, explosives, asbestos, ergonomics, and stress, are not as obvious. 

Of the approximately 20 million veterans in America, 4 million have a service-connected disability. Protecting those associated with the military from these hazards is of paramount importance. Fortunately, many resources are available to veterans. These resources address exposures to occupational hazards, associated adverse health effects, and how to report and investigate these concerns. Please visit the occupational hazards page of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website for additional information. 

On Veterans Day, we honor those who served and remember their sacrifices to protect our freedom. We commit ourselves to protect active military from current occupational hazards. Join us on Catalyst for a conversation on how AIHA can work with veterans, government entities, policymakers, and others to protect those who protect us.

Cynthia A. Ostrowski, CIH, is AIHA president and owner of CAO Consulting near Detroit, Mich.


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