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Lobbying: It’s Not a Four-letter Word

By Larry Sloan and Mark Ames

Let’s pause for a moment. Whatever else you’re doing, stop—for just a brief time—and think: what are the core goals of our government? After a little musing you may come to this conclusion: protection. There are no doubt many other laudable and appropriate purposes, but if we can agree on just this one, then you will understand why AIHA is engaged in government relations and why it’s so important for you to be engaged also.

Each day approximately 150 people die from work-related injuries and illnesses, while businesses lose about $1 billion each week from non-fatal injuries alone. You might ask yourself, “How can we, as an association of 8,500 members, solve such monstrous problems?” The answer, as we suspect you know, is that we cannot do it alone; we must come together, working with other associations, with governments, and with each other. The effects of even one death, injury or illness are never confined to just the worker suffering their direct effects; they reverberate and spread throughout society, eventually affecting all of us. It is for this reason that action is imperative.

Action can take any form—sending a message to your government representatives using AIHA’s legislative action center​; having conversations with your colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors; or joining AIHA’s new Government Relations Beta Group.

The purpose of the Beta Group is to organize and mobilize AIHA’s members to interact with their policymakers at all levels of government to advance AIHA’s mission and vision, and to help develop and refine the specific policies that are proposed, while in every instance remaining in harmony with previous AIHA policies and positions.

Since its inception just a few weeks ago the Beta Group has grown to over 100 members—and there’s no limit to how high it can go or the great things that we can accomplish together.

Although the Beta Group is new, AIHA’s Government Relations Department is far from an island. Rather, it is just one piece of our multi-faceted value proposition to our members, and indirectly to the broader worker health profession.

Each of you has a story to tell, an anecdote that will help inform and educate your elected officials—whether they are at the local, state, or federal level.  By leveraging the collective wisdom of our membership, including our grassroots network of 60-plus local sections, AIHA can make a difference in advocating for progressive policies that both protect worker health and contribute to a company’s bottom line.

Contact us today to get involved.  It may take up minutes of your time, or hours…but it’s up to you.  Everything helps when it comes to workplace protection.

Larry Sloan is AIHA’s CEO.

Mark Ames is AIHA’s director of Government Relations.​


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