1. Promote and facilitate community outreach.
It’s about the kids! In the spring newsletter and following the president’s luncheon, we discussed the AIHA/NIOSH partnership - Safety Matters, a program for educating our youth on safety and health in the workplace. Most students and new graduates beginning part-time or full-time jobs have never been taught about workplace hazards. We have the ability to directly talk to kids about how to not get hurt, sick or killed at work! Our local section director from RJ Lee Group, Inc., Keith Rickabaugh, CIH lead the way by promoting this program during a recent presentation to the Pennsylvania Association for Middle Level Education (PAMLE). As a result, PAMLE plans to post the Safety Matters content on the Pennsylvania List Serve, a messaging center used by all schools in PA.
- Identify opportunities to present the 1-hr Safety Matters session to children in grades 7-12 in your communities; directly through schools or other community events where students of these ages gather. Get into the community and deliver the presentation. The materials are downloadable and free (see the links below).
- And/or, advocate for safety & health education requirements in school systems. The Talking Safety curriculum is an expanded version of the 1-hr Safety Matters program. Speak to or write letters to state representatives and officials. Other states have succeeded in getting bills into legislation for requiring Talking Safety and AIHA has provided these examples for our use (see the links below). Keith Rickabaugh and others have also proposed requiring the 1-hr Safety Matters as a prerequisite for the PA Student Work Permits. Great idea! How can we make this happen?
- Tell the executive committee about your efforts (see section 2 below). We will seek opportunities to share the great work we are doing.
- A toolkit for these programs and suggested letters to legislators are provided at www.AIHASafetyMatters.org
- A brief overview of the program is provided - Click Here to view.
2. Improve member feedback and communication.
Do you feel that your voice is heard? Last year we surveyed membership on the topics you would like to see in the AIHA E-Learning subscription, and we have based selections on that feedback. This year will survey again and plan to expand upon other values in membership. We want to hear your ideas and desires; your involvement, success or challenges with the Safety Matters program and legislative efforts, etc. Let’s increase our communications and networking using your preferred methods (in-person, email, website, social media such as local section LinkedIn page, etc.).
- LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8147128
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/pittsburghaiha/
- Pittsburgh AIHA Comments via email to: email@example.com or leave a comment via the Contact Us page on the website.
3. Continue to provide quality education for members.
Let’s get our learning on! We will: plan 3-4 local sessions this year including our annual president’s luncheon; communicate the AIHA E-Learning Webinars (free to members) when they become available including a newly available ethics session; cosponsor 3M’s hearing loss prevention seminar in September; recommend the MASHA event in the spring.
Volunteering is hard work, and many of us have been doing it for a long time; locally and nationally. Thank you! More opportunities are upon us. Let’s seize them together at our own individual pace and desire.
Matt Zock, CIH
AIHA Pittsburgh Local Section President
Industrial Hygienist, FedEx Ground
Please also feel free to contact me directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org