View the document by clicking the link below:
ASSP's Industrial Hygiene Practice Specialty has developed a resource guide for contractors that pulls together frequently asked questions about complying with OSHA’s silica standard. The guide addresses issues such as air sampling, the use and sources of objective data, medical surveillance, respirator use and exposure control plans. It also contains links to a wide range of resources that provide detailed information, including OSHA documents, voluntary national consensus standards and tools created by key stakeholder organizations.
View the document by clicking the link below:
In November, NIOSH will host a free webinar in its Total Worker Health webinar series that will focus on new research on work and the opioid crisis in the U.S. The webinar will feature three speakers who will discuss the risks of opioid use, misuse, and overdose in worker populations. Presenters will also cover topics such as potential work-related antecedents and risk factors for opioid misuse; data on opioid overdose by industry and occupation; and primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention methods and interventions. Attendees will also learn about NIOSH’s newly developed framework for confronting the opioid crisis, which includes four key areas: identifying workplace conditions, determining risk factors, protecting workers and first responders, and developing methods for detection and decontamination.
Scheduled speakers include Chris Cain, CIH, director of safety and health for North America’s Building Trades Unions; Letitia Davis, ScD, EdM, a senior scientist in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and Sara Luckhaupt, MD, MPH, a supervisory medical epidemiologist in the Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies at NIOSH and a commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
The webinar will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET. Learn more on the event information page.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Compliance Initiatives, or OCI, was recently announced as a new agency effort to strengthen DOL’s compliance assistance outreach. OCI will be coordinated by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, which advises the secretary of labor and other department leadership on policy development, program evaluation, regulations, program implementation, compliance strategies, research, and legislation intended to improve the lives of workers, retirees, and their families. According to DOL’s press release, OCI will provide employers and workers with access to up-to-date information about their obligations and rights under federal labor laws and regulations. OCI will also help enforcement agencies develop new strategies to use data for “more impactful” compliance and enforcement strategies.
Two new websites were launched along with OCI to provide resources for workers and employers who have compliance questions. Worker.gov covers information about common workplace concerns and federal worker protections, and Employer.gov provides information about employers’ responsibilities under federal laws and regulations. Along with information about workplace safety and health, the websites also cover topics such as nondiscrimination, federal contractor requirements, retirement security, and other worker rights.
OSHA has revised its safety and health topic page on legionellosis to include the latest information on preventing, identifying, and controlling Legionella bacteria hazards in workplaces. The page includes updated information from the OSHA Technical Manual chapter on Legionnaires’ disease and the agency’s Legionella eTool. OSHA’s revised page is intended as a resource for employers, healthcare providers, and health and safety professionals who collaborate during work site investigations of legionellosis. Users can find information related to hazard recognition, standards, control and prevention, and outbreak response. Medical information on the signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and medical management of legionellosis is also available.
Legionellosis comprises two distinct diseases caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila: Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. Individuals are typically infected by breathing in droplets of water that originate in building water systems contaminated with L. pneumophila. Approximately 10 percent of cases of Legionnaires’ disease are fatal. According to OSHA, approximately 6,000 cases of legionellosis are reported in the U.S. each year. See OSHA’s revised legionellosis page for more information.
Related: The article “The New Age of Legionella” in the June/July 2015 issue of The Synergist discusses the AIHA guidance document Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Legionella in Building Water Systems.
OSHA has published several new resources intended to help employers meet the requirements of its silica standard for construction. For example, a customizable PowerPoint presentation (.PPTX) allows employers, instructors, and others to tailor their training to include specific tasks and controls used in their workplace. Trainers can also modify the level of detail on topics such as alternative exposure control methods and medical surveillance as appropriate for specific employers. Other new resources include a five-minute video on protecting workers from silica hazards; a series of short videos on controlling silica dust in construction for six common tasks; and a new frequently asked questions page, which was developed in consultation with industry and union stakeholders. The series of videos focuses on tasks from the construction standard’s table 1, which specifies exposure control methods when working with materials containing crystalline silica. The new FAQ page addresses topics such as the scope of the standard, definitions, exposure control methods, housekeeping, written exposure control plans, medical surveillance, employee information and training, and recordkeeping.
OSHA’s final rule to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica was published in March 2016 and comprises two standards, one for construction and one for general industry and maritime. The respirable crystalline silica construction standard became enforceable on Sept. 23, 2017. The standard established a new 8-hour time-weighted average permissible exposure limit of 50 µg/m3, an action level of 25 µg/m3, and ancillary requirements. The new PEL is approximately 20 percent of the previous PEL for construction.
OSHA previously published a compliance guide (PDF) intended to help small business employers comply with the respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. Different sections of the guide correspond to the major provisions of the silica standard for construction. The guide’s sections include information on specified exposure control methods, alternative exposure control methods, respiratory protection, housekeeping, medical surveillance, and more.
The University of Pittsburgh is seeking participants for a slip-resistant work footwear study. Information and contacts can be found flyer below. If you or your teams/employees wear work boots or shoes 5+ days a week please consider helping.
By Cynthia A. Ostrowski, CIH, National AIHA President
A few days ago, AIHA published new documents on its website about proposed changes to the AIHA bylaws: a summary of the major changes and the text of the proposed additions and deletions (PDFs). Together, these documents thoroughly describe the nature and extent of the proposed changes, so there’s no need for me to do that in this post. Instead, I would like to provide a little more context about what will change—and what will not change—if members vote to approve the proposal.
A Move Toward More Inclusive Membership Categories
The most significant proposed changes are the new definitions of member categories. The categories of associate member and affiliate member would be eliminated and members currently in those categories would become full members. The definition of “full member” would be broadened to include anyone who “has a business interest in or supports the industrial hygiene, occupational and environmental health and safety, or allied professions.” Requirements would be eliminated for specific academic degrees and professional experience. The intent behind this change is to make AIHA membership more inclusive: we should embrace all individuals who share our passion and interest in protecting worker health, no matter their academic or professional background.
Clarification of Student Membership
After feedback from AIHA’s student local sections, the Board of Directors decided to adjust the language of its proposed changes to student membership so that both full-time and part-time students would be eligible to apply. The proposed changes now explain how potential student members can establish their status as current students (for example, by submitting transcripts). The current bylaws aren’t clear about the definition of “student,” which has led to an increase in the number of members claiming student status. The proposed changes clarify this issue.
Retention of the Contested Slate
In recent years, for various reasons, fewer members have been willing to stand for election to national office in AIHA. This is similar to what many of our local sections experience when electing new officers. In response to this trend, the Board of Directors originally proposed eliminating contested elections for the offices of vice president, secretary-elect, and treasurer-elect. Contested elections for director positions would continue as before. Several associations similar to AIHA have adopted such a process, as have many of our local sections. However, a few members expressed concerns regarding this change. Therefore, the proposed changes to the bylaws will retain the current contested, two-candidate slate for AIHA offices. The Board will continue to review its nominating process. As a first step in addressing this issue, the Board is modifying the composition of the Nominating Committee (populating it through an open-call process to increase representation reflective of the broader membership), as well as enhancing the transparency of the overall nominations process. A new board nominations policy and an updated diversity and inclusion policy are being developed, both of which are referenced in the bylaws.
A Modern Governing Document
Other proposed changes are intended to modernize the bylaws and to accurately reflect current association practices. For example, in recognition of the change in title for the leadership of the AIHA staff, references to “Executive Director” would be removed and replaced with “Chief Executive Officer.” Much of the language related to the activities of the Academy of Industrial Hygiene would be removed to reflect the dissolution of the Council for the Academy several years ago. However, the Academy of Industrial Hygiene will continue exist. All CIHs will continue to be considered Diplomates of the Academy of Industrial Hygiene.
There’s Still Time for Feedback
The Board has been considering proposed bylaws changes for several months and has engaged members throughout the association to learn what they think of the proposal. The current proposed changes reflect what the Board believes to be in the best interests of AIHA based on the feedback it has received by numerous individuals. But if you haven’t shared your thoughts, you still have time to let us know what you think: AIHA recently opened a comment period on the proposed changes from June 1 through July 1. I encourage you to review the documents on the AIHA website and to send your thoughts about the proposed changes to Elsa Greer, AIHA’s administrative assistant.
In July, AIHA will submit the proposed bylaws changes to a vote of the membership. The vote will be conducted via electronic ballot. To take effect, the changes must be approved by two-thirds of voting members. And if you have any questions about the bylaws changes in particular or AIHA in general, please don’t hesitate to email me or AIHA’s CEO, Larry Sloan.
AIHA has won a Communitas Award for its IH Heroes outreach program for Excellence in Organization Community Service.
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is pleased to announce that its IH Heroes outreach program has won a 2018 Communitas Award for Excellence in Organization Community Service. Communitas Awards recognizes exceptional businesses, organizations and individuals that are unselfishly giving of themselves and their resources, and those that are changing how they do business to benefit their communities. The IH Heroes outreach program is a part of the Professional Pathway program for industrial hygienists (IH.) These programs were created from a desire to align Association resources and development opportunities with the various career stages of the profession. The program includes an award-winning website, documentary series, comic book, and real-world inspired avatar characters. The resulting programs encourage and support the attainment of credentials such as certifications and registrations.
Communitas winners are recognized for specific programs involving volunteerism, philanthropy, and ethical, sustainable business practices. Communitas nominees are evaluated based on the extent and effectiveness of their program. The size and potential scope of the nominee is also taken into consideration. The winner list can be found at www.communitasawards.com.
“I am proud of this award for many reasons, but most importantly because of what it represents- making our communities better. At AIHA, we strive to improve our communities through industrial hygiene, by providing our members with the information and support they need to do their jobs of protecting workers,” said AIHA’s President Deborah Imel Nelson, PhD, CIH. “I am also very proud of our staff at AIHA who work wholeheartedly every day to fulfill AIHA’s mission.”
“Seeing this project be awarded for its community service aspect is fantastic,” said Ben H. Rome, AIHA’s Marketing Manager and the IH Heroes project lead. “We’ve had so much fun crafting the entire outreach program for our members. Their dedication and enthusiasm in presenting the industrial hygiene profession to kids and young adults is truly inspiring. It speaks volumes about their level of commitment to reaching the next generation – and promoting worker health and safety for decades to come.”
Communitas Awards was started in 2010 as an outgrowth of the pro bono recognition program of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (www.amcpros.com), a several-thousand-member group that honors creative achievement and fosters partnerships with charities and community organizations. As part of its mission, AMCP gives grants to community organizations and underwrites a large portion of Communitas expenses.