Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Diverse Duties Drive Association Changes: Two Leading Safety and Health Organizations Broaden Their Scope to Serve Members Better. (Editor's Notebook)

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Diverse Duties Drive Association Changes: Two Leading Safety and Health Organizations Broaden Their Scope to Serve Members Better. (Editor's Notebook)

Article excerpt

In March, the American Industrial Hygiene Association announced. that it was forming a safety committee. The organizational meeting will be this month at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in Dallas. According to the association, AIHA members are increasingly active in the discipline of safety and want tools and educational materials to assist them in such work

"A majority of our members are not just practicing pure industrial hygiene. They are practicing some environment and safety," said Donna M. Doganiero, CIH, AIHA vice president and director of occupational health services at the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine.

Doganiero said creating the committee would help AIHA in developing safety sessions for the conference and ensuring the quality of the material. Further, it supports the organization's strategic plan, which incorporates safety and environmental management, for a diverse membership.

AIHA follows the lead of the American Society of Safety Engineers, which formed an industrial hygiene practice specialty in June 1998 to "provide a forum within ASSE for members who provide IH services or are responsible for managing industrial hygiene professionals."

You can liken the situation to the retail shopping world, where the "big box" stores such as Wal-Mart and Borders are driving out the mom and pop shops. When it comes to services and choice, organization members generally agree, bigger is better.

"What we're finding is that a lot of health and safety professionals are be. coming EHS professionals. They are doing industrial hygiene and looking at the health of their workers," said Richard Hofman, CSP, CIH, the administrator of the industrial hygiene practice specialty for ASSE. He said his group helps ensure that "safety professionals who perform industrial hygiene services are following good scientific method and good practice."

Hofman said ASSE's industrial hygiene group is the fastest growing specialty, with over 800 members. Membership is diverse, from certified industrial hygienists to safety professionals who do sampling and other industrial hygiene tasks. Hofman said he hoped that most of the CIHs who belonged to ASSE were members of the group because they provide a major technical resource to practice specialty members.

"One of my goals is for the lay safety person who doesn't have a lot of industrial hygiene background yet practices to make sure they at least have a way to get proper standards and protocols so they can do the job right," said Hofman. …

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