Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Emergency Preparedness Is Top Issue for Industrial Hygienists. (Industrial Hygiene)

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Emergency Preparedness Is Top Issue for Industrial Hygienists. (Industrial Hygiene)

Article excerpt

Every other year, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) surveys its members to determine what they feel are the top public policy issues they're facing. According to the survey, the top public policy issue for 2003-2004 is emergency response and preparedness (including biological monitoring, hazard communication and risk assessment).

It should come as no surprise that emergency response and preparedness topped the list this time around, commented AIHA President Gayla J. McCluskey, CLH, CSP, ROH, QEP, although she admitted it received more interest than expected.

"The concern for emergency preparedness illustrates that OEHS professionals are more important than ever. Homeland security is as vast as the transportation system and as personal as the individual workers in need of protection. OEHS professionals are crucial to the ongoing safety of every part of our society," she said.

Some of the other issues listed by AIHA members as being important are:

* Updating permissible exposure limits (PELs)--Many OSHA PELs have not been updated since the 1970s. Science in this area has matured, but the PELs have not.

* Exposure, inspection and remediation issues related to mold--AIHA offers a brochure, "The Facts About Mold," and has monitored and commented on nearly a dozen federal and state legislative issues and has a task force looking at future activities and potential involvement.

* OSHA reform issues including third-party workplace reviews--Congress may consider reforms to a number of OSHA policies, and AIHA will continue to make recommendations and monitor any potential changes at OSHA that may impact occupational health and safety. AIHA hopes to play a major role in any legislation in the 108th Congress that addresses third-party workplace reviews and increases in criminal penalties for willful violations of OSHA regulations. …

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