AIHA

15 posts

AIHA Publishes Body of Knowledge on IAQ, Respiratory Protection, and Direct Read Instruments

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AIHA has begun publishing technical documents that represent the “body of knowledge” that a competent and skillful practitioner should possess.  The documents are available for free on AIHA’s website and currently consists of the following:

More BoK documents are in development.

Source: AIHA BoK

AIHA Releases IH Calculator App

AIHA recently released the free IH Calculator LITE  app, a calculator that aids industrial hygienists in performing OH&S calculations quickly and efficiently on their mobile device.  Topics include: Noise, Heat Stress, Ventilation, Exposure Assessment and is complimented with a range of conversions such as volume, distance, pressure, temperature, TLVs, and more.  The app is currently only available on Apple products (iOS).

Source: AIHA

Adequate Face Velocity for Laboratory Hoods

Multiple organizations have adopted laboratory hood safety standards to determine the effectiveness of a hood in limiting occupational exposure.  One such measure of determining the effectiveness of the hood is by measuring the speed of air entering the hood (i.e. the face velocity).  While face velocity is not the only test method for determining if a hood has the ability to adequately contain the contaminants (see ANSI/ASHRAE 110-1995 Method of Testing Performance of Laboratory Fume Hoods), it is the only performance standard cited by the following organizations.

  • OSHA – General air flow should not be turbulent and should be relatively uniform throughout the laboratory, with no high velocity or static areas (194, 195); airflow into and within the hood should not be excessively turbulent (200); hood face velocity should be adequate (typically 60-100 lfm)
  • NIOSH – The current consensus of the literature is that the average face velocity for a laboratory chemical hood should be in the range of 80–120 ft/min
  • Cal OSHA – The exhaust system shall provide an average face velocity of at least 100 feet per minute with a minimum of 70 fpm at any point, except where more stringent special requirements are prescribed
  • ANSI/AIHA Z9.5-2003 – Design face velocities for laboratory chemical hoods in the range of 80-100 fpm (0.41-0.51m/s) will provide adequate face velocity for a majority of chemical hoods. Hoods with excellent containment characteristics may operate adequately below 80 fpm (0.41 m/s) while others may require higher face velocities. Continue reading

AIHA Survey Highlights the Profession’s Attitudes

AIHA recently conducted a survey to assess the attitudes pertaining to the profession of the membership base. Highlights include the following:

  • Most respondents expected to see an increase  in work related stress.
  • Many respondents expected to see work hours increase
  • A majority of respondents support/would support fines & penalties and as a result expect it to be more difficult to report problems as they arise
  • 50% have 25+ years of experience.
  • Respondents are seeking professional development and certification in multiple formats, including online programs and distance learning

Further information will be provided in OHShub.com’s 2010 Occupational Health & Safety Salary Survey.  Stay tuned for the results.

Source:  AIHA.org

ACGIH and AIHA Continue Alliance Discussions for OELs

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) announced that they continue dialogue regarding the proposed strategic alliance announced in May 2009 to develop occupational exposure guidelines. With the originally proposed alliance, AIHA would be an industrial hygiene member professional organization, and ACGIH would be a non-member scientific organization. This would most effectively leverage our efforts and resources to protect worker health, while ensuring that all professionals have an opportunity to be involved in supporting and developing the science and practice of industrial hygiene.

Late last year, ACGIH introduced an alternative alliance approach in which ACGIH receives funding from each of several professional occupational health and safety associations whose members have an interest and stake in the development and use of occupational exposure guidelines. More recently AIHA participated in ACGIH®’s direct discussions with key professional associations to gauge interest. These discussions are expected to continue over the next few months.

Source: Thomasnet, AIHA, ACGIH

Attend AIHce 2010 Tech Sessions… Virtually

The American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo (AIHce) is the “must attend” event for thousands of industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals. Spend the day virtually at AIHce and gain:

  • New perspectives and up-to-date research via phone
  • Guided presentations and abstracts over the web
  • Opportunities to interact via question and answer sessions
  • Educational experiences, in short, manageable time frames through out the day.
  • Cost effective training opportunities for individuals, large groups or even local sections
  • “Attend” some of the most fascinating and thought provoking technical sessions at AIHce 2010. Learn via a unique, trend-setting conference experience from the convenience of your home or office. Relax, access and absorb useable information and knowledge you can apply in your own practice!

Get 100% of the same great AIHce experience, certification maintenance points and practical information – with more flexibility and zero travel costs. Hear and see the same Technical Sessions you’d see in Denver! Plus, you’ll be automatically subscribed to the AIHce Virtual Tech Session (AIHA) Community further extending your interactive virtual networking opportunities. Your one-day AIHce Virtual Tech Session registration includes: Continue reading

AIHA Podcasts: Combustible Dust, CIH Certification, Noise

Have you checked out AIHA’s Safe & Sound Podcast lately? Very good information being delivered by Craig & Melissa at AIHA. Take a listen at home, work, or in the car (all files are .mp3 format).

Some of the latest highlights include:

Combustible Dust

John Astad, Director and Research Analyst of the Combustible Dust Policy Institute, joins Safe & Sound to educate us about combustible dust. Most recently Mr. Astad’s incident data was utilized in OSHA’s proposed combustible dust rulemaking (ANPRM), so stakeholders can understand the probability of occurrence in the industrial sector. The Combustible Dust Policy Institute and Mr. Astad’s work can be found at http://www.combustibledust.com.

CIH Certification & ABIH

Craig & Melissa talk about the CIH certification, and how to get certified with Torey Nalbone, PhD, CIH, the newly elected Chair of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). Dr. Nalbone provides Safe & Sound with some insights as to what the ABIH is doing and what his goals are as the Chair.

Noise

Melissa and Craig discuss noise induced hearing loss, the Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) update, and general noise safety that you can practice everyday with Lee Hager, a Noise Conservationist for 3M. Lee lets us know that there is such thing as over protection and tells us that if you listen to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at full volume (like they should be) you may want to take a break in order to preserve your hearing.

Source:  AIHA.org

AIHA Begins New Podcast: Safe & Sound

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has started a new weekly podcast that will cover safety, worker health, industrial hygiene news, and general information relevant to the AIHA membership. The podcast will be hosted by AIHA’s Melissa Hurley and Craig Sorrell.

Episode 1 of the Safe & Sound podcast is entitled “Ergonomics” and features Sheree Gibson, PE, CIH, who is a member of the AIHA Ergonomics Committee.

Topics in the podcast include:

  • What are MSD’s (musculoskeletal disorders)
  • What are the causes of MSD’s
  • How to limit MSD’s
  • The future of ergonomic standards
  • AIHA’s position statement on ergonomics
  • and much more…

You can listen to the AIHA podcast at the AIHA website.

Note:  The podcast can also be downloaded to your portable music player by left clicking on the above link.

Source: AIHA

AIHA Releases White Paper on the Need for Respiratory Protection Research

respiratory_protectionThe American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recently released a white paper on the need for research of respiratory protection to “enhance the safe and effective use of respiratory protection.”

Among the research needs are:

  1. Measurement of respirator performance
  2. Qualitative fit testing for full facepiece respirators
  3. Appropriateness of fit factor safety margin criterion
  4. In-facepiece measurements
  5. Effectiveness of respiratory protection program requirements
  6. Effectiveness of user seal checks
  7. Organic vapor cartridge desorption

A copy of the full white paper can be found HERE: AIHA White Paper on Research Needs in Respiratory Protection (614)

Many current practices in respiratory protection are based on assumptions, past practices or extrapolation from laboratory studies. Few studies have been done to evaluate the efficacy of, or the need for, each of these practices. AIHA believes the results of research on the practical, applied topics presented in this paper may significantly enhance the safe and effective use of respiratory protection.

Source: AIHA.org

AIHA Position Statement: Ergonomics

lower_backA revision to the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) postion statement regarding ergonomics has been recently issued.  AIHA defines ergonomics as the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and their risk factors in the workplace.

According to AIHA, the goal of ergonomics is to:

  1. Decrease the risk of MSD
  2. Decrease worker discomfort and improve the quality of work-life
  3. Improve worker performance

AIHA believes that the benefits of such a program include:

  1. Enhanced safety and health program performance
  2. Improved quality and productivity
  3. Reductions in errors
  4. Heightened employee morale
  5. Reduced compensation and operating costs
  6. Accommodation of diverse populations of workers

Scientific data supports findings that indicate work-related MSDs cost approximately $50 billion annually and affect 1 million people each year.  Guidelines are available that reduce the risk associated with MSDs but regulation concerning ergonomics should be enacted as a more effective strategy to deal with the issues.  Additionally, research should be continued to refine models and dose-response relationships between the workplace and MSDs.

A copy of AIHA’s position paper can be downloaded HERE: AIHA Ergonomics Position Statement (561)

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AIHA Addresses the Stimulus Program and Occupational Health and Safety

aihaSource: AIHA

“AIHA commends the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on its recent decision to implement a multi-tiered enforcement program to ensure worker protection on projects related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Early in the year, the Obama Administration proposed creating more than one million new construction and manufacturing jobs.

In response, the AIHA urged both President Obama and Labor Secretary Solis to ensure that the new jobs created by the stimulus package had adequate workplace protections for these workers. One specific issue AIHA stressed was the need for additional OSHA personnel to work solely on the new job creation projects.

Secretary Solis has announced that OSHA will strengthen enforcement by hiring an additional 36 inspectors to provide guidance training and outreach to employers and workers and by launching a new effort to collect information about injuries and illnesses in the construction industry.”

Read the Open Letter to President Obama (514) from AIHA pertaining to occupational health and safety and the stimulus.

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Industrial Hygienists to Get Involved in the Event of a Pandemic

pandemic-guideline-cover:Layout 1.qxdThe American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) published guidelines on their website pertaining to industrial hygiene in the event of a pandemic. These recommendations can be used in conjunction with their 2006 Publication, The Role of the Industrial Hygienist in a Pandemic.

Workplace Access and Security

* Restrict and monitor workplace access.
* Establish criteria for refusal of access to unfit workers and criteria for return-to-work.
* Implement telework capabilities where feasible.
* Develop infrastructure to manage meetings by conference call or videoconferencing—when meetings are necessary, keep a separation of at least 6 feet from colleagues and ensure there is adequate ventilation.
* Reduce or eliminate noncritical social interactions.
* Encourage job rotation or staggered shifts to reduce workplace capacity as well as worker exposure risks related to traveling on public transit during peak times.
* Segregate/isolate critical work clusters.
* Reduce or eliminate work in low-ventilated areas.
* Minimize the use of shared facilities for eating and smoking by staggering meals and breaks or designating multiple sites.
* Reduce or eliminate work travel to high-risk regions and encourage workers who are traveling to stay away in the event of a local outbreak.
* Initiate a snow day practice or “reverse quarantine” for nonessential workers.

Labor Relations

* Identify critical production needs and reduce nonessential production.
* Compile priority requirements for key workers with respect to personal protective equipment and training.
* Engage management and workers/union parties in discussions on safe work practices, grievance procedures, and contingencies available for work force, supply chain and production.
* Maintain effective communications between all workplace parties.
* Address dispute resolution regarding health and safety/safe work issues.
* Identify and mitigate unique exposure risks posed by multiple jobs and shifts by part-time or occasional workers.

Communications

* Establish call-in hotline.
* Create up-to-the-minute web splash page.
* Launch dedicated “grapevine.”

Germ Control

* Develop a sick leave policy that does not penalize sick employees and encourages them to stay home—recognize that employees with ill family members may need to stay home to care for them.
* Provide resources and a work environment that promotes personal hygiene—provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and disposable towels (for employees to clean their work surfaces).
* Encourage employees to wash hands frequently and avoid touching nose, mouth, and eyes—germs can live for two hours or more on surfaces.
* Encourage employees to cover their coughs and sneezes.
* Provide employees with up-to-date education and training on flu risk factors, protective behaviors, and instruction on proper behaviors (proper cough etiquette and care of personal protective equipment).
* Keep work surfaces, telephones, computer equipment and other frequently touched surfaces and office equipment clean.
* Discourage employees from using phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment that are not their own.
* Promote healthy lifestyles that include plenty of sleep, physical activity, good nutrition, stress management, drinking plenty of fluids, and smoking cessation.
* Cover mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough either with a tissue or upper sleeves then clean your hands.
* Clean hands often, and when possible, wash with soap and warm water, rub vigorously together and scrub all surfaces for 15 to 20 seconds.
* When soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers, rubbing hands until dry.

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