Subido por Jason Porras

OCTOBER 2019 Synergist

Improving IAQ
Raising Health's Profile
in Construction
Consensus Standards
and IH
Plan Your Career
October 2019
The Journey to
"Be Well"
Implementing Total Worker
Health in Eugene, Oregon
AIHA | Protecting Worker Health.
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In the last few years, Eugene, Ore. has proven to be an ideal
environment for implementing the NIOSH Total Worker
Health initiative. The city serves as an excellent example of
how medium-sized or small organizations can engage with
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act requires that government agencies use consensus standards.
As a result, consensus standards have begun to appear with
more regularity in federal directives, guidelines, regulations,
and requirements by citation or by reference.
A critical tool for every professional (not just early-career
professionals) is a formal development plan—a roadmap
that helps ensure you meet your personal and professional
goals. Even seasoned professionals need to review their development plans and their career progression.
Liz Hill, MPH, CIH, CSP, is Total Worker Health advisor at SAIF
| October 2019
Kenn White, MS, MM, CIH, CSP, FAIHA, is the principal of Consultive Services in Virginia Beach, Va.
Michael A. Finnamore, MSPH, CIH, CSP, CHMM, is the global
director of Environmental, Health and Safety at Hillrom
Corporation in Chicago.
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5 |
Volume 30 Number 9
Ed Rutkowski: [email protected]
More than a Facelift
Kay Bechtold: [email protected]
OEHS and Industry News
Jim Myers: [email protected]
Follow the Fresh Air
Holly Klarman: [email protected]
Raising Health’s Profile
Janelle Welch, 2 Hounds Media
Lawrence D. Sloan, CAE: [email protected]
Outbreak of Lung Disease
Associated with E-Cigarette Use
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| October 2019
Jeff Behar, California Institute of Technology
Patricia Crawford, Consultant
M. Cathy Fehrenbacher, U.S. EPA
Don Garvey, 3M Co.
Stephen Hemperly, Hitachi GST
Hank Muranko, Muranko & Associates
Derek Popp, Wisconsin Occupational Health Laboratory
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is AIHA president and director of Global
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More than a Facelift
Send feedback to [email protected]
ast month, AIHA
unveiled a brand-new
design for
The purpose of a new
website is sometimes
simply to give your
company’s look a facelift. However, the
recent updates to AIHA’s website were
motivated by more than just cosmetic
Over the past six years, we have
learned from our tri-annual Member
Needs Surveys that our website is one
of the top three member benefits AIHA
offers. Yet, anecdotally, AIHA staff were
constantly receiving feedback that the
site’s navigability and user-friendliness were under par. Understanding
these factors, AIHA’s Board of Directors agreed to undertake a website
Last year, staff conducted a customer survey of members and
non-members about the website as
well as a focus group of website users.
Staff also worked with a UXP (user
experience) team to learn about best
practices in website design so that
we could redesign the new
with the needs of both members and
non-members in mind.
The newly unveiled website is now simpler and more navigable. The site is very much consumer-focused, providing tools for people
affected by hazards in the workplace
and in their communities. We wanted
to organize the many resources that
| October 2019
AIHA committees and staff have developed over the years to make them
more accessible to a wider audience
and encourage people to learn how IH
professionals can help them.
publications. Also available are links to
our eLibrary Subscription package and
the member-developed, subject-specific “frameworks” (previously known
as “bodies of knowledge”).
One of the important features of
the new website is AIHA University.
Because AIHA’s educational offerings
have been expanding to new outlets
and formats over the years, staff felt
this slight name change was needed
to attract both new and current cus-
Other improvements made to
include enhanced search capabilities
and a better experience for users of
mobile devices. The AIHA Member
Center has also been reimagined to
place Catalyst, our online community,
front and center. When you click on the
“member access” link at
membercenteraiha, you’ll be brought
directly to the Catalyst home page
with its links to current discussions,
AIHA-related news, blog posts, and a
list of upcoming educational events.
The Catalyst home page also
includes an easy-to-find link to the
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene on the right side of
the page. That link provides member
access to the JOEH home page, where
you can search for and download articles. Members who want to browse
past issues of The Synergist will find a
link to the full-issue PDF archives on
the Member Center page at http://bit.
I encourage you to look around the
new website and get familiar with it.
Change is not always easy, but it’s necessary to improve. We acknowledge
that nothing is perfect, and that’s why
staff is open to your feedback. Please
use the form at
back to share your thoughts on the
new site.
We wanted to organize
the many resources that
AIHA committees and
staff have developed
over the years to make
them more accessible
to a wider audience and
encourage people to
learn how IH professionals can help them.
tomers to our e-learning courses,
publications, and other materials. By
rebranding our education and marketing it to new audiences, we expect
to broaden our footprint and increase
The AIHA University page at www. brings together all
of AIHA’s resources, including e-learning opportunities, face-to-face course
offerings, certificate programs, and
the AIHA University eLIBRARY
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principal industrial hygienist with Northrop
Grumman Corporation with 17 years
of experience. He lives in in Baltimore, Md.
Send feedback to [email protected]
Follow the Fresh Air
Advice for Improving Indoor Air Quality Investigations
ndustrial hygienists rely
on instruments to measure
all kinds of exposures.
We are the samplers, and
instruments are part of the
process of risk assessment.
But over-reliance on instrumentation
when performing indoor air quality
investigations can be a detriment.
Don’t get me wrong. There is definitely a place for instruments.
The first step
in getting to the
bottom of troublesome IAQ
problems is to
recognize that IAQ
aren’t nearly as
valuable as a good
| October 2019
I was taught that an IAQ investigation
involved three major aspects: measurements, interviews of concerned or
affected persons, and a walk-through
evaluation. Measurements are my
expertise. I have invested many hours
in understanding the instruments I
use to make risk assessments. I use
IAQ meters, 4-gas meters, particulate meters, photoionization detectors
(PIDs), and others. This is what IHs are
trained to do: we learn how to use our
instruments and how to get the most
valuable information from them. They
provide numbers we can use to relate
to exposure limits or IAQ parameters,
so it’s easy to see how we can fail to
give sufficient effort to the other two
parts of the investigation.
When people get sick from unidentified agents, they present challenges
to the IAQ investigator. Interviews with
these individuals, although necessary,
revolve around their perceptions of the
problem, which are often misleading.
I’ve noticed that safety and health pro-
fessionals withdraw emotionally from
people who claim that “the building is
making me sick.”
Early in my career, I spent over a
year investigating one such complaint.
A person reported allergic-type symptoms and understandably wanted to
know what caused the problem. But
the tools available to us for determining causation are not that specific. I
measured IAQ parameters, looked
in the supply air ducts, and sampled
for a few substances, such as fiberglass. Building occupants often fixate
on mold, but my search yielded no
finding of mold or any other agent
of concern. The occupational health
practitioner, seeing my report, bluntly
told the sufferer that the problem was
“all in her head.” As you can imagine,
she was outraged. A few weeks later,
a colleague of hers who worked in the
same area of the building reported
what I believe was the acquisition of
yet another allergy. What was causing
these allergies?
Complicating matters, my efforts
to coordinate and work with local
management yielded little help.
They did not want to discuss the
problem openly. There were, in fact,
many complaints about this building
over years. An open conversation
would likely reveal years of resentment and mistrust. When I looked
at the data, I estimated that one or
two allergic cases were developing
each year, yet I found only a slightly
higher than normal perception of
household dust.
Although I left the company shortly
thereafter, I continued to wonder
about the cause of these illnesses. I
wrote a research paper in graduate
school on the psychosocial factors
of IAQ. I learned that slight temperature changes affect perceptions of
IAQ problems and that people often
report illness when a known pollutant
source (such as old carpet) is in the
building where they work. One study
discussed how management’s suppression of complaints contributed to
workplace stress, lower productivity,
and reduced sense of cohesiveness.
While this research was interesting,
the only prescription I found was to
have an open mind and keep looking
for the cause.
I am convinced that most safety and
health professionals are ill-prepared
to deal with IAQ matters. The conscientious ones dutifully work through
the guidance, not expecting to find
anything of note. This can lead to
resignation and apathy. “People get
sick,” they think, “and there isn’t a lot
I can do about it.”
In my opinion, the first step in getting to the bottom of troublesome IAQ
problems is to recognize that IAQ measurements aren’t nearly as valuable as
a good walk-through. The problem we
face is understanding what to look for.
We rely on published checklists, but
since we haven’t created them ourselves, we don’t always know what
relevance they have. For example, one
checklist had me looking for chemicals
under kitchen sinks, which may be
helpful on occasion but is usually
noise in a sea of possible causes.
So what should we be looking for?
Just as the mantra for accountants
is to “follow the money,” I suggest IAQ
investigators follow the fresh air. In
most cases this means investigating the design and operation of the
building’s heating, ventilation, and
air conditioning (HVAC) systems. To
do this you need to enlist the help of
some maintenance personnel, and
you need to ask them to show you the
movement of the fresh air through
the building, from the supply through
the return.
I think the reason I’ve neglected
to use the expertise of maintenance
technicians to their fullest is that I
didn’t want to step on their toes.
They are our most valuable asset
in solving IAQ problems, but they’re
human and make mistakes. They
frequently wear many hats and can
get complacent like the rest of us.
They too rely on instruments to tell
them how the system is operating.
That’s why you need them to give you
a guided tour of the HVAC system.
Most likely, they will be the ones to
show you the problems they have
failed to catch on their own.
Relying on HVAC technicians has
improved my IAQ investigations on
several occasions. In one case, I had
about a dozen people telling me they
were experiencing symptoms directly
related to the building’s environment.
Measurements of temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, and
volatile organic compounds were
DERO2084/Getty Images
air was 10 percent. After about 40
minutes of following the fresh air
through the HVAC system, we found
a fresh air actuator had broken off
from the damper it was supposed
to control. Needless to say, we had
it repaired.
normal. Yet the building had an
odd odor that dated back some 10
years when the roof was repaired. I
arranged to have maintenance show
me the air handler. As we walked
the system, I noticed the fresh air
intake was open a mere sliver and
was clearly not at 10 percent. We
adjusted it, and I returned a few days
later to follow up with occupants.
The change was dramatic. People
who had been suffering from allergies for years reported significant
In another case, a colleague was
investigating a similar case of illnesses reported in a section of the
building. We walked through the
area together with maintenance.
The building had a computerized
control system that said the fresh
I’m not certain we appreciate the
effect fresh air has on people’s
health. Medical practitioners have
been prescribing fresh air and sunshine for centuries. It may be that
fresh air has ions that reduce the
bacterial count in the air. We don’t
measure these things, but they affect
human health. Whatever the case,
I’ve found following the fresh air to
be invaluable to performing good
IAQ investigations. I hope it will help
you, too.
AIHA: The IAQ Investigator’s Guide, third edition (2016).
AIHA: “Technical Framework: A One-of-a-Kind Resource for All IAQ/IEQ
Practitioners,” (December 2018).
The Synergist: “Setting the Bar for IAQ: How AIHA and IAQA Developed
the Indoor Air Quality Body of Knowledge,”
(February 2016).
11 |
Raising Health’s Profile
MATT GILLEN, MS, is an AIHA Fellow,
member of AIHA’s Construction Committee, and project team lead for the Focus
Four for Health guidance.
Send feedback to [email protected]
Editor’s note: This article was originally
published on the SynergistNOW blog on
July 9, 2019.
The guidance
works to improve
employer skills at
identifying visually
the types of “risk
factors” that make
exposures more
likely for each of
the four health
| October 2019
A Battle Plan for the Construction Sector’s Health Hazards
ndustrial hygienists know the importance of occupational health. We
know the national estimates suggesting that fatal occupational illnesses occur ten times more than fatal occupational injuries. We realize that the costs of these illnesses—whether shouldered by workers
and their families, borne by employers affected by lost productivity, or
passed along to taxpayers in the form of higher disability costs—tend
to be overlooked. We understand that awareness is higher for injuries, which are
easier to link to the workplace than occupational diseases. Diseases may not
show up for months or years.
Harder to know is what we can do
to raise the profile of health. How
can we best serve as occupational
health champions? These challenging
questions motivated a project team
from AIHA’s Construction Committee to develop new materials to raise
awareness about health and to target
common construction health hazards
in the United States and Canada. The
resulting booklet, called “Focus Four
for Health” (PDF,
fouraiha), was released in June and
is available as a free download to
encourage construction stakeholders to join in to improve construction
worker health.
Construction is relevant for all industrial hygienists because sooner or later
every type of workplace needs renovation or new construction. The major
focus of EHS programs in construction
has been safety. While this is appropriate given the higher-than-average
injury and fatality rates in construction,
the contrast with occupational health
hazards is stark. There are fewer guidance materials, regulations, enforcement actions, and training efforts
for health. The inadvertent message
received by many employers and work-
ers is that safety is a clear priority, but
health is not.
The project team saw an opportunity to build upon an existing safety
approach with a strong foothold in the
construction industry. The long-running “Focus Four” program, initially
launched by OSHA in 1994, is well
known by many construction employers and employees. It targets the four
top causes of fatal construction injuries: falls, electrocutions, struck-by
injuries, and injuries resulting from
workers getting caught between
objects. OSHA’s Focus Four program
has stimulated a wide variety of activities and is credited with helping to
bring down fatality rates over time.
However, it is silent about health
The project team created a health
companion piece to fit alongside the
Focus Four program. We selected four
widely prevalent construction health
Manual material handling. Overexertion during lifting, pulling, pushing, and carrying is the top cause of
work-related musculoskeletal disorders, which account for about a third
of all work-related injuries in construction and about half of all workers’
compensation costs.
Noise. High noise levels can cause
hearing loss and tinnitus. Recent
findings also suggest links to sleep
disturbance, cardiovascular disease,
hypertension, depression, and impairment of balance. Almost three-quarters of construction workers in a 2011
study were found to be exposed to
noise levels above the recommended
exposure limit set by NIOSH.
Air contaminants. Dust, fumes,
vapors, and gases can cause a variety of short- and long-term health
effects, ranging from asthma and
irritation to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nervous system
problems, kidney damage, or even
cancer, depending on the material
and extent of exposure. More than
half of construction workers report
being regularly exposed to vapors, gas,
dust, or fumes twice a week or more
at work. The risk for developing an
occupationally related disease after a
working lifetime in construction is two
to six times greater than for non-construction workers.
High temperatures. North American summers during the last decade
rank among the hottest on record.
Heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness. It can cause death or permanent disability if not treated quickly.
An OSHA study of 20 construction heat
illness cases involving 13 deaths found
that four occurred on the first day of
the job.
The primary target audience is construction employers and workers. The
project team believes that secondary
audiences such as construction trade
organizations, workers’ compensation
carriers, and industrial hygiene professionals, consultants, and safety
practitioners will also find the guidance useful.
The guidance begins by tackling
head-on why health tends to lag
behind safety in construction:
Seeing is believing. Injuries and
safety hazards are easier to see with
the naked eye, while health hazards
and most occupational illnesses are
much less observable.
Mixed signals from regulations
and inspections. Only about seven
percent of all OSHA construction
inspections are for health, about
one-third the 20 percent rate for
general industry.
Mixed signals from a lack
of national statistics. Whereas
annual national reports describing
top causes of traumatic injuries get
considerable attention, there are no
counterpart reports for occupational
illnesses. This lack of attention sends
an inadvertent message that health
is not a major issue.
Next, the guidance presents the
four hazard sections. Each follows
a similar outline with ten topics. The
first three topics orient the reader:
What is the hazard? How severe are
the health effects and how common are
they? What trades are most commonly
affected? These sections make the
hazards as salient as possible for
readers and clarify what the impacts
to worker health can be—from cutting careers short to pain, disability,
and death.
The next two topics—How should
we look at this health hazard? and
What strategies can be used to control this hazard?—use the safety
practice template most likely to be
familiar to construction employers:
identifying observable risk factors
before the job as part of a Job Safety
Analysis. Our preference is always
to have a professional hygienist
assist employers with evaluating
exposure potential, but this may
not be realistic given that small and
medium-sized firms dominate the
construction industry (81 percent
of the half a million construction
establishments have fewer than 10
employees) and the limited information available suggests they seek
industrial hygiene consultations at
a much lower rate than for safety
The guidance takes an alternative approach. It works to improve
employer skills at identifying visually the types of “risk factors” that
make exposures more likely for
each of the four health hazards. It
reinforces how this can be done at
the same time employers are identifying safety hazards prior to work.
It also provides practical strategies
that employers can use to prevent
or control likely exposures. Finally,
it makes employers aware of how
industrial hygienists can help them
better understand exposures, especially for cases where overexposures
seem most likely.
The Regulations and Guidance
topic describes applicable U.S. and
Canadian regulations. However, the
goal of the guidance is to go beyond
compliance to good practice. This is
important because regulations do
not address topics such as manual
material handling and heat stress,
and because existing regulations for
construction noise and permissible
exposure limits are known to be out
of date or insufficiently protective.
Two short sections follow: How
can trade groups help? and How can
an industrial hygienist help? These
provide suggestions on how construction organizations can get
involved to assist their members,
and how industrial hygienists can
assist employers with evaluating and
controlling each of the four health
The final topics for each section
reiterate key messages and provide
useful links to other resources.
The guidance concludes with a short
section that suggests specific activities for nine different construction
sector groups, including safety and
health organizations such as AIHA.
For example, AIHA local sections
could collaborate with local construction trade associations, labor
organizations, and local OSHA
offices to conduct workshops and
training sessions, or they could work
with local tool rental suppliers and
vendors to demonstrate quieter
tool options and noise measurement apps. The goal of this section
is to stimulate activities and partnerships.
“Focus Four for Health” can help
construction employers tackle some
of the most common construction
health hazards. It provides a vehicle for hygienists to educate safety
colleagues and work site trainers
about getting involved with health.
In sum, it represents an opportunity
for all industrial hygienists to raise
the profile of occupational health
in construction—a worthwhile but
long-overdue goal. As industrial
hygienists, we must be champions
for health. If we don’t do it, who will?
The project team looks forward
to working with AIHA members to
spread awareness about health in
construction. Please contact Thursa
La at [email protected] if you are interested in initiating partnership activities.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene: “Longitudinal Assessment of Noise Exposure in a Cohort of Construction Workers,” Table 1, (October 2011).
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene: “Utilization of Health and Safety Consulting Services
of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by Small Businesses” (November 2010).
CDC: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “Heat Illness and Death Among Workers — United States,
2012–2013,” (August 2014). “Climate Change: Global Temperature,” (August 2018).
CPWR ‒ The Center for Construction Research and Training: The Construction Chart Book,
chartbookcpwr (PDF, April 2013).
The Milbank Quarterly: “Economic Burden of Occupational Injury and Illness in the United States”
(December 2011).
13 |
Report Urges Action to
Manage Legionella
The call for abstracts for the XXII
World Congress on Safety and
Health at Work is open until Dec.
15, 2019. The World Congress,
a global forum for advancing
worker health protection,
will be held Oct. 4–7, 2020, in
Toronto, Canada. The 2020 World
Congress will focus on topics
such as innovations in addressing longstanding safety and
health challenges, implications
of the changing world of work for
occupational safety and health,
and efforts to advance a culture
of prevention. Individuals will
be invited to submit abstracts to
present papers, projects, or case
studies during the event.
The World Congress is organized by the International Labor
Organization, the International
Social Security Association,
the Institute for Work & Health,
and the Canadian Center for
Occupational Health and Safety.
More information is available on
the event’s website at http://bit.
| October 2019
new report from the
National Academies
of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for a range of actions to
prevent the growth of Legionella in
water systems. The report focuses
on the ecology and diagnosis of Legionella contamination of water systems,
strategies for the control of Legionella,
and regulations and guidelines on
Legionella control in water systems.
Inhaling air contaminated with
Legionella bacteria from water systems can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia, or
Pontiac fever, a milder flu-like illness.
The report states that Legionnaires’
disease afflicts and kills more people
in the United States than any other
reported waterborne disease.
The National Academies Committee on Management of Legionella
in Water Systems, which developed
the publication, estimates that the
number of people in the U.S. who
get Legionnaires’ disease each year
ranges from 52,000 to 70,000. This
incidence rate is approximately 10
times higher than the number of
reported cases, which the committee
says does not capture everyone who
contracts the disease.
In an online briefing to introduce
the new report, members of the
committee explained that multiple
factors likely contribute to the increasing incidence of Legionnaires’ disease
in the U.S. These factors include an
increasing number of people with
health vulnerabilities, aging water
infrastructure in cities, more complex
water features, unintended consequences related to green buildings
(such as lower hot-water temperatures in plumbing), and changing
environmental conditions, including
global warming.
The new report stresses that
a more comprehensive policy for
Legionella management is needed
in the U.S., where regulations currently cover only healthcare facilities in the state of New York, cooling
public buildings. The committee also
suggests expanding federal requirements of the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services that apply to hospitals and other healthcare facilities
to require monitoring for Legionella in
environmental water samples for all
types of buildings.
The report urges other actions
to prevent the growth of Legionella
in water systems, including maintaining water temperature outside
Legionella’s preferred growth range.
Many buildings and private residences are
formally protected from Legionella only by
building and plumbing codes.
towers in New York and New York
City, healthcare facilities within
the Veterans Health Administration, and hospitals and healthcare
facilities that receive Medicare or
Medicaid funds. According to the
authors, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act does not provide any
substantial control of Legionella in
water systems, and many buildings
and private residences are formally
protected from Legionella only by
building and plumbing codes.
The report outlines several ways
to improve regulations related to
Legionella management in the U.S.
Recommendations include implementing regulations and guidelines
that require the registration and monitoring of cooling towers and requiring water management plans in all
Hot-water heater temperatures
should be maintained above 140°F
and the hot-water temperature to
distal points should exceed 131°F,
according to the report. In addition,
low-flow fixtures should not be
allowed in hospitals, long-term care
facilities, and other buildings with
high-risk occupants. The committee
also recommends modifying criteria
for certifying green buildings, energy-conserving features, and water
conservation features to account
for risk factors associated with the
growth of Legionella in building water
The report “Management of Legionella in Water Systems” is available
as a free PDF download from the
National Academies website at http://
New Guidance Compares U.S., Canadian HazCom
New guidance jointly developed by
OSHA and Health Canada, the Canadian federal department responsible
for national public health, compares
the U.S. and Canada’s regulatory
processes and labeling requirements
for hazardous chemicals in the workplace. The new documents compare
the requirements of Canadian regulations—including the Hazardous
Products Regulations, Hazardous
Products Act, and the Workplace
Hazardous Materials Information
System, or WHMIS—with OSHA’s
Hazard Communication Standard,
or HazCom 2012.
WHMIS 2015 and HazCom 2012
both incorporate the Globally Harmonized System of Classification
and Labeling of Chemicals. GHS
attempts to standardize hazard communication worldwide by requiring
a consistent system for classifying
chemical hazards, a consistent
format for safety data sheets, and
standardized labels that use pictograms to depict hazards, specific
wording to inform workers of hazards, and information on how to
protect against those hazards.
hazards not otherwise classified, and
health hazards not otherwise classified (PDF,
More information about hazard
communication is available from
OSHA’s website at
The new documents compare the requirements of Canadian regulations with
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard,
or HazCom 2012.
The joint guidance documents cover
labeling requirements for hazardous
products (PDF,
chazprod), regulatory processes for
hazardous products in the workplace
and pictogram requirements for hazards not otherwise classified, physical
hazcomosha. The Canadian Centre
for Occupational Health and Safety
provides information on hazard
communication and GHS at http:// Fact sheets on GHS,
WHMIS, and safety data sheets are
available at
Updated Tools Help Prevent Heat Stress
IRSST, a nonprofit scientific research
organization in Québec, Canada, has
released updated computer tools
intended to help employers, workers,
and occupational health and safety
professionals manage and prevent
heat stress in the workplace. The
newest tool can be used to calculate
corrected air temperature, or CAT,
using a simple thermometer or a psychrometer. According to IRSST, CAT
estimates the thermal stress level
for the purposes of preventive management of heat stress. IRSST notes
that the calculation of CAT with this
tool applies to “sufficiently acclimatized workers”; additional measures
must be taken for workers who are
not acclimatized.
Two other tools for addressing heat
stress are available from IRSST. One
estimates the alternate work/rest regimen for working in a hot environment
according to Québec’s occupational
performs similarly, but calculates the
alternate work/rest regimen according to the 2017 edition of the documentation of ACGIH’s threshold limit
values for workers exposed to heat
The newest tool can be used to calculate
corrected air temperature using a simple
thermometer or a psychrometer.
health and safety regulation, or ROHS.
This tool considers parameters such
as the physical workload and the wet
bulb globe temperature, or WBGT,
values at the workstation and the
worker’s rest location. Another tool
stress. This tool considers physical
workload, WBGT values at the workstation and rest location, and the type
of clothing worn by the worker.
The tools are available from IRSST’s
website at
The European Agency for
Safety and Health at Work,
EU-OSHA, has published a
resource intended to facilitate
workplace discussions about
musculoskeletal disorders. The
document includes scenarios or
conversation starters that have
been designed for workers who
perform tasks that may cause
MSDs, and is intended to support
prompt, effective communication
between workers and managers
regarding musculoskeletal
health problems. The resource
can be used in discussion-style
workshops or in training
sessions. According to EU-OSHA,
the scenarios are intended to
highlight some of the challenges
faced by workers and the importance of company procedures
related to the prevention of
“Conversation Starters for
Workplace Discussions About
Musculoskeletal Disorders”
includes scenarios related to the
retail environment, hand-arm
vibration, small family businesses, neck and shoulder pain from
office work, and speaking with
an employer about a diagnosis of
arthritis. |
OSHA Web Page Collects Guidance, Resources on
Leading Indicators
The submission portal for
proposals for IOHA 2020 is now
open. IOHA 2020, which will
be held Oct. 17–22 in Daegu,
South Korea, will be the 12th
International Occupational
Hygiene Association International Scientific Conference and will
be hosted by the Korea Industrial
Hygiene Association. The theme
of the conference, “Bridging
Gaps in OH Development, Opening New Horizons,” is intended to
recognize the “border-crossing
nature” of occupational health
and safety.
Individuals may submit
proposals for professional development courses, symposia, and
special lectures to present at
IOHA 2020 through Jan. 31, 2020.
Symposia will focus on specific
research issues, problems, or
topics. Conference organizers
encourage submissions on
topics such as risk assessment,
risk management, exposure
assessment methodologies and
applications, and international
cooperation and harmonization
activities. Special lectures are
intended to share industrial
hygiene knowledge, principles,
and specific subjects with young
researchers or students.
More information about
IOHA 2020 is available on the
conference website at www.
| October 2019
A new web page published by OSHA
focuses on the use of leading indicators to improve health and safety
outcomes. OSHA describes leading
indicators as “proactive, preventive,
and predictive measures that provide
information about the effective performance” of health and safety activities.
Leading indicators measure events
that lead up to injuries, illnesses,
and other incidents, and can reveal
potential problems in a health and
safety program. OSHA’s new page is
intended to show how businesses can
improve safety and health programs
by tracking workplace conditions and
events to prevent injuries or illnesses
before they occur. According to the
agency, employers that use leading
indicators can reduce costs associated
with incidents, improve productivity
and organizational performance, optimize safety and health performance,
and demonstrate their commitment
to maintaining a socially responsible
workplace that values workers.
tified hazard or improve an element of
their health and safety program. The
document also includes an “action
plan checklist” that employers can
use to begin using leading indicators
in their workplace.
Leading indicators measure events that
lead up to injuries, illnesses, and other
incidents, and can reveal potential problems in a health and safety program.
The page includes a guidance document that describes how employers can use leading indicators. For
example, employers can use leading
indicators based on data they are
already collecting to control an iden-
“Using Leading Indicators to
Improve Safety and Health Outcomes”
is available as a PDF at
oshalichecklist. To access OSHA guidance and resources on leading indicators, visit
EPA Materials Discuss “High-Priority”
Chemicals, Including Formaldehyde
Last week, EPA proposed to designate
20 chemicals as “high-priority” substances for upcoming risk evaluations
under the Toxic Substances Control
Act. The chemicals include seven
chlorinated solvents, six phthalates,
four flame retardants, formaldehyde,
a fragrance additive, and a polymer
EPA is required to designate existing chemical substances as high- or
low-priority by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st
Century Act, which amended TSCA.
The agency is also required to complete the prioritization process and
make final designations for the 20
high-priority substances by December 2019. Once the designations are
finalized, EPA will begin a three-year
risk evaluation process to determine
whether the chemicals present an
“unreasonable risk” to human health
or the environment under the sub-
ysis, and the basis used by EPA to
support the proposed designation
for each substance. The agency is
accepting comments on the proposed
EPA will begin a three-year risk evaluation process to determine whether the
chemicals present an “unreasonable risk”
to human health or the environment.
stances’ conditions of use.
EPA has published supporting materials for the 20 proposed
high-priority chemical substances.
These materials identify the proposed
designation for each substance and
include instructions for accessing
chemical-specific information, anal16
designations until Nov. 21, 2019. More
information is available in the Federal
Register at
and on the EPA website at http://bit.
According to EPA, risk evaluation
for low-priority substances is not warranted at this time.
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Illicit Drugs
A new video released by NIOSH depicts the proper use of personal proetrahydrocann
equipment to prevent occupational exposure to illicit drugs among
emergency responders. The 12-minute video is intended to help responders
understand the risks associated with these exposures and show what they
can do to protect themselves by properly donning and doffing PPE. NIOSH
developed the video in collaboration with the police and fire departments
in Fredericksburg, Va. The video is available at
The agency previously collaborated with the Fredericksburg police and fire
departments to develop a video that includes real-life footage from a body
camera worn by a police officer responding to an overdose call and shows
what happens when an officer is exposed to illicit drugs such as fentanyl.
The earlier NIOSH video from March 2019 shows that these exposures can
result in lightheadedness, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and
the rapid onset of life-threatening respiratory depression. First responders
are at risk of inhalation; mucous membrane contact through nose, eye, and
mouth; ingestion; and dermal and needlestick exposure to illicit drugs. To
watch the March 2019 video, visit
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Registration Opens
in December!
MSHA Seeks Information on
Miners' Exposure to Quartz
Keep an eye on your Inbox to learn how you can
participate in a drawing for prizes if you register
before January 1. Prizes include: travel to AIHce
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MSHA is seeking information regarding best practices to protect miners’
health from exposure to silica, specifically quartz, in respirable dust,
the agency announced in a request for information published in August.
MSHA requests input from industry, labor, NIOSH, and other stakeholders
on economically and technologically feasible practices to improve health
protections for coal, metal, and nonmetal miners against exposure to
quartz dust. The agency hopes to gather input in several areas, including
new or developing protective technologies and technical and educational
assistance. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide information on how
engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective
equipment can be used to protect miners from exposure to quartz dust.
MSHA is particularly interested in dust-control methods that could be
used to reduce miners' exposure to respirable quartz during high-silica
cutting situations.
MSHA also solicits information and data regarding “an examination of
an appropriately reduced permissible exposure limit.” In 2016, OSHA’s
final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica set
a new PEL for respirable crystalline silica of 50 μg/m3 calculated as an
eight-hour time-weighted average. Comments and other input are due
by Oct. 28, 2019. More information is available in the Federal Register
17 | |
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EPA: “Unreasonable” Risks
to Workers Associated with
Solvent 1-BP
A new draft risk evaluation published by EPA in August identifies “unreasonable” risks to workers associated with the chemical 1-bromopropane
under specific industrial and commercial uses. Occupational non-users,
or workers in the general area of 1-BP use, also face unreasonable risks
under the same industrial and commercial uses. The agency says it found
no unreasonable risk to workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and
bystanders under other specific conditions of use associated with the manufacturing, processing, disposal, and distribution of 1-BP. EPA further states
that 1-BP presents no unreasonable risks to the environment.
According to EPA, 1-BP is used in several industries as a solvent, including
in degreasing operations, spray adhesives, and dry cleaning. It is also used
as reactant in the manufacturing of other chemical substances.
EPA’s draft risk evaluation makes risk determinations on 25 conditions
of use associated with 1-BP, including industrial and commercial uses as a
solvent for cleaning or degreasing, in adhesives and sealants, and in cleaning
and furniture care products. The agency also evaluated the use of 1-BP in
adhesive accelerant, automotive care products, mold cleaning and release
products, and electronic products. EPA is accepting comments on its new
draft risk evaluation until Oct. 11, 2019.
A previous draft risk assessment for 1-BP, which was published by EPA in
2016, indicates health risks for workers with repeated and chronic exposures
to the chemical, including neurotoxicity; kidney, liver, and reproductive toxicity;
and lung cancer. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
added 1-BP to the Report on Carcinogens, a congressionally mandated
report that identifies agents, substances, mixtures, or exposures that pose
a hazard to people in the U.S. OSHA and NIOSH previously issued a joint
hazard alert warning workers and employers of the dangers of occupational
exposure to 1-BP in 2013.
The new draft risk evaluation is the fourth that EPA has published under
the amended TSCA legislation. As amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg
Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law in June
2016, TSCA requires EPA to complete risk evaluations for 10 chemicals,
including 1-BP, by December 2019. EPA published its first draft risk evaluation
for pigment violet 29 in November 2018. Draft risk evaluations for the solvent
1,4-dioxane and a group of cyclic aliphatic bromide flame retardants were
published last month. The other chemicals set to undergo risk evaluations
are asbestos, carbon tetrachloride, methylene chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone,
tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene.
To read the new draft risk evaluation for 1-BP, visit
draftra. EPA’s 2016 risk assessment for 1-BP is available from http://bit.
ly/1bp2016ra. For the entry on 1-BP in the National Toxicology Program’s
Report on Carcinogens, visit (PDF). The Federal Register notice about EPA’s new draft risk evaluation is available at
frepa1bp. For more information on EPA activities related to chemical risk
evaluations, visit the agency’s website at
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| October 2019
California Regulation Protects Workers
from Wildfire Smoke
A new emergency regulation to protect outdoor
workers in California from wildfire smoke is in
effect until Jan. 28, 2020. According to a Cal/
OSHA press release (PDF,
regpr), the regulation applies to workplaces
where the current Air Quality Index (AQI) for airborne particulate matter, or PM 2.5, is 151 or
greater and where employers should “reasonably
anticipate that employees could be exposed to
wildfire smoke.”
The new regulation requires employers to
identify harmful exposure to airborne particulate
matter from wildfire smoke at the start of each
shift and periodically thereafter by checking
the AQI for PM 2.5 in regions where workers
are located. Employers must reduce harmful
exposure to wildfire smoke by relocating work
to an enclosed building with filtered air or to
another outdoor location where the AQI for PM
2.5 is 150 or lower. If employers cannot reduce
workers’ exposure to wildfire smoke so that the
AQI for PM 2.5 is 150 or lower, they must provide
respirators to all employees for voluntary use.
Employers must also provide training on the
new emergency regulation, the health effects
of wildfire smoke, and the safe use and maintenance of respirators.
In the past two years wildfires in California have
dramatically increased in number and intensity.
The 2018 Camp Fire was the deadliest and most
destructive wildfire in the state’s history, killing 86 people and destroying more than 18,000
More information on the emergency regulation,
including rulemaking documents, is available
from the website of the California Department of
Industrial Relations at
Guidance from DIR on protecting outdoor workers
exposed to smoke from wildfires is available at
EPA Publishes Supporting Materials for
“Low-Priority” Chemicals
In August, EPA proposed to designate 20 chemicals as “low-priority substances” under the Toxic
Substances Control Act. The substances include
d-gluconic acid, 1-docosanol, 1,2-hexanediol, and
1-octadecanol. According to EPA, risk evaluation
for these and other low-priority chemical substances is not warranted at this time.
The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for
the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law
in June 2016 and amended TSCA, requires EPA
to prioritize existing chemical substances for
high- or low-priority designations. The agency’s
recent action is the second step in its new process
for reviewing chemical substances under the
amended TSCA. EPA completed the first step
in March when it published a list of 40 chemical
substances, including 20 “high-priority” chemical
substances for subsequent risk evaluation and 20
low-priority substances. At that time, Alexandra
Dapolito Dunn, the assistant administrator for
EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution
Prevention, said in a press release that “Initiating
a chemical for high or low prioritization does not
mean EPA has determined it poses unreasonable
risk or no risk to human health or the environment; it means we are beginning the prioritization
process set forth” in the Lautenberg Act.
Chemicals designated as high priority will
undergo a three-year risk evaluation to determine if they present an "unreasonable" risk to
human health and the environment.
Supporting materials for the 20 proposed
low-priority chemical substances, including information, analysis, and the basis for the agency’s
proposed designation of low priority, will be published on, according to an agency
news release. EPA is accepting comments on the
proposed designations until Nov. 13, 2019. More
information is available in the Federal Register at
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Examines Hearing Loss Among Oil
and Gas, Mining Workers
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The n
A new
study by NIOSH researchers found that 24
percent of noise-exposed workers in the mining
sector and 14 percent of noise-exposed workers in the oil and gas sector had hearing loss.
The study, published in the American Journal of
Industrial Medicine, is the first to examine hearing
loss prevalence and risk by industry within the oil
and gas sector.
The prevalence of hearing loss varied across
industries. In the construction sand and gravel
mining industry, 36 percent of noise-exposed
workers had hearing loss. Other industries in the
mining sector with high prevalence of hearing loss
include uranium-radium-vanadium ore mining,
bituminous coal and lignite surface mining, and
iron ore mining. In the oil and gas sector, 28
percent of noise-exposed employees working
in natural gas liquid extraction had hearing loss.
The findings were derived from audiograms
for 1.9 million noise-exposed workers across all
industries, including 9,389 in mining and 1,076 in
oil and gas extraction. According to NIOSH, no
data were available for two of the largest industries in the oil and gas sector—crude petroleum
and natural gas extraction, and drilling oil and
gas wells—which indicates that more worker
surveillance is needed. The agency notes that
approximately 61 percent of all workers in the
mining and oil and gas extraction sectors have
been exposed to hazardous noise.
“Not only does noise cause hearing loss, previous NIOSH research has shown it is associated
with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol,” the agency said in a press release.
More information is available at
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|| October
October 2019
Mulls Revisions to Table 1 of Its
Silica Standard for Construction
is requesting feedback on table 1 of its
respirable crystalline silica standard for construction through Oct. 14, 2019. Table 1, “Specified
Exposure Control Methods When Working with
Materials Containing Crystalline Silica,” matches
common construction tasks and equipment with
dust control methods that have been shown to be
effective. The agency seeks information related to
additional engineering and work practice control
methods that effectively limit silica exposure for
the tasks and equipment currently listed in table 1
of the standard. OSHA is also gathering feedback
about silica-generating equipment and tasks that
it should consider adding to table 1, along with
the control methods associated with those items.
“Expanding Table 1 to include additional engineering and work practice control methods,
equipment, and tasks could provide employers
with more flexibility and reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining protections for employees,” OSHA stated in a press release.
The agency is also considering whether to
revise its respirable crystalline silica standard for
general industry to “broaden the circumstances
under which general industry and maritime
employers would be permitted to comply with
Table 1 of the silica standard for construction.”
According to OSHA, construction employers that
follow Table 1 do not have to assess employee
exposures or separately ensure compliance with
the PEL.
For more information, including instructions
for submitting comments, see the Federal Register
notice at
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.
More information about OSHA’s respirable
crystalline silica standard for construction is
available on the agency’s website at
silicatopics. To read the standard for construction,
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The Journey to
Implementing Total Worker
Health in Eugene, Oregon
he city of Eugene is one of Oregon’s largest, with
a population of nearly 169,000. Home to the University of Oregon and a multitude of cultural and
recreational activities, Eugene is the quintessential
Oregon city, with a health-conscious and engaged
citizenry. The city serves as an employment hub
for the southern end of Oregon’s Willamette Valley and
employs more than 1,200 people who range from firefighters and police to employees in parks, recreational venues,
libraries, public works, administrative services, and planning and development.
In the last few years, Eugene has also proven to be an
ideal environment for implementing Total Worker Health.
As authors, each of us has been involved in implementing
TWH through our work with SAIF Corporation (Liz Hill),
the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences (Dede
Montgomery), and the city of Eugene’s Risk Services Division (Randi Bowers-Payne). Initiated by NIOSH, TWH is
a holistic approach to enhancing worker well-being that
attempts to address workplace risks associated with health
problems previously considered to be unrelated to work.
The NIOSH Total Worker Health Affiliate Program
aims to foster an integrated approach to protecting and
promoting worker well-being through collaborations with
academic, labor, nonprofit, and government organizations.
TWH affiliates and NIOSH may engage in joint research;
develop programs, interventions, and other work products;
collaborate on seminars, meetings, training events, and
educational events; and create and disseminate publications and other communications. TWH affiliates include
large organizations such as NASA and other government
agencies, the Mount Sinai Health System, the University of Georgia, AIHA, the American Society of Safety
| October 2019
Professionals, the National Safety Council, and many labor
and professional groups. Corporations have also embraced
TWH through development of metrics to track injury and
illness prevention and holistic health promotion.
The TWH approach considers many issues relevant to
worker well-being. Smaller organizations and those with
limited resources can feel overwhelmed and unsure where
to start. The city of Eugene is one of the newest TWH
affiliates and serves as an excellent example of how medium-sized or small organizations can engage with TWH. The
city has taken an interest in employee wellness and invested
time and resources into both evaluation and action.
Eugene was engaged in well-being-related initiatives even
before the advent of TWH. The city manager, Jon Ruiz, has
long promoted employee wellness and well-being; for example, he provides each new employee a copy of Well Being:
The Five Essential Elements, a book based on a Gallup study
of people in 150 countries. This action was an invaluable
message that employee well-being is a priority.
When Bowers-Payne joined the organization as Eugene’s
incoming Risk Services Division Manager in 2017, she
began researching how TWH could work at and for the city.
She had heard about TWH from SAIF, a nonprofit workers’
compensation insurance company that provides consultative services in safety management to its policyholders.
Quickly, Risk Services staff recognized that TWH’s holistic
connections between safety, health, performance, productivity, stress, customer service, and injury/illness rates were
invaluable additions to the city’s already robust wellness
offerings. Later, the city launched an initiative to support
employees in their journey to “be well.”
lzf/Getty Images
Because the city’s executive leadership already understood the connectivity between health, wellness, innovation,
and the organization’s mission, the first year’s effort focused
on an informal information-sharing campaign to create
energy around TWH and communicate the value it could
provide. Bowers-Payne and the risk team introduced
TWH-related topics to the organization through a variety of
communication channels. The team sought ways to highlight TWH in conversations, formal presentations, and at
committee meetings. The risk team implemented organization-wide “#wellbeingwednesday” communications, which
highlighted benefits and resources that could help staff in
their journey to be well.
As the movement evolved beyond information sharing, members of the executive team began sponsoring
monthly well-being activities, initiatives, and programs. One
month, in partnership with the Risk Division, executives
hosted activities that encouraged employees to invest in
social, physical, and community well-being by completing
a scavenger hunt related to Eugene history. Employees
were encouraged to partner with colleagues, use their city
bike-share benefit, and hit the town to learn about our
community’s history. Communications during the month
highlighted the connections between physical, social, and
community well-being as contributors to workplace attendance as well as mental and physical health.
While the #wellbeingwednesday communications provide helpful resources related to a component of well-being,
they also serve as a way to highlight engagement at all levels
of the organization. Weekly communications have contained
pictures of staff engaged in well-being at work and home. A
consistent piece of feedback is the value of staff seeing their
leaders and colleagues participate in the initiative.
Sponsorship of monthly activities has now transitioned
from the executive team to division managers. This important transition further expands engagement in a measurable
top-down, middle-out, bottom-up way.
By the end of the first year, employees had begun organizing around the opportunity to promote and invest in
their journey to be well. Supervisors started asking for
more information, then for formal presentations, and staff
started asking how they could get involved, lead an initiative, or solve a problem. As staff began looking for action
beyond information, a grassroots committee formed and
the TWH movement became the BeWell initiative. TWHrelated activities formerly owned by the risk team became
owned, planned, and developed by the BeWell committee.
Committee members develop, implement, and highlight
organizational TWH initiatives, policies, strategies, and
A recent BeWell month sponsored by the finance director featured financial well-being and focused on using both
personal and city credit cards (known as “p-cards”) responsibly. A short video featuring “Captain P-card” in uniform
(a play on the character Captain Picard from the Star Trek
23 |
The city of Eugene employs more than
1,200 people, including firefighters,
police, and employees in parks,
recreational venues, libraries, and
administrative services.
Sean Pavone/Getty Images
franchise) was a natural fit for this campaign. These examples demonstrate how the city has initiated and supported
employee engagement, which is essential to developing and
adopting effective TWH policies and practices.
The BeWell movement continues to evolve to meet
organizational needs such as raising awareness of the connections between physical, financial, community, career,
and social well-being to work performance and to personal
and occupational health and safety. To highlight these connections, the BeWell committee recently began integrating
the organization’s “competencies” into monthly programs.
Competencies are aspects of work culture such as fostering
a respectful work environment and encouraging employees’
self-awareness and emotional intelligence. These competencies complement the tenets of well-being identified by
the Gallup study and are the framework for the city’s TWH
movement. The monthly programs provide a common
language for employees to share their personal and occupational journeys to BeWell.
Employees will not achieve well-being exclusively through
#wellbeingwednesdays, program highlights, benefit plans,
or information sharing. A critical component of a holistic
journey to well-being is the recognition that safety is the
foundation of the TWH approach.
The effects of workplace psychosocial stress on health
| October 2019
and safety have been well documented, particularly for
municipal first responders. Less well documented are the
stressors related to modern library and planning work.
Staff in the library and planning departments are required
to interact extensively with the public and are continuously
exposed to a stressed citizenry. In the case of library staff,
interactions frequently include communities struggling
with chronic trauma including the unhoused, the substance
addicted, and those with untreated or undertreated mental
health conditions.
The BeWell program brought these seemingly different
departments together for a single trauma-informed resiliency workshop. Trauma-informed practices are leadership
models that encourage awareness of how an individual’s
history or current circumstances may affect their ability
to interact, connect, learn, or engage. Trauma-informed
practices also encourage resiliency in staff and promote
understanding of how to maintain proper boundaries in
their interactions with the public. Workshop attendees
learned fundamentals of trauma-informed self-care practices
and how to “bounce back” after difficult encounters.
Shortly after the workshop, library staff set aside a “mindfulness room” for employees to take quiet time when needed.
The room hosts resources to promote resiliency and rejuvenation, and allows space for staff to practice meditation.
The city also provided access to a trauma-informed book
club and workshop for staff and the community to assist
them with interacting effectively and compassionately with
clients who have experienced trauma. At the end of July, a
six-month onsite Employee Assistance Program pilot was
launched that will allow any staff working in the downtown
area to schedule an appointment at their local library branch
and visit with a counselor without having to leave a fourblock area.
The Planning Division also engaged a mindfulness consultant for yearlong coaching. Mindfulness is a common
practice similar to meditation that asks participants to be
aware of their feelings, experiences, and thoughts. Mindfulness practices are linked to reduced stress and anxiety as
well as improved productivity and feelings of contentedness.
The consultant will help management and staff approach
work through a TWH lens and may also support staff in
organizing, prioritizing, and managing tasks in a way that
helps them “be well.”
The mindfulness consultant, EAP pilot, and mindfulness
room will be evaluated through an employee survey to gauge
efficacy and progress. These actions all reflect the city’s
intent to incorporate mental well-being as a key component
of a safe work environment.
The city also understands that TWH practice must be met
with budget support. To strengthen its safety foundation,
the Risk Division manages an account for unforeseeable
but needed workplace safety enhancements. The fund has
supported the expansion of TWH initiatives—for example,
ergonomic assessments for all workgroups including those
who aren’t based in office buildings, such as first responders
and public works and library staff. To support data-driven
safety decisions, the city developed a detailed workers’ compensation claims analysis for police and fire in 2015. The
results continue to inform improved training protocols and
physical fitness expectations geared toward injury prevention. With this commitment to enhance worker well-being
so firmly incorporated into the organization’s culture, the
city of Eugene continues to imagine new initiatives. The
organization makes an effort to connect people and find
ways to support all employees with ideas that sustain and
promote TWH. Ideas such as the onsite EAP pilot, year-long
mindfulness practice, and a new interview club are developed and operated entirely by department staff.
Data collection around the TWH movement is still evolving, since the early phase focused on coaxing engagement,
fostering trust, and empowering new leaders. Employee
surveys will play an important role in gauging success and
identifying areas for improvement. The next priority is to
track the employer self-funded health plan experience,
which is expected to provide meaningful feedback.
The city isn’t limiting its efforts to employees alone.
As a municipality, the city of Eugene recognizes itself as
an important community resource, with the potential to
positively affect the health, safety, and well-being of all
A critical component of a
holistic journey to well-being
is the recognition that safety
is the foundation of the
TWH approach.
community members. Staff continue to seek creative ways
to engage the workforce around community by sponsoring
volunteer events, launching a “couch to 5K” program open to
employees and community members through the Recreation
Division, and actively exploring a “Blue Zones” initiative with
community partners. (Blue Zones is a comprehensive community approach to individual wellness and well-being.)
Eugene is demonstrating its commitment to the health
and livability of its entire community, including those who
live and work in Eugene. The city understands the connectivity between a vibrant workforce, the community, and the
local economy. The investment in its workforce through
BeWell is a clear illustration of the positive change that can
come about through leadership commitment and employee
engagement in Total Worker Health.
LIZ HILL, MPH, CIH, CSP, is Total Worker Health advisor at
SAIF Corporation. She can be reached at [email protected]
DEDE MONTGOMERY, MS, CIH, is senior research associate for outreach and education at the Oregon Institute of
Occupational Health Sciences, Oregon Healthy Workforce
Center, Oregon Health and Science University. She can be
reached at [email protected]
RANDI BOWERS-PAYNE, JD, is Risk Services Director for
the City of Eugene. She can be reached at [email protected]
Send feedback to [email protected]
American Psychological Association: “What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness?”
apamindfulness (July 2012).
NIOSH: NIOSH Total Worker Health Affiliates,
Psychiatric Clinics of North America: “Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety and Depression”
(December 2017).
The New York Times: “How to Be More Mindful at Work,”
UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center:
25 |
First Choice
Consensus Standards, Technology,
and the IH Professional
n 1995, Congress enacted the National Technology
Transfer and Advancement Act to bring technology and
industrial innovation to the marketplace for the economic,
environmental, and social well-being of U.S. citizens.
Known as Public Law 104-113 or the NTTAA, the Act was
also established to foster cooperative research and development agreements with federal laboratories to help U.S.
businesses speed the development of new products and
processes and to commercialize the innovative technologies
| October 2019
masterzphotois/Getty Images
One of the technologies commercialized since the advent
of the NTTAA of interest to industrial hygienists is the use
of optical fluorescence to determine beryllium in dust by
wipe, in air sampling media, and in bulk samples, developed by the Department of Energy. This technology is the
focus of analytical methods from NIOSH that describe the
use of field-portable fluorometry to analyze beryllium in
air (method 7704) and in surface wipes (method 9110).
ASTM methods also use optical fluorescence technology for
the determination of beryllium in the workplace (method
D7202) and in soil, rock, sediment, and fly ash (method
D7458). Other IH-related technologies facilitated by the
NTTAA include soaps, wipes, and cleaning liquids for
removing lead and other metals, oxides, and radioisotopes
from skin developed by NIOSH; a colorimetric screening
method for lead on skin and wipes also developed by NIOSH
(see NIOSH method 9105); and the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) mold identification methods based on an EPA
patent used by environmental microbiology laboratories
accredited by AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs,
The NTTAA also requires that government agencies use
consensus standards developed by nonprofit standards
development organizations whenever possible. Section 12
of the law states that, except after evaluation to the contrary
by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, “all Federal
agencies and departments shall use technical standards that
are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards
bodies, using such technical standards as a means to carry
out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and departments.” Further, the Act states that “Federal
agencies and departments shall consult with voluntary,
private sector, consensus standards bodies and
shall, when such participation is in the
public interest and is compatible with
agency and departmental missions,
authorities, priorities, and budget
resources, participate with such
bodies in the development of
technical standards.”
In an amplification of the
NTTAA in 2017, the executive
branch of the federal government expressed its preference for
consensus standards. A revised
instruction published by the Office
of Management and Budget as Circular A-119 “establishes a preference for
the use of voluntary consensus standards in
lieu of government-unique standards” and directs federal
agencies to adopt voluntary consensus standards wherever
possible to avoid development of unique government standards. The OMB instruction states that “all Federal agencies
must use voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government-unique standards in their procurement and regulatory
activities, except where inconsistent with law or otherwise
impractical.” OMB also requires federal agencies to show a
“strong preference for using voluntary consensus standards”
and states that these policies are intended to encourage
federal agencies to benefit from the expertise of the private
sector, promote federal agency participation in standards
bodies to support the creation of standards that are useable
by federal agencies, and minimize reliance on government-unique standards where an existing standard would
meet the objectives of the federal government.
As a result, federal agencies and their representatives,
and federal employees and contractors, have become more
involved in the creation and revision of consensus standards,
both internationally and domestically. Consensus standards
have begun to appear with more regularity in federal directives, guidelines, regulations, and requirements by citation
or by reference.
Outside of government, the courts have heard more arguments for compliance to consensus standards in tort cases;
and, of direct interest to the IH communities, an unofficial
hierarchy for the use of standards for analytical methods has
developed. That hierarchy, in descending order of preference
of application, is:
1. c onsensus standard methods
2. m
ethods from authorities having jurisdiction and governmental agencies (for example, EPA, NIOSH, and OSHA)
3. m
ethods from peer-reviewed publications
4. methods from other sources (such as manufacturers’
The consensus standards process provides the following
• It brings together people with diverse backgrounds, expertise, and knowledge.
• It provides a balanced representation of interests (for
example, the interests of industry, government, and other
• Consensus standards are reviewed and updated at regular
intervals. Governmental methods typically are not.
• Quality is enhanced by strict balloting and due-process
• Test methods are typically validated by multiple
For IH professionals, the most active and most recognized
sources of IH-applicable consensus standards are the International Organization for Standardization, the American
National Standards Institute, and ASTM International.
ISO is an independent, non-governmental international
organization with a membership of 162 national standards
bodies and a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
ISO members represent individual countries, and each
country has one vote for final approval of an ISO standard.
To date, ISO has published more than 22,000 international
standards. Examples of ISO standards of interest to IH professionals include:
• ISO 7708, Air Sampling—Particle-size Fraction Definitions for Health-related Sampling
• ISO 8672, Air Quality—Determination of the Number
27 |
In 2017, the executive branch of the
federal government expressed its
preference for consensus
Concentration of Airborne Inorganic Fibres by Phase
Contrast Optical Microscopy—Membrane Filter Method
• ISO 15202, Workplace Air—Determination of Metals and
Metalloids in Airborne Particulate Matter by Inductively
Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (separate
parts for sampling, sample preparation, and analysis)
• ISO 19087, Workplace Air—Analysis of Respirable
Crystalline Silica by Fourier-Transform Infrared
One of the more visible ISO examples, at least for sampling and laboratory analysis, is ISO/IEC 17025:2017,
General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and
Calibration Laboratories, which is the basis for accreditation of sampling and laboratory activities worldwide.
(For more information, see the article “New Requirements
for Labs” in the August 2018 Synergist at
ISO recognizes one organization within each of its
member countries to oversee development and approval of
consensus standards. As the ISO representative for the U.S.,
ANSI oversees the development of voluntary consensus
standards for products, services, processes, systems, and
personnel. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards
with international standards so that American products and
services can be used worldwide.
More than 230 standards developers are accredited by
ANSI including the Acoustical Society of America; the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning
Engineers; the American Society of Mechanical Engineers;
the American Society of Safety Professionals; ASTM
| October 2019
International; the U.S. Department of Defense; ISO; the
International Safety Equipment Association; the National
Fire Protection Association; and SAE International.
ANSI itself does not develop standards but recognizes
standards created by its member organizations. These
consensus standards are sometimes referred to as “ANSI
standards.” All ANSI-recognized standards from accredited
standards developers, including ISO standards, are available
from ANSI. Examples of ANSI American national standards
of interest in industrial hygiene include:
• ANSI/AIHA/ASSP Z9.5, American National Standard for
Laboratory Ventilation
• ANSI/ASSP Z88.2, American National Standard Practices for Respiratory Protection
• ANSI/ISEA 104-1998 (R2009), American National Standard for Air Sampling Devices—Diffusive Type for Gases
and Vapors in Working Environments
• ANSI/ASA S1.4-2014, American National Standard Electroacoustics—Sound Level Meters—Part 1: Specifications
ASTM International, as an ANSI-accredited developer
of consensus standards that are used worldwide, is a significant contributor of standards of interest to IHs. ASTM
standards include the following types:
• Guide: a compendium of information or series of options
that does not recommend a specific course of action
• Practice: a definitive set of instructions for performing one
or more specific operations that does not produce a test
• Specification: an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied
by a material, product, system, or service
• Terminology Standard: a document comprising definitions of terms, explanations of symbols, abbreviations, or
• Test Method: a definitive procedure that produces a test
Of direct interest to IH professionals are the standards
under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee D22 on Air
Quality. The committee has subcommittees on Quality
Control; Workplace Air Quality; Indoor Air; Sampling and
Analysis of Asbestos; Assessment, Sampling, and Analysis
of Microorganisms; and Sampling and Analysis of Lead for
Exposure and Risk Assessment. These subcommittees have
more than 130 current standards that may be of interest to
IHs. Also, ASTM Committee E34 on Occupational Safety
and Health has over 20 standards, primarily for metalworking fluids.
The NTTAA requires that the National Institute of Standards and Technology report to OMB on federal agencies’
use of consensus standards. Within the report, federal
agencies briefly describe their activities undertaken to carry
out provisions described in the NTTAA and OMB Circular
All laboratories accredited by AIHA-LAP are accredited
to a consensus standard, ISO/IEC 17025. AIHA-LAP itself
conforms to ISO 17011, Conformity Assessment—Requirements for Accreditation Bodies Accrediting Conformity
Assessment Bodies, and is recognized as such within the
framework of the International Laboratory Accreditation
Cooperation. One of the requirements for laboratories is to
participate in proficiency testing programs such as the AIHA
Proficiency Analytical Testing Programs, LLC. AIHA PAT
Programs is a proficiency sample provider accredited to ISO
17043, Conformity Assessment—General Requirements for
Proficiency Testing.
The IH professional can benefit from consensus standards in
many ways:
Initial decision making. Guides such as ASTM E1370 for
air sampling and ASTM D7659 for surface sampling describe
options to evaluate when developing a sampling plan.
Similarly, ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 provides selection criteria for
eye- and face-protection devices.
Consistency and reproducibility. Using applicable and
appropriate consensus standards to propose, plan, conduct, document, analyze, report, and archive processes for
IH projects and the resulting data creates a consistent and
reproducible record of the work. This makes the process for
reaching a conclusion and developing recommendations
much easier.
Data quality objectives. Consensus standards can be
used to establish appropriate and consistent data quality
objectives, or DQOs, for the results of sampling and analysis. Guidance for DQOs was developed by EPA (see http:// and has been incorporated
into consensus standards such as ASTM D7659 and in the
widely-used Visual Sample Plan from the Pacific Northwest
National Laboratory (
Data comparability. When consensus standards are used
for sampling and laboratory analysis, comparison of the data
is much easier. Trending and control banding can also be
more consistent across multiple locations or organizations.
Data defensibility. Perhaps most important, the records
of the work and processes used, the analysis of the collected
data, and the conclusions reached are more easily defended
to superiors and clients—and in court—when consensus
standards are applied and followed. Imagine providing testimony that says the work was done according to a consensus
standard; the data were analyzed and reported according to
a consensus standard; and the conclusions reached, recommendations made, and actions taken were according to a
consensus standard. Consistent application and use of consensus standards make the requirements for admissibility
much easier to achieve.
Participation in their development. IH professionals
can participate in the consensus standards process by joining a standards development organization such as ASTM
International or ASSP. Being involved in the creation and
maintenance of national standards presents a valuable
insight into the current state of the profession; the current
thinking on possible changes in the application of standards;
current conduct of government and commercial research,
and other professional work; possible future professional
developments and future changes to the profession; and the
standard-making and standard-amending process. Participation in the standards process results in knowledge of what
is currently happening and a unique view of what is coming.
All could be important for career development and career
the principal of Consultive Services in Virginia Beach, Va.
He is a three-time recipient of the AIHA Edward J. Baier
Technical Achievement Award, chair of the ASTM International Subcommittee D22.12 on Sampling and Analysis of
Lead for Exposure and Risk Assessment, and a member
of the AIHA Sampling and Laboratory Analysis Committee,
serving as chair of the Environmental Lead Subcommittee.
He can be reached at [email protected]
technical advisor at Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, S.C. He is past chair of the AIHA Sampling and
Laboratory Analysis Committee, chair of ASTM International Committee D22 on Air Quality, chair of ISO Technical
Committee 146, Subcommittee 4, on Air Quality General
Aspects, and convener of three ISO working groups. He can
be reached at [email protected]
Send feedback to [email protected]
American National Standards Institute: ANSI/ISEA Z87.1, American National Standard for Occupational and
Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices (2010).
ASTM International: ASTM D7659, Standard Guide for Strategies for Surface Sampling of Metals and Metalloids for
Worker Protection (2015).
ASTM International: ASTM E1370, Standard Guide for Air Sampling Strategies for Worker and Workplace Protection
ASTM International: “Determination of a New Fluorescence Method for the Detection of Beryllium on Surfaces”
in Beryllium: Sampling and Analysis, ASTM Selected Technical Publication 1473 (2006).
ASTM International: Method D7202, “Standard Test Method for Determination of Beryllium in the Workplace by
Extraction and Optical Fluorescence Detection” (2015).
ASTM International: Method D7458, “Standard Test Method for Determination of Beryllium in Soil, Rock,
Sediment, and Fly Ash Using Ammonium Bifluoride Extraction and Fluorescence Detection” (2014).
EPA: “Guidance on Systematic Planning Using the Data Quality Objectives Process,”
Federal Register: Revision of OMB Circular No. A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use
of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities,”
(January 2016).
Google Patents: U.S. Patent No. 6387652B1, “Method of Identifying and Quantifying Specific Fungi and Bacteria,”
Government Publishing Office: Public Law 104-113, (PDF, March 1996).
National Institute of Standards and Technology: “Twentieth Annual Report on Federal Agency Use of Voluntary
Consensus Standards and Conformity Assessment,” (August 2017).
NIOSH: Method 7704, “Beryllium in Air by Fluorometry,” (PDF, December 2015).
NIOSH: Method 9105, “Lead in Dust Wipes by Chemical Spot Test (Colorimetric Screening Method),” http://bit.
ly/niosh9105 (March 2003).
NIOSH: Method 9110, “Beryllium in Surface Wipes by Fluorometry,” (PDF, December
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Visual Sample Plan, “Data Quality Objectives,”
SKC: “Full Disclosure: Wipes for Disclosing the Presence of Lead,” (PDF).
The Synergist: “New Requirements for Labs,” (August 2018).
29 |
Take Control
of Your
A Guide to Planning
Your Career
n today’s competitive working environment, it’s easy for
professionals to feel overwhelmed. Young professionals
in particular face an onslaught of choices, challenges,
and opportunities as they embark on their career, and
it’s difficult to know the best path forward. Whether
we work in industry, academia, or government, the
times when employees moved up the career ladder based
on experience and seniority no longer exist. Today, professionals must look to themselves to grow. Others may help
along the way, but we must actively engage these resources
and take control of our development.
A critical tool for every professional (not just earlycareer professionals) is a formal development plan—a
roadmap that helps ensure you meet your personal and
professional goals. This article will help professionals
at all levels develop, implement, and secure support for
their development plan. Even seasoned professionals
need to review their development plans and their career
If you’re a young professional entering the work force, it
is critical for you to have a direction. Where do you want
to go, and what do you want to do? Without a plan, the
years can easily slip away before you realize that you aren’t
where you thought you would be.
A plan is also critical when talking with your supervisor,
mentors, coaches, and others. If you don’t know where you
would like to go, how can you expect others to help you
along that journey?
As you attempt to define a successful career, consider
the following questions:
• What do you enjoy doing?
| October 2019
wacomka/Getty Images
31 |
• Do you like to work by yourself, or with other people?
• Do you like to do the same thing every day, or do you like
• Do you like to work in one place, or do you prefer to
• Is what you do more important than how much money
you make?
• Do you like to solve problems or implement other people’s ideas?
These are just examples of the questions you should
ponder as you think about your career and your development. Be honest with yourself about your expectations and
what truly matters to you. If money is important, are you
willing to live in an undesirable location to attain the highest salary? Weighting each preference will help you achieve
fulfillment. If you value living in the mountains or being
near family, then chasing a higher salary that takes you
away from these things may not make you happy. Honesty
about what drives you will lead to more career satisfaction
and probably to greater opportunities.
Now that you have decided the where, why, and when,
the next step is the how. Your development plan should
lay out the steps you need to take to develop to the next
level. Don’t make your plan too lofty; focus instead on
incremental steps such as tasks you can complete over a
year or two. Remember that a development plan can be
changed as necessary.
Your plan should encompass three important areas:
technical skills, leadership skills, and management skills.
Where you are in your career will affect how much weight
you give to each of these categories. Many people are so
focused on developing technical competencies that they
fail to add soft skills to their development plan. Soft skills
are essential; people who are highly competent in many
technical areas under the umbrella of environmental
health and safety may struggle to be effective IHs if they
have poor communication skills or lack the ability to sell
their ideas.
In addition to the three types of skills, you should also
consider the three types of action steps: work experience,
mentorship experience, and training. A well-rounded
development plan has balance; for example, you don’t
want to spend one hundred percent of your time training.
Similarly, spending all your time on work experience can
lead to slower development, because all professionals need
continuous learning for career growth.
Lastly, you must decide how to measure success for
each of the items in your development plan. Defining success will help you get support for your plan. Think about
what success will look like once you have completed a
Pathways to Career Success
AIHA provides a number of essential resources for early-career professionals:
IH Professional Pathway. The information at
will help you set goals, develop a plan, and identify sources of support from
the association and colleagues, mentors, and coaches. The IH Professional
Pathway aligns resources available from AIHA with career tracks, knowledge areas, and career stages. An illustrated career roadmap at http://bit.
ly/ihcareermap (PDF) specifies the typical skills in management, technical
areas, and leadership that you will need at each stage of your career.
Core Competencies for the Practice of Industrial/Occupational Hygiene.
Originally published in 2012 and updated in 2018, the Core Competencies is
a digital book that provides guidance for those working as IH technicians,
practitioners, and professionals, and outlines the essential knowledge,
skills, and abilities that an IH should possess. The 2018 edition includes additional technical competencies such as fatigue management and indoor air
quality as well as many of the soft skills that are invaluable to professional
industrial hygienists throughout their career. To download the Core Competencies, visit
Mentoring Program. Early in our careers, a good mentor is crucial. AIHA’s
Mentoring Program matches senior professionals with IHs who are just
starting their professional journeys. Visit for more
information about the program or to participate as a mentor or a mentee.
LightFieldStudios/Getty Images
| October 2019
project or training program. Keep the end goal in mind as
you’re putting together your plan. If you’d like to take a
training course, think about the additional work you can
take on or the opportunities that will be open to you once
the course is complete. Be sure to include a target completion date; this will ensure that you’re always moving
Once you’ve completed your development plan, work with
your supervisors, mentors, and coaches to ensure their support. In most cases your supervisor will have a great deal
of influence on your plan, but stay committed to what you
want to achieve and not what a supervisor thinks you need
to become. We each have our own career path, and the best
policy is to be open in your discussions. A strong leader will
support and guide you on your journey.
If you meet resistance to your plan, take time to understand your supervisor’s point of view. For example, there
may be budget restrictions for outside travel or even a
travel freeze. Always have alternatives in mind for each
aspect of your plan, and don’t let short-term setbacks prevent you from working toward your long-term goals.
In my experience, it’s easiest to obtain support for
skills related to work. Young professionals may underestimate the amount of development they gain from their
involvement in day-to-day activities at work. Treat each
opportunity as a learning event rather than just a to-do
list. Taking time to review what you’re doing can open a
multitude of development opportunities; for example, you
might identify an improved method for completing a task
or a more efficient way to finish a project. These kinds of
discoveries are great development opportunities, and they
show your organization that you have the leadership skills
needed to advance your career. Your supervisor should give
you opportunities to experience new projects and seek new
experiences. Be open to volunteering for new teams and
groups at work: many times, these types of projects open
doors to new experiences and new interactions that help
drive your career development.
For training and development opportunities that have
a cost associated with them, it is critical to have a business case to support your request. Asking a supervisor for
money can be a challenging proposition in today’s economy. You can demonstrate a business need by identifying
an area that is under-supported or doesn’t have a subject
matter expert. If you show that there is a gap in technical
expertise or a risk that needs mitigation, your manager
is more likely to be receptive to your request for training.
When I was a young professional, I identified an opportunity to save my employer a great deal of money by bringing
technical expertise in house rather than paying contractors.
As a result, I secured money for training and travel, which
ultimately led to a move up the career ladder within my
organization. Look for opportunities that benefit both you
and your organization, and have alternatives available so
that you aren’t derailed when the business environment
isn’t ideal.
There are also many volunteer opportunities within
the industrial hygiene community that can supplement
development when you run into headwinds within your
organization. Volunteer groups are a great way to develop
leadership skills and work with colleagues from varying
fields and businesses. For young professionals, volunteering also gives you a chance to interact with more senior
professionals who can help you with your career and your
development plan.
Your development plan shouldn’t sit in a folder collecting
dust. It is a living, breathing document, and as your career
progresses, so should your development plan.
Revisit your plan often. Ask yourself if it is still valid
and useful. Have new opportunities changed the direction
of your development plan? Make sure you’re hitting your
targeted timelines, but remember to be flexible: as with all
things career related, sometimes the path is not what we
Your career development is something you must own yourself. Don’t wait for others to direct your career; you may
end up missing out while waiting for opportunities. But you
should recognize that many people are available to help you
along your path. I encourage you to reach out to the AIHA
volunteers’ community, specifically the Mentoring and
Professional Development and Student and Early Career
Professionals Committees. These groups are focused on
helping IH professionals achieve their career aspirations.
global director of Environmental, Health and Safety at
Hillrom Corporation in Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois and
a Master of Science degree in public health with emphasis
in industrial hygiene from the University of Utah. He has
been an active member of AIHA for over twenty years and is
a past chair of AIHA’s Mentoring and Professional Development Committee.
Send feedback to [email protected]
The Synergist: “Dive Right In: Stepping Up as an Early Career Professional,”
connell (February 2018).
The Synergist: “The IH Route Planner: Navigating a New Career,” (September
The Synergist: “The Newcomer’s Perspective: Building Relationships with Experienced Professionals,” (March 2016).
33 |
••• ALL
SDS and Label Authors
Prepare for the SDS & Label Authoring Registry Exam with AIHA’s recently
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Earn 10.5 contact hours = 1.3 exam qualification points
*Completion of this course does not guarantee that you will pass the Registry Program competency assessment
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Publication of this material does not constitute endorsement by AIHA® or The Synergist®.
The Certified Industrial Hygienist
(CIH), Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), and Environmental
Professional In-Training are now
being offered under the new organizational umbrella called the Board
for Global EHS Credentialing (BGC).
For more information, please visit,
email [email protected],
or call (517) 321-2638.
The dBadge2 is the next generation
of personal noise dosimeters. It is
an ideal tool for a variety of workplace noise assessments with the
added benefit of wireless data
transmission. Measurements from
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remotely without disturbing the
wearers. The intrinsically safe version is perfect for potentially explosive environments. Visit http://bit.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. offers free
pocket sampling guides! To request
a free sampling guide for microbiology, Legionella, silica, or formaldehyde, please call (888) 958-8170
or email [email protected]
A noisy saw or process equipment
requiring personnel to wear hearing protection? Kinetics provides
engineered solutions and products
to isolate noise, eliminating the
need for personal hearing protection, featuring noise reduction up
to 25 dBA. Email [email protected], call 1 (800) 959-1229,
or visit
Nanozen’s personal real-time dust
monitor, DustCount 9000, is now
intrinsically safe and good for respirable, inhalable, and wildfire particulates. Check out OSHA’s FAQ
for crystalline silica: use of
direct-reading instruments to conduct real-time monitoring of respirable dust at
nanozenfaq. For more information,
The Ranger is for surveying at the
facility or in the field. It offers excellent sensitivity to low levels of
alpha, beta, gamma, and x-rays and
has built-in efficiencies for common
isotopes. It has a backlit digital
display, internal memory, selectable alert levels, timer, red count
light, and beeper. Visit http://seintl.
SKC introduces the new 20 to 500
ml/min Low Flow chek-mate Calibrator. Calibrate your low-flow
sample pumps to a NIST- or
UKAS-certified volumetric accuracy of 1 percent of reading (50–500
ml/min). One-button control, no
moving parts (use in any orientation), and continuous moving-average flow readings offer fast,
accurate, convenient calibration.
From asbestos cassettes to preweighed filters, Zefon provides the
OEHS professional with the highest
quality products in air sampling
media. Providing reliable and worry-free air sampling media and
equipment is our commitment to
you and your profession. Zefon is
the Professionals’ Choice. Visit |
Award Recipient
Kathryn Crawford
Honored at AIHce EXP
AIHA’s Safety Committee honored Kathryn Crawford, a PhD
candidate in the Department of
Occupational and Environmental
Health at the University of Iowa,
with this year’s Best Student
Poster Award at AIHce EXP
2019. The committee presents
this award annually to recognize
the best student poster at the
conference based on a topic
related to safety. Crawford, the
2019 award recipient, received
a ribbon and an honorarium
for her poster, “Evaluation
of Hearing Protection Device
Effectiveness for Musicians.”
This poster was selected by a
panel of judges based on its
quality and connection to both
safety and industrial hygiene.
The Noise Committee also
selected Crawford’s poster as
best in show.
Crawford is a certified occupational hearing conservationist
and a member of the IowaIllinois Industrial Hygiene
Student Association.
| October 2019
n late August, AIHA unveiled
its newly designed website, The new
adds content and resources
that are easily accessible for industrial hygiene and occupational health
professionals, government agencies,
researchers, students interested in
worker health and safety, and the
general public. With a modern design
and revamped, intuitive navigation,
visitors can quickly find the information they need. Resources on the new include:
AIHA University. The new AIHA
University at
tion provides cutting-edge education,
training programs, and conference
materials to current and aspiring
industrial hygiene and occupational
and environmental health and safety
AIHA University eLibrary. The
new AIHA University eLibrary grants
visitors unlimited online access to
50 of AIHA’s bestselling publications,
including newly released titles.
Public resources. A new public
resource center offers both professionals and consumers extensive
information on a variety of industrial
hygiene topics and worker safety
issues such as disaster recovery,
mold, noise exposure, environmental issues, respiratory protection,
ergonomics, nanotechnology, indoor
air quality, and incident preparedness and response. Access these
resources at
New member center. The new
AIHA member center gives members access to exclusive information
dashboards and AIHA’s online com-
munity, Catalyst, along with the latest
information on issues affecting IH and
related OEHS professions. A link to
the new member center is available
at the top of every page on
Communication center. A reorganized communication center helps
reporters find valuable information
from AIHA’s press releases, position
statements, and membership letters.
AIHA’s communications team also
answers media inquiries and puts
journalists in touch with IH experts
and resources.
In addition to new information, visitors to will discover some
features that were previously hard
to find, such as free downloads of
white papers, infographics, and more.
Please share feedback about the new
website using the comment form
available at
Board-Related Nominations Deadlines Approaching
AIHA seeks nominations for four Board of Directors
positions that will be vacated in June 2020: vice president, secretary-elect, and two at-large director positions. AIHA’s Board of Directors plays a critical role
in the association. The Board is the “face” of AIHA,
establishes the organization’s strategic direction and
goals, and monitors progress toward reaching those
goals on behalf of the membership. Desired attributes
of Board members include a demonstrated record of
distinguished service and the potential for further contributions; demonstrated performance at the highest
level in the scientific, industrial, and public sectors, or in
educational communities; a commitment to devote the
time necessary to effectively perform Board duties; and
demonstrated expertise in industrial, environmental,
or occupational hygiene.
The deadline for Board nominations is Nov. 1, 2019.
Visit AIHA’s website at to find
electronic submission forms for all positions. Please email
AIHA at [email protected] with questions.
AIHA is also seeking volunteers to serve on the 2020
Board Nominating Committee. AIHA is using an open
application process to add four at-large members to the
Board Nominating Committee. The association seeks
active, full members of AIHA who are committed to helping AIHA find the best nominees for Board positions.
Self-nominations will be accepted. The deadline for applications is Oct. 10, 2019. Visit to
learn about submitting applications for the Board Nominating Committee.
New Dates Added for 2019 Road Course
AIHA road courses help industrial
hygiene and occupational and
environmental health and safety
professionals build a solid foundation of knowledge in the field of IH
with basic and intermediate-level
courses led by industry experts.
The courses are held near Columbus, Ohio, and provide face-to-face
training in a small group setting.
New dates have been added in
November for one of AIHA’s road
courses, “Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene.”
AIHA’s intermediate three-day
course, “Exposure and Chemical
Monitoring - Beyond IH Fundamentals,” will be held Oct. 21–23,
2019. This course is designed to
provide additional training and
knowledge in IH chemical monitoring through group exercises
and discussion. Learn more on
AIHA’s website at
Further details on AIHA’s face-toface training opportunities are available at
Fundamentals of Industrial
Hygiene is a four-day course
designed for those who are new to
IH or who have newly acquired IH
responsibilities, and for those who
need a refresher. Join AIHA Nov.
4–7, 2019, to gain exposure to the
broad field of IH through sampling
and workshop sessions, hands-on
lab experiences, demo sessions,
and problem-solving exercises.
More information about the course
is available at
AIHce EXP 2019 Session Recordings Are Available
Get access to curated, peer-reviewed educational content from
AIHce EXP 2019 with AIHce OnDemand session recordings, which
are now available in the AIHA Marketplace. AIHce OnDemand brings
the best of the conference directly
to you. Choose from topic bundles
or individual sessions that best
meet your needs and interests, and
view session recordings using your
computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Topic bundles include sessions
on emergency preparedness and
response, exposure assessment,
industrial hygiene program man-
agement, risk assessment, and
safety. New industry bundles
group together sessions focused
on construction, healthcare, and
Learn more about AIHce OnDemand offerings at
Contribute to the Future of Industrial Hygiene
The industrial hygiene profession
needs a pipeline of highly trained and
skilled professionals if it is to continue to meet the needs of a global
economy. The purpose of the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation
is to provide scholarships to the best
and the brightest to ensure this critical need is being met. Since 1982,
AIHF has distributed more than $2
million to more than 700 students
studying IH and related disciplines
at fifty-plus schools and universities.
These scholarships have enabled
talented students to complete their
education and have encouraged the
most promising scholars to enter
and remain in the IH profession.
Contributions to AIHF are tax-deductible, as provided by law. Donating to AIHF will help ensure that
deserving students preparing for
careers in IH will receive scholarships. Detailed information about
making a donation or a pledge can
be found on the AIHF website at
AIHA webinar: “The Role of Context
in Ethical Decision-Making for the
Industrial Hygienist.” Visit http://bit.
JUNE 1–3, 2020
AIHce EXP 2020 in Atlanta, Ga. Visit
Dates and Deadlines
AIHA webinar: “Exposure Assessment and Engineering Control
Evaluations: Lessons Learned
from Additive Manufacturing Field
Studies.” Visit
AIHA’s “Fundamentals of Industrial
Hygiene” course in Westerville, Ohio.
For a complete list of events, visit
73nd Annual Northeast Industrial
Hygiene Conference and Exposition in Princeton, N.J., presented
by NJAIHA. Visit
AIHA Accepting Proposals
for Projects, Training in
Developing Countries
The Micro-Grants Subcommittee of
AIHA’s International Affairs Committee
is accepting applications for funding
for international projects and training
in developing countries through Dec.
31, 2019. The IAC’s Emerging Economy
Projects Fund was established to
increase understanding of and build
capacity for occupational hygiene in
developing economies around the world.
Learn more on AIHA’s website at http://
Coming Soon: AIHA
Buyer’s Guide
The 2020 AIHA Buyer’s Guide will be
mailed together with the November
issue of The Synergist. Keep the Buyer’s
Guide handy for easy access to information on products and services that
you need in your daily work. The Buyer’s
Guide is also available online at http://
AIHA Publishes Strategic
Framework for Enterprise
Risk Management
AIHA’s new strategic framework for
enterprise risk management establishes
a baseline for what risk means within
the sphere of safety and environmental
health. This new framework is intended
to help industrial hygiene professionals
tap into the fundamental definitions,
concepts, methodologies, and communications strategies necessary to participate in organizations’ enterprise risk
management processes. This resource
was developed by subject matter
experts from a variety of committees,
agencies, and organizations, and is
intended for professionals moving into
more strategic leadership positions.
The new framework is available for
purchase at
work. Many of AIHA’s other frameworks
are available for free at
37 |
From “Severe Pulmonary Disease
Associated with Using
E-Cigarette Products:”
“Although the etiology of
pulmonary disease is
undetermined, epidemiologic
investigations in affected
states are ongoing to better
characterize the exposures
[and] demographic, clinical, and
laboratory features and behaviors
of patients.”
CDC: Health Alert Network Advisory:
“Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated
with Using E-Cigarette Products,” http:// (August 2019).
CDC: Investigation Notice: “Outbreak of
Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated
with Using E-cigarette Products,” http:// (September 2019).
CDC: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report: “Notes from the Field: Use of
Electronic Cigarettes and Any Tobacco
Product Among Middle and High School
Students — United States, 2011–2018,”
(November 2018).
In late August, CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced an investigation of
an outbreak of severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarette products. Together
with state and local health departments and other clinical and public health partners, CDC and
FDA are investigating serious incidents of respiratory disease that have affected both youth and
adults across the country. As this issue of The Synergist went to press, the agencies had not yet
identified a cause of the outbreak but believed that the lung illnesses were likely associated with
a chemical exposure. According to CDC, all patients had reported using e-cigarette products.
Many had reported using e-cigarette products with liquids containing cannabinoid products
such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.
Information about the outbreak appears below. The numbers below are current as of
Sept. 6, 2019.
Number of possible cases of lung illness associated with the
use of e-cigarette products.
Number of states that reported possible cases of this severe
lung disease.
Number of deaths associated with this outbreak. Deaths
were confirmed in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and
CDC: “Statement from CDC Director
Robert R. Redfield, MD, and Acting FDA
Commissioner Ned Sharpless, MD,
on Federal and State Collaboration
to Investigate Respiratory Illnesses
Reported After Use of E-Cigarette
(August 2019).
The approximate number, in millions, of
middle and high school students who
reported that they used e-cigarettes in 2018.
AIHA: “Electronic Cigarettes in the
Indoor Environment,”
aihaecigpaperrev (PDF, 2019).
The Synergist: “Electronic Cigarettes
and the IH: Updated White Paper
Covers Latest Research,”
syn1905f2 (May 2019).
| October 2019
Percentage of high school
students who reported
current e-cigarette use in
2018 compared with the
percentage in 2011.