Monday, December 14, 2009

Results of Northeast Regional Industrial Hygiene Conference

United States Mint- Philadelphia, PAImage via Wikipedia
On December 4, 2009, we attended the Northeast Regional Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) sponsored the Philadelphia Section of the AIHA. The title of the conference was "The Business of EHS – A New Team Dynamic" for the list of speakers and their biographies visit The program was professional and interesting, though the focus of the presenters was on manufacturing and industrial applications. This left very little for someone focused in construction safety or indoor environmental issues. The presentations on the environmental health and safety (EHS) perspectives on the impact of the global supply chain, and business metrics (building EHS value and cost-benefit analysis for EHS) were advanced level presentations. Our favorite presentation was the first one on “Staying Safe While Making Money” by Ms. Maureen Modica, CIH, CSP of the United States Mint.
Mr. Aaron Trippler’s “Washington Buzz” presentation during lunch reinforced what we heard from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) representative at the PDC (see our Wednesday, November 25, 2009 blog). OSHA’s current budget is up 10% leading to hiring of 200 new inspectors for enforcement. Other interesting news was NIOSH’s focus on nanotech, risk management, and aerosol transmissible diseases indicates new research information will be available on these issues in the future.
The vendor exposition hall was very good and we thank 3M for providing us with two pair of safety glasses for our safety classes(one called Lightvision 2-LED Plano Eyewear (debating using this for work around the house) and the other called Nitrous CCS with hearing protection providing a noise reduction rating of 25 decibels, both excellent ideas). We also thank Nilfisk-Advance America Inc. for providing us with a new vacuum cleaner catalog for our asbestos classes.
Though the regional this year was interesting, the lack of a balanced program left individuals with our background in construction safety and indoor air quality with very little to bring back home. Some of you would ask why attend a meeting that had so little to offer, the topics were publicized ahead of time. Well first, Mr. Trippler’s presentation always gives us an idea on the pulse of what is happening in Washington, DC on the environmental safety and health front. Second the vendor exposition hall is always interesting to see what services and products the various companies in the area are offering. Saving the best for last, the most important reason is to network and meet with old friends and acquaintances and meet new people who are in different areas/regions of the industrial hygiene field. It is a lot of fun catching up with people you may only see at this event. It was a pleasure seeing and discussing different issues with Mr. Jack Springsteen, Dr. Jack Caravanos, Ms. Amy Gordon, Mrs. Debra Gul Haffner, and many others. The special treat this year was talking with Mr. Dave Robbins, who was in town from Alaska. Though the regional, this year, did not provide much information for the construction and indoor environment people, the networking opportunities are probably the best reasons to attend the Regional each year.
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