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Contemporary Topics In Industrial Hygiene Practice (PDC)

  • 08/16/2023
  • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • CU Boulder Environmental Health and Safety Center 1000 Regent Drive, Boulder CO 80309
  • 0


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The AIHA RMS has invited Bob Emery and Scott Patlovich, from the University of Texas Health Science Center, and the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, a NIOSH ERC, to present a professional development course on August 16th, 2023.  Bob and Scott will be discussing a multitude of topics relevant to Industrial Hygienists and Health and Safety Professionals practicing in a modern world.  The presentation format will consist of separate presentations intended to drive discussion between attendees and provide 5 hours of contact time for continuing education credits.

The Education and Programs Committee has selected the following presentations to provide a unique learning opportunity with local section members and two leaders in the field of Occupational Health and Safety. 

The PDC will be held from 9 AM – 3 PM .

Sign up soon as space is limited for this unique event.

Communicating Risk and Correcting Misinformation in a New Era 

Looking towards the future, individuals will most certainly continue to experience apprehensions about possible exposures to various substances both in the workplace and in the environment. And these apprehensions can be exacerbated by previously held beliefs, intensive media coverage, and uncontrolled internet postings. In the absence of counterbalancing factual information presented in ways individuals can readily comprehend, sometimes poor decision making and the wasting of precious public health resources can ensue. So what should the industrial hygiene and safety professions be doing to address situations where incorrect or misinformation abounds?  This presentation discusses the current evidence-based information on risk communications and the techniques that can be employed to address situations involving misinformation.

Effectively Managing the “Underexposed” 

Consider this: of all the personnel monitoring you have ever been involved with in your career, how many results exceeded the regulatory or recommended exposure limit? Based on the responses to this question from literally hundreds of health & safety professionals from across the country, the consensus answer appears to be in the range of 2 to 5%. This anecdotal feedback suggests that 95 to 98% of the individuals monitored may have received some amount of exposure, but at levels below any recommended or established limit. So while this implies that most of the exposure situations we monitor are not in excess of any accepted limits, experience tells us that a subpopulation of these individuals can still harbor concerns and apprehensions their exposures. If such concerns are mismanaged or ignored, the situation can result in huge losses in terms of decreased productivity, frivolous complaints, regulatory inspections, and possible lawsuits. Hence, the proper management of the “under-exposed” is an essential health & safety job function, yet these skills are rarely addressed in our academic preparation. In this presentation, the variables associated with typical “under-exposed” situations will be discussed, and then the recognized tenets of effective risk communications will be applied to describe ways in which the situations might be managed so that worker concerns can be addressed and impacts on productivity are kept to a minimum. Ample time will be provided for participant questions, comments, and discussion.

  The Effective Display of Safety Data to Achieve Desired Decision Making 

The collection of safety data describing program activities and outcomes has become a necessity to justify the continued allocation of necessary resources. But programs often do not display this data compellingly, and hence desired decisions may not be reached. In this session, the basic tenants of effective data displays will be presented, drawing from the works of recognized experts in the field of information visualization. This information will be followed by a series of real world data display before-and-after “make overs” to demonstrate the effectiveness of the techniques described. Ample time will be allocated for participant questions and discussion.

Discovering the World of “Digital Safety”: Amazing Tools Available at Your Fingertips That You Might Not Have Known About 

With the current proliferation of portable electronic devices (e.g. smartphones), safety professionals now have a myriad of helpful safety tools available at their fingertips.  It is difficult to find a systematic unbiased summary and catalog of these tools that are actually helpful to health and safety practitioners, so the sharing of these tools is often done haphazardly or through word of mouth.  Also, due to our very busy schedules, only a few of us have taken the time to download and understand how these tools can help in our everyday work and personal lives. This presentation discusses the various tools that safety professionals will find useful to have loaded on their portable devices and will briefly demonstrate their utility.  A useful list of websites that can be accessed for tool downloading will be provided. Ample time will be allotted to discussion, and technical assistance with possible downloads will be available.

Ethical Decision-Making Tools for Enhancing Organizational Safety Culture

Recent investigations of several tragic events have repeatedly identified the absence of a culture of safety as a common contributing factor.  An organization’s safety culture is a collective reflection of individual decisions made by its workforce, each carrying with them ethical implications. Safety culture, good or bad, is the sum product of many individual ethical decisions, yet the notion of ethical safety decision-making is not often discussed. This presentation describes various ethical dilemmas safety professionals can encounter, and how the decisions that are made can impact an organization’s overall safety culture. A set of ethical decision-making tools will be presented, along with a suggested path forward for actually improving safety culture within an organization.

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