AIHce: AIHA, ACGIH Plan New Strategic Alliance

During the opening session at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo (AIHce) in Toronto on June 1, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) announced plans to form a new strategic alliance designed to help the two organizations work together more closely.

AIHA President Lindsay E. Booher, CIH, CSP, and ACGIH Chair Jimmy L. Perkins, Ph.D., CIH, announced the proposed alliance while addressing the crowd at the general opening session of AIHce. Booher said the alliance will provide both organization with “appropriate autonomy while simultaneously giving us the opportunity to share resources.” They stressed, however, that the alliance is neither a merger not a step toward unification.

Booher and Perkins said the alliance can help assure long-term sustainability for both organizations, protect worker health and engage all professionals. As a result of the alliance, AIHA will administer a single, inclusive membership organization while ACGIH will focus on practice standards and guidelines. Both organizations, meanwhile, will share services that will manage costs, drive efficiencies and avoid duplication of their efforts.

According to Perkins, the alliance will help ACGIH remain sustainable. “We believe that today, more than ever, ACGIH and AIHA must do more to work in a more strategic manner in order to ensure that our resources are utilized to the greatest degree possible,” he said. “This will ensure the future success of industrial hygiene.”

On May 31, the AIHA and ACGIH boards approved a summary of principles for the alliance and agreed that the alliance is the key to both organizations’ long-term success. In order for the alliance to take effect, ACGIH requires a two-thirds vote of its regular members to “shift the nature of the ACGIH structure.” There is no vote required of AIHA membership, and there is no substantial change anticipated in AIHA’s mission, vision, structure or governance.

ACGIH and AIHA seek input their members and will offer town hall-style meetings by conference call, blogging, podcasting and other options to discuss the alliance. In addition, a special “Ask the Leadership” session will take place June 2 at AIHce from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in room 705 South in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The boards also established a temporary Web site to answer questions and provide a form for feedback and input.

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