Speaker: IHs Need to Catch ISO Train

Industrial hygienists are in danger of being left behind because of their failure to participate in new standards being developed by organizations such as ISO.

Industrial hygienists are in danger of being left behind because of their failure to participate in new standards being developed by organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), according to Thea Dunmire, an industrial hygienist who is the principal at Enlar Compliance Services Inc.

"The train is already leaving the station, whether we want it to or not," said Dunmire, who spoke Monday at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition being in Orlando, Fla.

In her talk, titled "Management Model for the New Millennium," Dunmire asserted that, in the future, industrial hygiene programs will be increasingly affected by organizations like ISO and the American National Standards Institute.

In September, Ford and General Motors announced that they will require their suppliers to certify that they have an environmental management system (EMS) that conforms to ISO 14001, the EMS standard.

Other companies, consumers and investors are increasingly including environmental issues in deciding which firms they want to do business with, according to Dunmire.

The integration of environmental concerns with safety and health management is another trend in which Dunmire believes industrial hygienists need to be aware. Even though ISO 14001 was not originally intended to address occupational health and safety management, most companies that pursue IS) 14001 certification decide to use the process to go ahead and integrate their safety, industrial hygiene, quality, and environmental programs.

If they want to have a voice in the management of their programs in the new millennium, industrial hygienists need to understand 14001, she concluded.

by Jim Nash

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