OSHA, AIHA Collaborate on Injury and Illness Prevention Programs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) will work together to help prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace while sharing best practices and technical knowledge in many areas, including ergonomics.

"OSHA and the AIHA have always enjoyed a fruitful, close working relationship," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw, who is a past president of AIHA. "This alliance will bring us even closer in an important partnership to help reduce ergonomic hazards in the workplace, as well as to expand our already close cooperation in the field of occupational safety and health."

Under the terms of the alliance, one of many OSHA has announced in recent weeks with various industry and professional associations, OSHA and AIHA will work together to provide AIHA members with information and guidance to help reduce and prevent employee exposure to ergonomic hazards, and to reach out to association members with specifics on developing, implementing and improving ergonomic programs.

AIHA members' worksites will be encouraged to participate in OSHA's cooperative programs, such as compliance assistance, the Voluntary Protection Program, the Consultation Program and SHARP. AIHA members will also be afforded opportunities to mentor and assist OSHA personnel as they proceed with professional certifications.

"AIHA recognizes the value of continuing to collaborate with OSHA and other parties in order to cultivate healthy and safe American workplaces," said AIHA President Gayla J. McCluskey, CIH, CSP, ROH, QEP. "We look forward to strengthening our already solid relationship with OSHA to meet these challenges head-on," she added.

OSHA and AIHA will also promote and share information on best practices with others in the occupational health and safety profession. Both organizations will participate in forums and roundtable discussions on ergonomic issues and also examples of hazard recognition strategies and analytical tools that support solutions to ergonomic hazards. Finally, OSHA and AIHA will assist association members with the development and delivery of training and education programs for reducing and eliminating ergonomic hazards in the workplace.

A team of OSHA and AIHA representatives will meet at least quarterly to develop an action plan, determine working procedures, and identify roles and responsibilities of participants.

For more information on the agreement, including a full copy, please visit www.aiha.org and choose the "Government Affairs" tab.

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