AIHA Wants to Know: Are You Safe at Work?

Sept. 4, 2002
Each worker assumes that they will return home at the end of their shift as healthy as they were at the beginning. For some, that will not be the case.

When Americans went back to work after Labor Day, approximately 50 American workers were injured on the job every minute of the day and almost 17 died, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The good news is that due to changes in the workplace and the diligence of occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) professionals, that number has dropped by half since 1970.

"Taking care of workers, and the surrounding community, is the main objective of OEHS professionals," said AIHA President Gayla McCluskey, CIH, CSP, ROH, QEP. "Our job is to protect working mothers, fathers, sons and daughters; making sure they live and work in a safe environment."

Industrial Hygienists deal with the health and safety challenges facing people everywhere. Some of the issues they tackle include indoor air quality, mold, asbestos, radiation and hazardous waste materials.

"Industrial hygienists work on the frontlines in day-to-day and disaster situations," explained McCluskey. "They take air, water and surface samples and test for the presence of harmful chemicals, particles or bacteria. They evaluate dangers from machinery in factories, advise on fall protection in construction sites and many other hazards most people don't think about. Industrial hygiene is a blend of science, good judgment, creativity and human interaction."

For further information on industrial hygiene or AIHA, visit www.aiha.org.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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