AIHce: Fulwiler, Brown, Others Honored by AIHA for Outstanding Contributions to Inudstrial Hygiene

EHS Today contributors Richard Fulwiler and Garrett Brown were among those honored by the American Industrial Hygiene Association at the opening session of the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo in Portland, Ore., on May 16.

Those honored and their awards include:

• Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award: Lauralynn T. McKernan, ScD, CIH
• Distinguished Service Award: Richard D. Fulwiler, ScD, CIH, CSHM
• Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award: Roy M. Buchan, DrPH, CIH
• Kusnetz Award: Sampa D. Ostrem, CIH
• Alice Hamilton Award: Christine L. Laszcz-Davis, MS, CIH, REA
• Social Responsibility Award: Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network (Garrett Brown)
• Yant Award: Trevor L. Ogden, BSc, PhD
• 2010 AIHA Bestseller: Anthony Martinez, CIH, CSP
• 2010 Critic’s Choice Award: Bernard D. Silverstein, CIH

Established in 2009, the Social Responsibility Award is presented to an individual, entity, group or organization that works inside organizations to develop and promote practical solutions to social responsibility issues related to industrial hygiene or environmental health and safety issues.

This year, the award was accepted by Garrett Brown on behalf of the Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network, which is a volunteer network of 400 occupational health and safety professionals who have placed their names on a resource list to provide information, technical assistance and on-site instruction regarding workplace hazards in the 3,000 "maquiladora" (foreign-owned assembly) plants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Network members, including industrial hygienists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, occupational physicians and nurses, health educators and others, donate their time and expertise to create safer and healthier working conditions for the 1million maquiladora workers employed by primarily U.S.-owned transnational corporations along Mexico's northern border from Matamoros to Tijuana. Since 2000, the network has expanded its work to include projects in Indonesia, China and Central America.

The Distinguished Service Award, presented to Rick Fulwiler, was established in 1978 to recognize distinguished service in the advancement of industrial hygiene and to recognize unique technical contributions to the aims and goals of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. The recipient must be a member of AIHA. The basis for selection includes accomplishments with excellence in any aspect of industrial hygiene. Fulwiler also received the award in 1999.

“The first thought that comes to mind” when receiving an award of this caliber “is you do feel humbled and you do feel honored and you think that others deserve it more than you do,” said Fulwiler, who has been working in industrial hygiene “for 49 years and 6 months.”

In his nearly half-century in the profession, he notes that the significant changes in the practice of industrial hygiene closely follow what happens in the United States.

“There’s a reduced emphasis on manufacturing in the United States and an increased emphasis on global practice,” says Fulwiler. “Ergonomics has come a long way and taken a big place [in occupational health and safety practice] and that reflects the fact that we’ve become a service-based economy.”

One of the greatest disappointments of the past 50 years “has been the inability of OSHA to come with a way to update permissible exposure limits,” he adds.

“You know what’s interesting?” he asks. “From 1961 to 1971, I spent about 0.01 percent of my time on regulatory compliance. From 1971, regulatory compliance became the major driver of EHS efforts.”

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