AIHce 2009 Highlights

The theme for this year's conference is "Discoveries Beyond Borders," with 151 technical sessions on the schedule in 40 tracks, 80 Professional Development Courses, and an impressive lineup of keynote speakers.

A decade ago, AIHA and ACGIH expected 10,000 professionals from all parts of the globe to flock to Toronto, Canada for industrial hygiene's big annual event. Things are sure to be different this year, but the educational program for the 70th anniversary American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Expo (AIHce) is big and first class.

AIHce 2009 takes place May 30-June 4 in Toronto, a city the conference last visited in 1999.

"In a down economy, quality is even more important," notes the Advance Program for AIHce 2009, stating the associations' awareness of the particular challenges they face in the current climate and their strategy for meeting and exceeding them in this "City of Creativity."

The theme for this year's conference is "Discoveries Beyond Borders," with 151 technical sessions on the schedule (21 more than last year) in 40 tracks, 80 Professional Development Courses, and an impressive lineup of keynote speakers.

Gems from the Educational Program
Educational sessions and speeches of note at AIHce 2009 include these:

  • "Eclectic Topics in Safety, Confined Space, and Construction," June 2, 2-5 p.m. This session is scheduled to feature nine presentations, including "Evaluation and Redevelopment of Confined Space Entry Programs in a Utility Plant: Utilizing OSHA Standard 1910.146(c)(7)," and others on preventing falls and silica exposures of Latino construction workers, controlling asbestos exposure during drywall removal with asbestos joint compound, and comparing quantitative and qualitative approaches for evaluating EHS hazards at a pharmaceutical plant.
  • "Current Topics in Cranes and Rigging," June 1, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Four presenters will discuss crane-related deaths and injuries in the construction industry, new crane and rigging regulations, certification of crane operators, and safety of rigging equipment.
  • This year's Jeffrey S. Lee Lecture, June 1, 12:30-1:30 p.m. David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, author of "Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health," will discuss the strategy of "manufacturing uncertainty" and how it affects public health. Michaels is director of The Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy, research professor and interim chairman of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services, Washington, D.C.
  • "Response and Recovery Work Related to Hurricane Ike Along the Texas Gulf Coast, Including Microbial Monitoring Results and Specific Site Assessment Consulting Services Poster Session 402: Emergency Prepardness/Response, June 1, 2-4 p.m. The presenters, from Houston's CIH Inc., describe IH sampling methodology and results from assessments of hospitals, outpatient and day surgical centers, schools, and public and commercial buildings after Hurricane Ike struck the region in September 2008.
  • "C. difficile and MRSA: Environmental Impact and Proper Sampling Techniques," June 1, 2-4 p.m. J. Dell'Aringa of EMSL Analytical (St. Louis, MO) will discuss the fundamental characteristics, growth requirements, and survival mechanisms, and sampling techniques for two organisms -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) -- implicated nosocomial and community-acquired infections.
  • "A National Surveillance System for Blood/Body Fluid Exposures and Influenza Immunization Among Health Care Personnel," June 1, 2-4 p.m. CDC personnel discuss a new CDC health care personnel component developed within its Web-based surveillance system, the National Health Care Safety Network. The Safety component allows participating facilities to enter data about individual occupational blood/body fluid exposure events and exposure management.

About the Authors

Ronnie Rittenberry is Managing Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

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