Today's AIHce Sessions Hit Timely Issues

A "General Topics in Occupational Safety" starting at 2 p.m. includes a critical look at the Macondo well blowout, and at 10:30 a.m. several Certified Health Physicists discuss radiation hazards in light of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Some of the educational sessions taking place today at AIHce 2011, the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo in Portland, Ore., are drawn directly from current or recent crises. Others, including the Jeffrey S. Lee Lecture by Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, CIH, current chair of co-sponsor ACGIH, are sure to be of great interest; Brosseau is a former chair of the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances Committee, and her lecture topic is "Occupational Exposure Guidelines – Why Process is as Important as Science."

The Lee lecture is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and last one hour. Brosseau is an associate professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health in Minneapolis.

The "General Topics in Safety" session beginning at 2 p.m. includes eight brief presentations about subjects ranging from restaurant workers' slips and falls to fatalities among New York City construction workers and the safety culture of service organizations. One of the presentations in this session is titled "The Macondo Well Blowout — Safety System Failure from Design to Catastrophe."

The ongoing nuclear power crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant is the subject of a 10:30 a.m. presentation added late to the program. "You are probably the person in your organization most knowledgeable about radiation hazards," the description of this event states. "After the recent events in Japan, you probably want to know more about nuclear accidents, radiation, and human risk. This session presents experts on the field. At this session several of AIHA's more–experienced Certified Health Physicists will describe tools that increase your ability to address such questions. They include Ray Johnson, who provides radiation safety audits and training to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Bob Gallaghar, who participated in the emergency response after the Chernobyl incident."

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