OSHA, NIOSH Receive Ginormous Congratulations

AIHA and ACGIH asked AIHce 2011 attendees to sign a giant "congratulations" card at the event last week in Portland, Ore. The groups were hoping for 5,000 signatures.

To help celebrate this year's 40th anniversary of the OSH Act, AIHce organizers set up a giant congratulatory card outside the doors of the expo hall at AIHce 2011 last week in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center, asking all attendees to stop by and sign it. The goal was to amass 5,000 John Hancocks.

Although AIHA and ACGIH released no official tally of the signatures, it had to be close. By the time the card was presented to OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels at the start of his May 18 General Session presentation, the card showed very little white space--and a lot of exclamation marks. According to AIHA, more than 5,500 industry professionals attended the event.

Presenting the oversized, foldable sentiment, AIHA President Michael T. Brandt said, "We look forward to another 40 years of progress in protecting worker health and safety and their families."

Accepting the gift, Michaels joked that he and NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard would have to work out a joint custody arrangement for the card. His presentation, which centered on OSHA's initiatives, progress, and planned future activity, included a film clip commemorating the agency's successes over the years, including the 1974 vinyl chloride standard, the 1978 cotton dust standard, and the 1983 hazard communication standard. "OSHA standards stop jobs from killing workers, and they don't kill jobs either," Michaels said. He added that, on the contrary, OSHA standards have a positive effect on the economy, and that compliance with the agency's standards historically costs far less for companies than OSHA's own forecasts due to technological innovation.

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