Getting the Most Out of AIHce 2012

A sparkling educational program is a highlight of the AIHA/ACGIH annual conference June 16-21 in Indianapolis.

This year's AIHce meeting features a cornucopia of worthwhile sessions about some of today’s hottest health and safety issues. (The locale won't be scorching, however. The average daily high and low temperatures in Indianapolis are 83 and 63, respectively, during mid-June, when the meeting takes place).

Both OSHA chief Dr. David Michaels (from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 18) and NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard (10:30 a.m. to noon June 19) are scheduled to take questions during Ask the Expert sessions at the conference. NIOSH in particular is participating in several highlight sessions, including the NIOSH Special Session (11 a.m. to noon June 19) with several experts from the agency discussing its current review of its cancer classifications and Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) policies. After the Special Session, a facilitated luncheon discussion will be held in the expo from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. so attendees can offer their input about the draft policies; the luncheon discussion seating is first come, first served.

Other noteworthy sessions taking place at AIHce include these:

Monday, June 18:

  • Session 203, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: What is 85/3, and Why Noise is More Hazardous Than You Think: Speakers discuss the 85/3 concept, which encourages companies to adopt the concept of an 85 dBA criterion level for eight-hour exposures and a 3 dB doubling rate.
  • Session 303, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Gearing Up for the Revised NFPA 70E (2012 Edition) Electrical Safety/Arc Flash Requirements.
  • SS 001, 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Closer to Spock’s Tricorder – The Latest in Real-Time Detection. Seven speakers are scheduled to make presentations in this symposium about real-time detection systems and instruments, such as miniature mass spectrometers for field use.

Tuesday, June 19:

  • General Session, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.: NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard gives the keynote address.
  • RT 216, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Welding Industrial Survey, Fume Generation and Characterization Studies. A roundtable features experts discussing fume generated by various types of welding and methods for minimizing exposure to hexavalent chromium.
  • RT 217, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: GHS -– The New OSHA Hazard Communication. Experts from OSHA, Health Canada, and the private sector discuss the new OSHA final rule, how small businesses can comply with it, and how GHS is being implemented in Canada and elsewhere around the world.
  • 12th Annual Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture for Outstanding EHS Investigative Reporting, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C., discusses his examination of fatalities at OSHA Voluntary Protection Program sites and also investigative reporting on issues ranging from combustible dust to occupational illnesses.

Wednesday, June 20:

  • General Session, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.: Imperial Sugar Co. President/CEO John C. Sheptor gives the day’s keynote address.
  • Donald E. Cummings Award Lecture, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: Franklin Mirer, Ph.D, CIH, of the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College discusses the future of occupational health and safety and industrial hygiene, suggesting how the IH profession can “extend our reach” by focusing on health care, high-risk service sector occupations, and small workplaces.

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