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Hygienists define top priorities

Here are the top ten public policy issues of interest to environmental health and safety pros, according to a poll of American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) members:

  • Emergency response / Homeland Security - Assigning roles and responsibilities for EHS pros.

  • Updating permissible exposure limits (PELs) - A legislative fix is closer to being proposed.

  • Mold exposure, inspection and remediation - The media hype, lawsuits and rush to regulate puts a premium on sound scientific data and expertise.

  • OSHA reform / third-party workplace reviews - Republicans in Congress continue to be interested in the idea of privatizing or contracting out certain inspection functions.

  • Ergonomics - Training and technical assistance, not standards-setting, will be the national focus for the next several years.

  • Indoor air quality - Beyond mold, this is a long-standing issue for industrial hygienists.

  • Professional recognition / Title protection - One of the top policy issues since 1993.

  • Small business assistance - Can a program be developed with OSHA to provide small businesses with pro bono consulting help?

  • Injury and illness prevention plans - OSHA had dropped the idea of a standard, but some states have requirements and voluntary guidelines, in the form of management systems, that are becoming popular.

  • Laboratory accreditation - Accredited laboratories are the best way to ensure that test samples from food facilities, workplaces and homes are analyzed accurately.
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