Statement from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA):
Tonight, President Donald J. Trump delivered his State of the Union address, honoring one of the great traditions of our nation that peacefully brings together the three separate, co-equal branches of government for a shared moment that celebrates American freedom and democracy, with much of the nation watching.
During this moment, the President laid out his vision of an America united, proclaiming the strength of the economy, and speaking to the importance of safety and security. However, it is with tragic irony that the President seems to have missed a critical – but often silent – problem that impacts his priorities of economic growth and national security: America's workers are not safe at their jobs. Healthcare, construction, manufacturing, law enforcement, and emergency response – all of these sectors and more are affected. Many of these professionals go to work fearing an injury, illness, or worse. Their fear is well-founded.
Each day, approximately 150 people will die, and millions more throughout the year will suffer a nonfatal injury or illness from work. While America's leaders should be raising the alarm when enough people to fill a football stadium die each year from their jobs, far too many are silent. Worse, President Trump and others are actively rolling back hard-fought regulations and seeking to cut funding for key government programs that protect workers.
This is not the direction our country should go in. We can – and must – do more to protect our workers.
This year, AIHA unveiled a 15-point Public Policy Agenda that lays out a vision with concrete actions to address some of our nation's most important worker health and safety issues. While the President is right to celebrate our economic and other successes, American workers need more than just a paycheck. Opportunities abound to make progress on worker health and safety. There is much we can do today.
As President Trump said, the state of our union is strong, and he readily acknowledges that much of that strength is thanks to our workers. With that in mind, together, let's take the next step. Let's make this the year of the American worker. AIHA is ready to help. Let's get to work."
Founded in 1939, AIHA is a nonprofit organization serving professionals dedicated to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control and confirmation of environmental stressors in or arising from the workplace that may result in injury, illness or impairment, or affect the well-being of workers and members of the community. AIHA provides comprehensive education programs and other products and services that help its members maintain the highest professional standards.
More than half of AIHA's nearly 8,500 members are certified industrial hygienists, and many hold other professional designations. AIHA serves as a resource for those employed in the industrial, consulting, academic and government sectors. For more information, please visit www.aiha.org .