TheAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)has identified what will be the top occupational and environmental health and safety issues over the next two years, with permissible exposure limits (PELs) ranked high on the list.

Based on its biennial membership survey, the AIHA named updating PELs – some of which haven’t been revised since the 1960s – as a top issue for AIHA members for 2011-12. “The occupational health and safety profession considers PELs to be one of the most basic tools needed to protect workers,” according to a statement relesed by AIHA, which went on to note that, “Science in this area has matured, but the PELs have not. AIHA continues to work with OSHA, Congress and others to reach a consensus on the best way to update the PELs.”

The Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2) currently being developed by OSHA was also named as a top concern, as was the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)/Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), which AIHA calls “a major part of improving hazard communication.”

Ergonomics, Noise/Hearing, Risk Assessment and Combustible Dust were other issues noted in the OSHA category. Additional categories centering on federal and state legislation, the Environmental Protection Agency and Association issues, which covered topics like standards and professional ethics.

For more information on the biennial public policy survey results, visit the AIHA website