Upon hearing of the death of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) offered its condolences to the Kennedy family and commented that occupational health and safety has lost a strong supporter who will be hard to replace, according to an association press release. AIHA President Cathy L. Cole, CIH, CSP, said that throughout the years Senator Kennedy has been a friend to both AIHA and the profession of industrial hygiene.

Cole stated, “Senator Kennedy put worker health and safety above politics. He worked tirelessly to deliver the necessary laws to help achieve our mutual goal: to provide workers and communities a healthy and safe environment and prevent occupational disease and injury.”

Cole also cited one example of Senator Kennedy’s most recent efforts to improve worker health and safety — his introduction of Senate Bill 1580, which would increase penalties for employers who were not diligent enough in protecting their workers — as well as his goal of seeing that every employee in the United States was afforded coverage under the OSH Act.

“It will be difficult to replace someone with Senator Kennedy’s passion for worker health and safety,” Cole continued. “AIHA, employers, and employees should all work to take worker health and safety more seriously. With Senator Kennedy’s efforts, we made great strides over the years. He will be sorely missed.”