On March 4, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) participated in the “OSHA Listens” public meeting, according to an AIHA press release. The all-day, live webcast addressed issues posed by the agency, and featured input from numerous stakeholders, including AIHA, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and ordinary citizens who lost family members due to worksite accidents.

In February, AIHA held its own virtual town hall meeting to solicit comments and suggestions from individual members and AIHA Volunteer Groups and Local Sections. The results of the AIHA meeting and member input are detailed in the document “‘OSHA Listens’ Public Input on Key Issues Facing the Agency,” which was submitted to OSHA on Feb. 10.

AIHA’s comments include responses to nine questions put forth by OSHA in anticipation of the forum. Input from AIHA members consists of ideas that both support OSHA’s health and safety program and highlight areas where the agency can improve its agenda. Noteworthy comments from AIHA include:
  • Further outreach by OSHA outside of compliance that communicates significant heath and safety issues in different industries.
  • Greater involvement of NIOSH in OSHA’s strategic planning and research on emerging hazards and issues.
  • Address issues such as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), nanotechnology, safe-patient handling, and control banding.
  • Promote better partnerships with professional associations, such as AIHA, that have stake in the success of the agency’s agenda.
  • Create a federal advisory committee composed of labor, industry, small business, and professional associations that looks at the rule-making process and offers suggestions on how it can be improved.
  • Make the updating of Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) a top priority, and require written health and safety programs contain a selection of the appropriate PELs for the specific industry.
The period in which written comments can be submitted ends March 30, and OSHA will make the transcripts of the meeting available after 30 days. The AIHA document “‘OSHA Listens’ Public Input on Key Issues Facing the Agency,” can be found in the Government Affairs section of the AIHA website at www.aiha.org.