The second day of the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) AIHce 2012 got underway yesterday with the head of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) urging attendees to broaden their mission.

NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard encouraged occupational health and safety professionals to be more active in voicing the concerns of workers in light of the challenges facing the OEHS profession.

“We should broaden our traditional mission of preventing work-related disease and injury with efforts to promote total worker health—regardless of whether disease or injury is work-related,” Howard said. He pointed out that the mission of the OEHS industry has taken on even greater relevance because professionals must maintain the health and safety of an aging workforce that is essential to the economy as a whole. "Occupational health is economic health," he said.

In alignment with the conference theme, “Redefining Our Future,” Howard noted that current employment trends require continuing leadership from OEHS professionals and a willingness to be vocal advocates on behalf of workers. "The voice of the occupational health and safety practitioner will have to become louder and bolder and more courageous," Howard said.

In addition to speakers and educational programs focusing on OEHS professional career development, hundreds of exhibitors are demonstrating new products the AIHce 2012 Expo.

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