Convention NewsGood morning from cloudy and cool Montreal, site of the 2013 AIHce. The confab got underway yesterday (Monday) morning bright and early at 8 am. The opening session was pretty much SRO. In the darkened hall I couldn’t help but notice I was surrounded by smartphone gazers. I counted eight bowed heads in front, to the left and right, and immediately behind me. You have heard no doubt of distracted driving. You can call this “distracted attendance.”

It was announced from the podium by American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) President Allan Fleeger, CIH, CSP that 40 countries are represented at the meeting, either as attendees or exhibitors. They included: Italy, Norway, Taiwan, Poland, New Zealand, Canada of course, The Netherlands, Finland, Brazil, Great Britain, Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, Hong Kong, Australia, Belgium, South Africa, and Malaysia. Most countries sent delegates of their in-country occupational hygiene associations.

OSHA chief David Michaels, who speaks today, arrived a day early to pick up an award from AIHA at the opening session. Spotted in the audience was American Society of Safety Engineers President Rick Pollock. With French the official language of Montreal, the opening remarks lasted a bit longer than usual, with speakers repeating everything in French and English. Not so for the AIHA president and ACGIH President Robert Herrick, ScD, CIH, MS. Or the keynote presenter, Frans Johannsson. They got by with English.