AIHce 2013Occupational exposures facing modern workers are more challenging than ever before – and require more from safety professionals.

That point was made by L. Casey Chosewood, MD, of NIOSH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during yesterday's General Session at AIHce 2013.

Chosewood said that whether physical, environmental, psychological, social, cultural, familial, communal, or a combination of these, addressing today’s exposures requires swift action, a high level of professional judgment, and broader perspectives.

Home safe every day

“When you talk about numbers to the people you serve every day, I want you to add in a sentence that says this is important because it will get you home safe every day.”

Chosewood, who’s Senior Medical Officer for NIOSH’s Total Worker Health™ initiative, emphasized the need for health interventions.

“Health is a currency that allows you to save up, to invest, and then to have it, to do what it is you want to do with your life. That’s how we should be talking to people about health,” said Chosewood.

What have we learned?

Wednesday’s events also included the Donald E. Cummings Award Lecture entitled, “Now We Are 75, What Have We Learned About Protecting Worker Health?” The presentation featured Lindsay E. Booher, CIH, CSP, who looked ahead to AIHA’s upcoming 75th anniversary in 2014 by reflecting on his career in industrial hygiene and the experiences along the way that shaped his personal perceptions and professional practice.

Booher also touched on the challenges today’s industrial hygienists face and discussed the profession as a whole.

“We need to turn more attention to educating managers and employees, and communicating in a natural way,” said Booher.

Today, the last day of the conference, features several technical sessions and a tour of the Hydro-Quebec Beauharnois Generating Station, one of the largest and most powerful hydroelectric plants in the world.