AIHASeveral high-profile government policy issues in the industrial hygiene and occupational health and safety field will be featured at the 2014 AIHA Fall Conference, coming up Oct. 18-22 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Washington, D.C.

OSHA’s proposed – and controversial -- standard for illness and injury prevention programs (I2P2), the safety crisis in the international apparel industry, and global policies related to protecting workers from cancer will all be explored.

“Science, Policy, Impact” – the theme of this year’s Fall Conference – reflects the longed-for ideal of many IH and OEHS practitioners,” said AIHA President Christine A.D. Lorenzo, CIH. “Whatever their political persuasion, IH and OEHS professionals can agree that government policy should be informed by the best available science and meaningfully improve workplace health and safety. This year’s Fall Conference boasts an extremely timely educational program that explores the most effective ways to do just that.”

An I2P2 Debate

A special session on Monday, Oct. 20 will address OSHA’s plans to publish an I2P2 standard. In a format fitting for Washington, D.C., supporters and opponents of the rule will engage in a debate over its pros and cons and ask critical questions such as:

•  Have state-led I2P2 programs proven effective? 
•  Can a federal I2P2 program be equally effective for businesses and facilities of all sizes? 
•  What might be the unintended consequences of an OSHA I2P2 rule? 

Following the I2P2 debate, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels, PhD, MPH, will discuss with the conference’s luncheon crowd OSHA’s plans for the future and current initiatives. 

A Safety Crisis in the Apparel Industry

With the safety crisis in the global apparel industry reaching epidemic proportions in recent months, the Fall Conference will take an in-depth look at the challenges, concerns, and threats to workplace safety from the perspective of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (Alliance). On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Mara M. Burr, a senior counselor with the Alliance, will explain how the Alliance provides apparel companies and retailers the unprecedented opportunity to put forward concrete solutions to the issues that impact the global apparel and retail industries. 

Global Cancer Policy

The Fall Conference will also explore global policies related to protecting workers from cancer. During a two-part session on Tuesday, Oct. 21, representatives from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), OSHA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) will describe their agency’s cancer policies, how and why each policy was developed, the criteria and methodologies each uses for classifying agents, their quantitative risk assessment models, their critical data and assumptions, and other important features.

The full meeting program can be viewed on the 2014 AIHA Fall Conference website.