A round-up of OHTA activity at the IOHA 2018 conference

OHTA was proud to participate in the 11th IOHA Scientific Conference in Washington DC in September 2018. The conference gave occupational hygienists from 36 countries the opportunity to exchange ideas, follow professional development courses and meet occupational hygienists from around the globe. OHTA activity included:


Partnerships to Update the OHTA Noise Module
Thais Morata of NIOSH, Bernard Fontaine of The Windsor Consulting Group and Derek Miller of the New Zealand Occupational Hygiene Society, co-presented a session on the current review of the noise module W503 – Noise – Measurement and Its Effects. The session detailed the review process and the latest updates to the new noise curriculum.


Global OHS Challenges and Opportunities: Be Part of the Solution

A presentation team including Chris Laszcz-Davis, Co-Chair of OHTA and Nancy Leppink of the International Labour Organisation led a dynamic discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing global OHS practitioners and the grassroots organisations working throughout the world to improve worker health. The session reviewed existing global networking and volunteer opportunities, areas of need, and considered ways to engage new stakeholders and leverage partnerships in order to harness the potential of collective efforts. Other members of the presentation team were Deborah Nelson (Past-President, AIHA), Karen Niven (BOHS and IOHA, Shell International) and Mary O’Reilly (WHWB).


IOHA Lifetime Achievement Award – Capability in Occupational Hygiene
Lifetime Achievement Award winner and former OHTA director Roger Alesbury was invited to give a lecture as a conference general session. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, he spoke eloquently about what it takes to build capability and grow occupational hygiene. He presented examples of developing programmes in parts of the world where there are few or no occupational hygiene resources and the focus is on finding or developing skilled people, equipment and basic facilities.


Build a Globally Applied Qualitative Risk Assessment Tool
Nancy McClellan, Co-Chair of OHTA and Svend Nielsen led an informative session providing guidance on how to build a Qualitative Risk Assessment Tool. It took into account exposure severity from worker monitoring as well as potential exposure risk based on qualitative judgement.


OHTA Annual General Meeting (AGM)
15 member association representatives and a number of observers attended our AGM. The member associations re-elected Nancy McClellan and David O’Malley to the OHTA Board and approved the appointment of new directors Thomas Fuller, Steven Verpaele and Zack Mansdorf. OHTA directors also took the opportunity to provide updates and answer questions on recent activity – a good opportunity to engage with our members. The 2019 AGM will take place during AIHce in Minneapolis, date to be confirmed.


OHTA Board Meeting
Believe it or not, most OHTA directors don’t meet in person very often! Board members are spread across the world so conference calls and email are the usual methods of contact. IOHA 2018 provided a rare opportunity for a face-to-face meeting that included senior representatives of partner organisations AIHA and WHWB.

Exhibition Hall
IOHA kindly allowed us to share their booth in the Exhibition Hall, giving us greater visibility at the conference and the opportunity to meet delegates on a one-to-one basis. Thank you to everyone who took the time to visit our stand – we were really encouraged by the interest from students, training providers and potential volunteers.