IOHA 2018: Highlights from Washington, DC

The 11th International Occupational Hygiene Association International Scientific Conference, IOHA 2018,​ was held Sept. 24–26, in Washington, D.C. Conference news from The Synergist is published on this page.

From the SynergistNOW: Reporting on the Successful IOHA 2018
Gurumurthy Ramachandran, chair of the IOHA 2018 conference planning committee, reflects on the first IOHA conference to be held in the United States. READ MORE

IOHA Keynote: Occupational Health and Safety as Social Justice
Nancy Leppink, a minister with the International Labor Organization, called on occupational health and safety professionals to be instruments of social justice yesterday at the 11th Annual Scientific Conference of the International Occupational Hygiene Association in Washington, D.C. READ MORE

The Safety Potential of Real-time Measurements of Mental Fatigue
With his background in mining, Rustin Reed has seen firsthand how certain jobs can be both mentally and physically straining. Now an assistant professor of safety science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., Reed helps develop approaches for monitoring worker fatigue. He shared some of his experiences in a session on real-time exposure measurement at IOHA 2018 in Washington, D.C. READ MORE

Game-planning Emergencies: Modeling Technique Simulates Effects of Explosions, Chemical Releases
For industrial operations, emergency preparedness often involves imagining worst-case scenarios in intricate detail. For example, what if a plant starts leaking a dangerous chemical? Where is the vapor cloud likely to travel given prevailing wind conditions? In the crucial first moments following an accidental release, what should be done to protect workers and surrounding communities? READ MORE

IOHA Presenters Seek to Close Gaps in Occupational Hygiene Capacity Worldwide
Organizations like Workplace Health Without Borders are made up of passionate volunteers who work to reduce and prevent occupational diseases worldwide, but many more volunteers are needed to address occupational hygiene and safety needs in underserved areas. More than two billion workers lack basic access to occupational safety, health, and hygiene professionals, said WHWB board member and AIHA Fellow Lydia Renton at a session at IOHA 2018. READ MORE

The Problem of Child Gold Mining
In 2011, the price of gold reached an all-time high of more than $1,900 an ounce. The spike in value hinted at darker consequences: the trickle-down effects of monetary incentives on artisanal gold miners in the developing world, where children often work in dangerous and unhealthy conditions. READ MORE

Lessons Learned from Cannabis Worker Training
In 2017, the Center for Health, Work and Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health teamed up with Colorado OSHA and other partners to offer two safety training courses for workers in the state’s marijuana industry. Five years earlier, Colorado had become the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana use. State health authorities had seen firsthand how small-scale growers transformed almost overnight into large indoor operations; with little knowledge of occupational health and safety regulations, most of the new businesses struggled to provide basic workplace protections. READ MORE