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Your Story Has Power – Use It!

By Mark Ames 

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Looking back at the important moments of our lives, there’s probably something that many of us have in common: a thirst for knowledge and understanding. One question begets another, and then another, which leads to still more. This search takes us on a journey of insight and discovery that ends with a new, deeper knowledge of the world and our role in it. Of course, the journey is never truly over, and our knowledge is never complete. This endless journey is one of life’s greatest joys, and the stories from these transformations are one of our greatest sources of power. 

Just as we seek to constantly improve ourselves, so too do we seek to continuously improve the world in which we live. This spirit is found within AIHA’s mission of “empowering those who apply scientific knowledge to protect all workers from occupational hazards” and vision of “a world where all workers are healthy and safe.” Storytelling can help us achieve these goals, which is why AIHA launched a "Conversation Commitment Challenge." 

The Conversation Commitment Challenge is simple, easy, and fun: AIHA is encouraging everyone to have at least one conversation with someone who may not understand the important roles that industrial or occupational hygiene plays in their daily life. To support this challenge, we have developed conversation starters and talking points​, which can be found on AIHA’s website (PDF).  

The conversation starters and talking points focus on the following topics: 

  • Encouraging Students to Pursue a Career in Industrial Hygiene 
  • Young Worker Health and Safety 
  • Hearing Protection 
  • Disasters 
  • Opioid Epidemic 

As you’re having conversations, we ask you to post on Catalyst, sharing with your colleagues the stories you’re telling people who may not understand the important work you do and how it affects their life. Any tips or lessons you’ve learned that may help your colleagues as they tell their own stories would be greatly appreciated. Please also feel free to send your feedback to me via email

Stories have the power to inspire people to start career journeys, take actions to protect their communities, and help policymakers understand why it’s so important to support IH/OH. All of us have stories worth telling, and all it takes is a bit of reflection and planning. Tell your story, use your power, and make a difference in someone’s life today! 

Mark Ames​ is AIHA’s director of Government Relations. 


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