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Our Partnership with AIHA and the Benefits of Becoming a Member

  • Publish Date: Posted 2 months ago

​Shirley Parsons speaks to Larry Sloan,Chief Executive Officer at AIHA, about the benefits of becoming an AIHA member and their subscription service for IH-adjacent professionals.

How would you define industrial hygiene?

"Industrial Hygiene is both a science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and confirmation of protection from those environmental factors or stressors arising in or from the workplace that may cause sickness, impaired health, and well-being, or significant discomfort among workers or among citizens of the community.

Several years ago, we decided to rebrand the manner in which we reference the industrial hygiene profession to the public – the term OEHS resonated well over a series of focus group sessions and surveys conducted across different stakeholder groups; hence, AIHA now references OEHS in more public facing settings (while continuing to reference industrial hygiene for internal affairs, as well as in state and federal regulations that may still reference “IH”)"

How did you initially get involved with the AIHA?

"I started out my career as a chemical engineer, working for a gas/chemical company called Air Products & Chemicals (at that time, now known as Air Products). I transitioned into the non-profit sector in 2000 after spending much of my professional life in the chemicals industry in various capacities (first engineering, then marketing, and finally sales). My first two non-profit gigs were chemical trade associations, the most latest being SOCMA (which is a trade association of specialty batch chemical manufacturers). While at SOCMA I was heavily involved with the EHS function through their ChemStewards program, which is modelled after the Responsible Care program for large chemical companies. When the opening at AIHA became available, the recruiter identified me as a suitable candidate because of my background in engineering plus exposure to EHS. I have now been managing AIHA for 7 ½ years and thoroughly enjoying the ride."

What is the mission of the AIHA?

"AIHA’s mission is empowering and advancing those who apply scientific knowledge to protect all workers and their communities from occupational and environmental hazards. Our vision is a world where all workers and their communities are healthy and safe. Finally, our Value Proposition -reads “AIHA members are scientists and professionals who protect the health and safety of workers and communities by reducing risks and safeguarding operations to help organizations operate efficiently and without interruption.”

How/when was the AIHA founded?

"AIHA was founded in 1939 by non-physician members of the American Association of Industrial Physicians and Surgeons (now known as ACOEM). We are a 501c6 non-profit organization incorporated in Illinois."

What kinds of resources does the AIHA provide to members?

"AIHA offers its members a variety of educational and informational resources to further one’s career, as well as a strong sense of community across all career stages of one’s life. We advocate on behalf of the profession at the federal, state and sometimes local levels."

What past/recurring AIHA events would you like to highlight?

"AIHA’s flagship event is its annual conference and expo now called AIHA Connect (formerly known as AIHceEXP). AIHA also manages the operations of the Product Stewardship Society (PSS). It hosts its own annual meeting called PSX. Other events held include our Leadership Workshop for volunteer group and local section leaders, our Future Leaders Institute for aspiring early career professionals, and various road courses and webinars throughout the year."

View all upcoming events here.

Are there any upcoming AIHA events/conferences/etc. that you’d like to highlight?

"In 2024, AIHA Connect is being held in Columbus May 18-23, PSX in Denver Oct 15-17, and a special workshop called OEESC (Occupational and Environmental Exposure of the Skin to Chemicals), which rotates around the world every few years (this event will be held Sept 23-25 in Dulles, VA – just outside Washington, DC)."

How would you describe the new AIHA EHS Subscription? What’s included and who would it benefit the most?

The new EHS Network is geared towards EHS generalists who want to acquire additional training in occupational health (industrial hygiene). Benefits include access to digital monthly editions of our highly acclaimed Synergist magazine, an online community room (coming later this spring), and discounted registration fees for curated education tailored to this population. For more information visit We look forward to adding more benefits in the future as the program matures.

What is The Synergist? What topics will it focus on in the future?

"Readers of The Synergist monthly magazine receive in-depth news and information about the occupational and environmental health and safety fields and the industrial hygiene profession: Topics include industry trends and news, government and regulatory activities, key issues facing the profession, technical information, and news on AIHA events and activities. Topics vary by month."

View The Synergist’s editorial calendar here.

What can the AIHA do for new graduates/entry-level professionals looking to break into the workforce?

"AIHA has fantastic benefits for students and early career professionals. We provide a supportive community, career guidance, volunteer opportunities, and access to industry knowledge. Our mentoring program is one of the top reasons for joining AIHA. We also offer a variety of free training materials on topics that students may not have learned in school. We offer discounted rates for both populations."

What can the AIHA do for mid-level and senior level professionals in Industrial Hygiene?

"For more seasoned professionals, AIHA offers countless opportunities to volunteer, whether it’s chairing a technical committee, serving as a mentor and giving back to the community, drafting, editing or peer reviewing a publication, or joining our Board of Directors to help steer the association’s future – there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved."

Larry also says he is pleased to report that AIHA has been the recipient of an multi-year grant from the CDC that has funded the development of various resources, all available at no cost, to help businesses keep workers safe from airborne transmitted diseases. The grant originated in response to the COVID pandemic, and they have received upwards of $700k over 4 years now.

To find out more about the grant, click here.

Shirley Parsons would like to thank Larry for taking the time to speak to us and we look forward to working with them. To find out more AIHA, about their consumer resources, student careers and The Synergist, CLICK HERE.