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July 20, 2012

NIOSH Director Calls for "Louder, Bolder, More Courageous" OEHS Pros

In a wide-ranging address on June 19 to attendees at the American Industrial Hygiene Association's  AIHce 2012 event in Indianapolis, NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard outlined several challenges facing occupational health and safety in the 21st century. He also called for OEHS professionals to be more active in voicing the concerns of workers.

Howard discu
No Smoking signsssed challenges affecting workers including demographic, political, economic and social trends. Given the complexity of these challenges, it is not enough, Howard said, for OEHS professionals to confine themselves to solely occupational issues. "We should broaden our traditional mission of preventing work-related disease and injury with efforts to promote total worker health - regardless of whether disease or injury is work-related," Howard said.

Other trends, such as the increase in the number of workers whose employment is insecure and precarious, requires leadership from OEHS professionals and a willingness to be vocal advocates on behalf of workers: "The voice of the occupational health and safety practitioner will have to become louder and bolder and more courageous," Howard said.

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