J. Lindsay Cook, MSPH, CIH, CSP, FAIHA – AIHA President – Healthier Workplaces I A Healthier World

Air Date: 6-19-2020|Episode 590

This week we welcome the new AIHA President J. Lindsay Cook, MSPH, CIH, CSP, FAIHA to Iaqradio+. We look forward to talking about the recent AIHA virtual conference, the re-branding of AIHA and other hot topics in industrial hygiene including of course industry pros experience with the COVID 19 pandemic.

Lindsay Cook became the latest AIHA President this June, at the end of AIHce EXP 2020. An AIHA member since 1979, Lindsay has worked with AIHA’s Protective Clothing and Equipment Committee, Laboratory Health and Safety Committee, Indoor Environmental Quality Task Force, and Finance Committee. He was first elected to the Board of directors in 1999 and has worked his way through leadership positions.

Prior to his recent retirement he was Senior Vice President at The EI Group, Inc. an environmental health and safety (EHS) consulting firm in Morrisville, North Carolina. Mr. Cook is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and a Graduate Degree from the Industrial Hygiene program.

Z-Man’s Blog:


Lindsay Cook MSPH, CIH, CSP, FAIHA has been a member of AIHA since 1979. He has worked as both a volunteer of AIHA technical committees and in organization leadership. Lindsay became president of AIHA in June 2020.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:

After college, Lindsay began working in North Carolina’s Dept. of Health as an Industrial Hygienist and Compliance Officer. Back then safety and industrial hygiene were clearly separate disciplines and not the blended approach often found today.

He has been volunteering at AIHA since the 1980s. He served on the board in 1999-2001 and then took a hiatus. In 2015 he was elected treasurer and then elected Vice President in 2018, placing him on a 4 year leadership track to the AIHA presidency.

Association volunteerism has provided him the opportunities to meet people, learn and give back to the profession.

As AIHA president, he hopes to continue the ongoing mission and initiatives of the association.

One of Lindsay’s goals is to expand AIHA working partnerships with other allied organizations to leverage the impact of industrial hygiene.

RIA and IICRC recently formed a Joint Task Force to develop updated guidance documents and other materials addressing the Covid19 pandemic. AIHA has been invited to appoint an official representative, which we are in the process of considering.

AIHA was the original Accredited Standards Developer for the ANSI/AIHA Z9.5 Standard on Laboratory Ventilation as well as numerous other industrial ventilation standards.

The BGC (formerly ABIH)maintains an enforceable Code of Ethics for certified professionals and require training for maintenance of certification. AIHA and ACGIH have developed training programs in ethics to meet these requirements.

Many IH professionals have evolved to include additional skill sets in their expertise such as safety and environmental issues, in order to increase their value to employers.  The profession continues to evolve with emerging issues such as Total Worker Health. It is such a broad field that it is becoming more difficult to stay current in all facets of the profession. Continuing education is a core component of professional development.

AIHA staff was successful in assuring that Industrial Hygienists were deemed “essential workers” under Covid19.

Businesses reopening after Covid19 shutdowns are concerned about reopening safely.

Typical Industrial Hygiene activities such as employee training and survey work has slowed a bit, while Covid19 related activities such as respiratory protection and infection control and prevention have increased. Businesses are concerned about PPE, disinfection, biological risks, employee screening, etc.

The AIHCE events are planned years in advance, with much of the program development occurring in the year prior to the conference. Typical face to face event attendance ranges from 4K-5K. In 2020 AIHA staff needed to pivot 180 degrees to virtual delivery of the conference in just about two months. Over 2K attendees participated in the virtual conference! While many missed the face-to-face contact of our typical meeting, others found greater opportunity to attend sessions and obtain Professional Development Credits. The next conference will be in Dallas, TX in May 2021.

Rene Rodriguez opened and closed the 2020 AIHCE event with two thought provoking presentations. The opening presentation focused on how people receive information. People want order, structure and predictability. On Monday he focused on the Courage Scale (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R64jIUoFkLo) and how to put positive energy into interactions with others. The closing session covered the neuroscience of influence. Tapping into his previous discussion of the Courage Scale, Rene went on to talk about the process of decision-making and how leaders could improve communications.

With our recent COVID-19 experience, flu concerns will remain an important issue for the foreseeable future.

OSHA approached AIHA in 2016 to assist in raising awareness to work opportunities in industrial hygiene and safety. This led AIHA to initiate a brand refresh project for improved outward facing communications. Over2K people participated in focus groups to help refine the strategy. We are embarking on an effort to improve how we communicate with people who don’t know us. A key element of the strategy is how AIHA communicates the many new employment opportunities for young people.

Classical Industrial Hygiene programs, particularly at the graduate level, are not growing as they did in the past. More students are coming from programs that encompass other disciplines such as safety and environmental concerns (OHS, EHS), at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

AIHA is not changing its name, vision or mission. Healthier Workplaces -A Heathier World is the new tagline. Our new logo utilizes a circular concept that is based on the continuous improvement cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). During the focus groups a number of participants also likened it to the classical IH algorithm of Anticipate, Recognize, Evaluate, and Control.

AIHA and ACGIH have a long history of working together. ACGIH members play a large role in the AIHCE event. AIHA and ACGIH hold a joint leadership meeting annually. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene(JOEH) is a joint publication of AIHA and ACGIH®.ACGIH and AIHA are jointly working together on ventilation issues surrounding Covid19. ACGIH assisted in the revision of the Green Book. AIHA is currently assisting in revisions of the ACGIH Bioaerosols book. Lindsay is excited about working with Dr. Mary Lopez, PhD from ACGIH.

Facility managers are more aware and concerned about issues in buildings than ever before. International Facility Management Association https://www.ifma.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwxLH3BRApEiwAqX9araDAsTZfKjWNsqGU_2RlvPs1-ZndO43ly5OYw_Q4-ZPjpjwt4_yFrRoCN38QAvD_BwE

Emerging Topics:

  • Unanticipated events like the sudden emergence of Covid19
  • Total Worker Health -a holistic view of worker health including issues in the workplace and other external factors that also have a major impact on worker health
  • The American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) – a tax exempt educational foundation that provides scholarships for the next generation of IH’s. Fifty five scholarships, totaling over $87k,were awarded in 2020.
  • Working to continue to improve our communications and partnerships with allied organizations.
  • The AIHA Back to Work Safely campaign. Over twenty documents have now been produced to help small businesses with practical return to work guidance. Each document targets a unique industry sector (ranging from bars and restaurants to small manufacturing to dental settings). We are in the process of translating the documents into Spanish. Over 1 million downloads of these documents have occurred in the last five weeks!Each document is structured from three perspectives: what the employer needs to do, the employee, and (if applicable) the general public. To learn more visit: https://www.backtoworksafely.org/

Larry Sloan, CAE AIHA CEO

  • Covid19 is a black swan event. Getting people back to work safely is a huge opportunity for AIHA members, and has helped us garner press in mainstream media outlets (e.g., CNBC, Wall Street Journal, US Today newspaper, NPR, and others)
  • AIHA’s brand refresh is about generating awareness, educating stakeholders about the value and services we provide, and bolstering recruitment into the profession.
  • #IAMIH Leadership Challenge, with local sections and other members competing to see who can do the most presentations to schools,,science fairs and other groups. AIHA members are also actively involved in Safety Matters campaign, developed by NIOSH, designed to introduce young workers about job hazards as they enter the workplace for the first time.

Z-Man signing off           

Trivia Question-

Name AIHA’s first president?

Answer: William P. Yant

Answered by: Doug Kohnen EraTech Environmental Dayton, OH