Mentoring Corner: Message from the Chair

By Michael Finnamore

I hope everyone is well.  So much has happened since my last up date, both within the group as well as across the US.  I wanted to first send out my thoughts and prayers to anyone impacted by the hurricanes or the horrific events that took place in Las Vegas, New York and most recently Texas.  As AIHA just recently posted the need for health and safety professionals, in particular industrial hygienist, will be paramount in the coming months as the waters recede and people begin to try and rebuild.  I think this is a time for the industrial hygiene community to come together to support the rebuilding of so many lives.  If anyone needs assistance or is interested in getting involved please contact myself or the AIHA.

I also want to encourage those of you that have been mentors to step forward as mentees.  What the tragedies have shown us is that we all need each other and at times we all need help.  Mentoring is a great way to give back to a profession that for many of us has given us so much.  I know the thought of mentoring can be daunting and I even had a lot of nerves the first time I stepped up; however I can ensure you it has given me some of the greatest experiences of my professional career.  So I am reaching out to all of you who have thought about it, but never taken the leap.  Reach out to me or anyone on the MPDC committee, it will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

Till next Quarter,

Mike.

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Reader’s Review: Brain Rules

brain rulesBy Michelle Coutu

John Median, a developmental molecular biologist, was the closing keynote speaker at the American Industrial Hygiene conference and exposition (AIHce) 2017. He spoke of how we can build better teams using our current knowledge of brain science. Even with his energetic presentation style and fast talking, it is impossible to fit a comprehensive summary of the current body knowledge on brain science into 60 minutes. Good thing he wrote a book to expand upon this topic!

Originally published in 2008 John Median has continued to update and revise his bestselling book Brain Rules. The book is broken down into twelve sections that take deep dives into how and why our brains developed to their current state, as well as practicable applications. ­The twelve sections include: Survival, Exercise, Sleep, Stress, Wiring, Attention, Memory, Sensory Integration, Vision, Music, Gender, and Exploration. If you have read similar type books, like the Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, some of the examples and research may be familiar to you, however the author frames the material in a fun and light way that it reinforce previous learning without feeling redundant. (See brain rule #5 Memory, repeat to remember).
As we grow and mature in our careers, it is helpful to pause for a moment and check in and evaluate ourselves. Self-reflection allows us to learn from experiences and build emotional intelligent. Skills that are critical for managers and leaders. This book provides an opportunity to practice and strengthen these abilities in a manner that doesn’t feel like chore. It is an informative light read that provides significant insight in to who we are and why we do what we do.

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“OH the Places You Will Go!” with Shawn Heuth, MS.

By HCECC/SECP

This featured piece is a collaboration between the AIHA SECP and the AIHA Hazard Prevention and Engineering Controls Committee (HPECC) and is a chance for SECP members to hear from practicing IHs about their experiences in the field.

This quarter’s newsletter features Shawn Heuth, MS.

 

What type of business is your employer and what types of industrial processes do you survey as their IH?

 

Shawn:  I have served as an industrial hygienist in a diverse range of specialized trades.  I have been an industrial hygienist for industries such as gold mining, Artic slope gas and oil, welding, and veterinary and healthcare environments, to forward deployed military settings. I am currently employed with the US Army where I have had the privilege of working as an IH at two different Federal installations, worked for the Army Public Health Center as a subject matter expert, and deployed with service members to conduct research in in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think is unique/interesting about where you work and the type of IH work you do there?

 

Shawn: In this job, I am able to promote the career field of Industrial Hygiene.  I have almost 10,000 individual transcripts that I track.  I have the opportunity daily to help careerists with a multitude of self-development challenges.  On any given day at work I could be showing a careerist how to do a complicated math equation, using the hierarchy of controls to resolve complex exposures, or provide over the shoulder assistance with data capture and assessment.

 

How and why did you get involved with this type of IH work?

 

Shawn:  I started out in safety and then I switched to work IH. I got involved with this type of work because I truly enjoy IH work. I am fascinated with how the human body works. IH is a wonderful field that keeps me pushing myself to master the basics of many fields of science. I stay hungry for more knowledge working to be a better IH. It’s a field that allows you to become an individual because you might like and could specialize in something specific like welding or be a broad spectrum professional of all science fields in industrial hygiene.

 

What types of hazards do you typically see doing IH where you work?

 

Shawn: My mining industry experience included an incredible amount of noise sampling and research. While working at the Army installation level IH, my sampling focus was mostly waste anesthetic gases, and formaldehyde.  I have done extensive metal fume sampling in the Arctic oilfields on the North Slope of Alaska. I also have conducted particle size selective sampling in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan in a civilian capacity.  I presently am enjoying my position as an Army Proving Ground IH working in cutting edge chemical and biological research facilities.

 

What types of controls do you typically see/evaluate doing IH where you work?

Shawn: In my normal day to day work, I will evaluate engineering controls for laboratory settings to include dilution ventilation air exchanges per hour, laboratory fume hood ventilation, and specialized downdraft tables for necropsy.

 

What do you consider are the biggest challenges for an IH where you work?

 

Shawn: The biggest challenge that I have with my current position is populating data into our occupational health database.  It is a very laborious data entry process which means less time available for me to conduct sampling and surveys for my client.

 

What are some examples of common recommendations you make doing IH where you work?

 

Shawn: The most common recommendations that I currently make include: having employees visit our Occupational Health providers if they are having indoor air quality symptoms, to continue to wear hearing protection for noise hazardous process to protect hearing, and to follow unit Standing Operating Procedures for choosing respiratory protection.

 

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Mentoring Corner: Meet The New MPDC Committee Chair

a.boester@sesadvantage.com By Michael Finnamoremike finnamore

Hi everyone! I am hoping that all of you and your families are having a fantastic summer thus far. I am still digging out from conference, travel, etc., but wanted to take a moment to introduce myself self as I will be chairing the Mentoring and Professional Development Committee (MPDC) over the next year.  My name is Michael Finnamore and I work for Baxter Healthcare as the Director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability for their Global Supply Chain and Contract Manufacturing organizations.   Additionally, I serve as Baxter’s Global Director of Industrial Hygiene, responsible for setting direction for the Hazardous Materials program.   I have been part of mentoring program for about five years serving as a mentor for young professionals in the Chicagoland area as well as volunteering on this committee.  I am very passionate about the mentoring program and I am looking forward to the upcoming year.

As the lead of the MPDC I will be focused on enhancing the mentor/mentee program by increasing our visibility across AIHA and ensuring a positive experience for all mentors and mentees. We have a very strong team and I am fortunate to have a long list of great leaders to follow.

Over the next year we plan to continue to provide the same level of professionalism and leadership as we continue to provide a forum and framework for both mentees and mentors to grow in their professions and careers.   We will continue to strive to provide educational opportunities for all AIHA members and this is where you come in!  I want to encourage everyone to reach out to me or any of the team members (See list below) with ideas or needs that the MPDC may be able to fulfil.  I am looking forward to working with everyone in 2017/2018.

 

All the Best,

Mike.

 

MPDC Board 2017/2018

 

Mike Finnamore, Chair mike_finnamore@baxter.com
Tim Paz, Vice Chair tpaz65@outlook.com
Michelle Coutu, Secretary mcoutu@triumvirate.com

 

MPDC Regional Directors

Tim Paz – East Region

tpaz@aoc.gov

 

Brandi Kissel – South Region

Brandi.kissel@alcoa.com

 

Karla Simon – Midwest Region

Karla.simon@us.army.mil

 

Zach Pasquinelli – Central Region

zpasquinelli@SevenGenHSE.com

 

Kate Serrano – Western Region

katherine.serrano@raytheon.com

 

Andrew Boester- Canadian Region/International

a.boester@sesadvantage.com

 

“OH the Places You Will Go!”

By HCECC/SECP

This featured piece is a collaboration between the AIHA SECP and the AIHA Hazard Prevention and Engineering Controls Committee (HPECC) and is a chance for SECP members to hear from practicing IHs about their experiences in the field.

This quarter’s newsletter features Geoffrey Braybrooke, CIH and Christine Baker, CIH, CSP, PMP.

What type of business is your employer and what types of industrial processes do you survey as their IH?

Geoffrey:  I work for the Army Public Health Center. My Division assesses chemical, thermal, and noise hazards for the Army heavy industrial base and for military unique exposures such as those of armored vehicle crews.

Christine: I am involved with consulting for military, local governments, private industry, and international health care organizations. I typically evaluate how OEH professionals execute their occupational health programs. Additionally, I assist organizations in improving their emergency preparedness capabilities through plans, gaps analyses, equipment selection, training, etc.

What do you think is unique/interesting about where you work and the type of IH work you do there?

Geoffrey: Aside from the full range of industrial processes, the wide variety of Army weapon and soldier support systems provides an ongoing learning experience; we have the chance to specialize somewhat in expertise in specific types of hazards such as toxic metals.

 Christine: As a consultant, I will rarely work on the same process or project for more than a year. Sometimes I only get to work on a process for one week. One unique aspect of the consulting work that I do is that I am able to collect best practices from a wide range of customers and share these with others.

How and why did you get involved with this type of IH work?

Geoffrey: This discipline was my first job as an industrial hygienist and proved to be an interesting and challenging work environment.

Christine: After completing my bachelor’s degree in environmental chemistry, but before starting the Peace Corps, I convinced the Portland (OR) Fire Department HAZMAT Coordinator to let me intern there. During this internship time, I asked a dozen people what master’s degree I should pursue and which one would give me the most opportunities down the road. A few individuals that I asked suggested industrial hygiene. My reply to them was, “Great, I’ll do it. What is it?”

What types of hazards do you typically see doing IH where you work?

 Geoffrey: The most common hazards that I assess are toxic gases and metals produced by firing weapons; toxic gases and particulate from metalworking and coating processes.

Christine: I see all types of hazards in my line of work, but I wanted to point out something else that I have noticed. I caution those IH staff members and technicians to continue to self-develop.  During my day to day operations, I have noticed IH staff members that have become conditioned to fill out boxes and forms. We don’t want to be the Occupational Health and Safety professionals that turn their brains off with respect to evaluating the quality of data or how appropriate it is for the situation. An example I want to share would be: Let’s say you’re are evaluating a noise exposure on a mechanic and you notice a 140 dBA exposure within the first ten seconds of that noise dosimetry sample. A seasoned IH would recognize that this probably is not generated from work in that mechanic’s shop and is most likely from the cover being pulled off the dosimeter’s microphone.  This is an example of the specialized knowledge, skills, and ability’s that we develop from field experience, being mentored, continuing education, and years of experience practicing.

What types of controls do you typically see/evaluate doing IH where you work?

 Geoffrey: Most of the controls that I see during day to day operations are Industrial ventilation, respiratory protection, and hygienic and housekeeping procedures.

Christine: In my normal day to day work, I will typically see PPE… PPE… PPE… and training.

What do you consider are the biggest challenges for an IH where you work?

Geoffrey: My Division serves the entire Army and it is sometimes difficult to exchange information with industrial hygienists at the installation level who are doing most of the routine IH work for that location.

Christine: A big challenge in my field of industrial hygiene practice is the ebb and flow of contracts. Sometimes your company has way too much work. Sometimes you have to lay people off.

What are some examples of common recommendations you make doing IH where you work?

 Geoffrey: I frequently provide recommendations for engineering controls and use of respiratory protection. I also make recommendations to develop and maintain written compliance programs that cover the full range of control measures for specific hazards.

Christine: The recommendations I make typically are in the context of evaluating the work of organizations’ OEH professionals.

– Just because reports and other communications might be technically correct, if the customer cannot understand what is being said and do something with the information, then it was all for naught.

– There is no “done” when it comes to improving written communications.

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Conference 2017 Highlights!

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Event Time Location Event Type
Sunday, June 4
AIHce EXP Social 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Grand Ballroom A-D, Seattle Sheraton Hotel Networking
Monday, June 5
First Timers’ Orientation 6:30 – 7:30 AM Sheraton Seattle Hotel, Grand Ballroom A Networking
 

First time attending AIHce 2017 and don’t know where to start? Meet other first time attendees and learn how to make the most of all the learning opputunies avaliable!

 

Opening Keynote: Life in the Form of a Question, Ken Jennings 8:00 – 9:30 AM Check final program Keynote
CES: Resume Critquing 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
SECP: Table Topics 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Expo Hall, The HUB Table Talk
 

Topics address issues of specific interest to young industrial hygienists or to hygienists new to the profession. Seating is first-come, first-serve. The first 25 attendees to appear at this session will receive a discounted voucher for lunch.

 

·        IH Training Opportunities Through ERCs

·        Career Paths in Industrial Hygiene

·        CIH Exam 101

·        Field Work and Travel for the Industrial Hygienist

·        Networking for the Industrial Hygienist

·        Students in Global Industrial Hygiene

·        Breaking Down Barriers

 

CES: Career Portfolio: The New Professional Development Tool 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Round Table / Employment Services
CES Seminar – Let’s Get Hired! 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Round Table / Employment Services
MPDC/SECP: The 8th Habit of Highly Effective Industrial Hygiene Leaders 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Rooms 618-620, Washington State Convention Center Round Table
CES: Resume Critquing 3:15 – 4:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
Expo Hall Networking Reception 4:30 – 5:30 PM Exhibit Hall 4EF, Washington State Convention Center Networking
MPDC Mentoring Networking Event 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. FareStart, 700 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101 Networking
Tuesday, June 6
AIHF Fun Run/Walk 6:30 a.m. Olympic Sculpture Park Networking
 

Come meet fellow IHs and support the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) Scholarhip fund! Run, walk, (or sleep in) your donations help fund schlarships for students pursuing degrees in IH and related fields.

 

Ignite 8:00 – 9:00 AM Check final program Keynote
CES: Resume Critquing 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Resume Critquing
CES: Mock Interviewing 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
Student Local Sections Council Business Meeting 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Room 3A, Washington State Convention Meeting
SECP: The Sole IH/EHS Professinal in Your Organisation 11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m Room 606/607,Washington State Convention Round Table
SECP: Lunch Talks 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Expo Hall, The HUB Table Talk
 

Topics address issues of specific interest to young industrial hygienists or to hygienists new to the profession. Seating is first-come, first-serve. The first 25 attendees to appear at this session will receive a discounted voucher for lunch.

 

·        Building a Career Portfolio – Sponsored by Career and Employment Services Committee

·        Industrial Hygiene in the Oil & Gas Industry – Sponsored by the Oil & Gas Working Group

·        Communication Etiquette in the Digital Age – Sponsored by the Communication & Training Methods Committee

·        Top 5 Hazards in the Workplace and Ways to Control Them – Sponsored by the Hazard Prevention & Engineering Controls Committee

·        Emergency Response & Incident Preparedness for the Young Professional – Sponsoredby the Incident Preparedness and Response Working Group

·        How Mentoring Relationships Can Set You Up for Professional Success – Sponsored by the Mentoring & Professional Development Committee

 

CES: Resume Critquing 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
CES: Speed Networking 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Networking / Employment
SECP: Prespectives on Preparation for the CIH Exam 3:15 – 4:15 p.m. Room 303, Washington State Convention Center Round Table
Mentoring and Professional Development Committee Meeting 4:30 – 6:30pm Willow B, Sheraton Seattle Hotel Meeting
AIHce Power Hour 6:30 – 7:30 PM Sheraton Hotel, Metropolitan Ballroom Networking
Wednesday, June 7
27 th Annual Student Poster Session 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Expo Hall Poster Session
CES: Mock Interviewing 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Hall 4B, Level 4 Washington State Convention Center Employment Services
MPDC: Education Session: Mentoring – Experiences, Advice and Real World Application 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 p.m. Room 307/308,   Washington State Convention Center Round Table
SECP: Oh, The Places You’ll Go! 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Room 613/614, Washington State Convention Center Round Table
Closing Keynote: The Brains Behind Leadership 2:15 – 3:15 PM Check final program Keynote
Students and Early Career Professionals Committee Meeting 3:30 – 5:30pm Aspen Room, Sheraton Seattle Hotel Meeting

 

 

Evolving Industries of Seattle

By: Michelle Coutu

Prior to be settled by European settlers, the area now known as Seattle, Washington was inhabited by Native Americans. The modern city was incorporated in 1869 and experienced its first economic success supplying lumber to the rapidly growing city of San Francisco. After a severe era of economic depression in connection with the panic of 1893, which hit Seattle hard, it rebounded and redefined itself as the main supply point for the Klondike Gold Rush. The American Messenger Company (to become UPS), Nordstrom, and Eddie Bauer were all founded during this economic boom in support of prospecting expeditions and propelled Seattle’s economic success into the early 20thcentry.

World War I saw the beginning of Seattle’s reputation as a transportation innovator. Seattle shipbuilders produced over 20 percent of the United States wartime ship tonnage. It also sparked the growth of Boeing, a once local airplane manufacture, which continued to excel with the advent of World War II. However, the 1960s and 1970s saw another down turn for airplane manufacturing in Seattle due to the loss of government contracts, the oil crisis, and manufacturing delays regarding the Boeing 747 aircraft.

Nevertheless, Seattle continued to reinvent itself. Moving into the 1980s saw the arrival of Microsoft, which had been having difficulties with recruitment at their original headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once Microsoft was established, other tech and web based companies, such as Amazon, began to develop in the city. Today Seattle continues to prosper based on the growth of the tech industry.