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The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) sent a letter to the Honorable Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, asking him not to delay the decision to reappoint John Howard, M.D., as director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Howard's 6-year term expires in July 2008.
"I am writing to ask that you give serious consideration to a matter that affects the health and safety of workers across the country," said AIHA President Donald J. Hart, PhD, CIH, in the letter to Leavitt.
Howard, who is highly regarded among professionals in the health and safety community, has a solid grasp of the issues. During his tenure, the list of NIOSH accomplishments is quite impressive. Howard established the "Research to Practice (r2p)" program; provided access to NIOSH research and results through use of electronic communications; positioned NIOSH as one of the key partners in the National Nanotechnology Initiative; assured that policy decisions were grounded in and based on sound science; instituted an evaluation program for NIOSH; and managed the agency effectively while fostering the basic values.
NIOSH is the only federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. Created in 1970, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services. The NIOSH mission is multifaceted. In addition to working with more than 500 partners on the National Occupational Research Agenda, NIOSH supports training of occupational safety and health professionals and researchers through 16 regional Education and Research Centers and through training grants throughout the United States.
"I believe I am safe in saying that never in the history of the institute has a director been as successful and respected by partners and stakeholders as Dr. John Howard," expressed Hart.
"This applies to one and all - professional associations, labor, industry, employers, and workers. He has been more than a director of NIOSH, he has been a partner and friend to AIHA and many others."
The partnership between AIHA and NIOSH advances the protection of workers, promotes best practices, and encourages employers to develop and use occupational health and safety management systems and effective prevention strategies and technologies. Together, both organizations continue to work cooperatively to provide outreach, communication, and professional development opportunities.
The full text of the AIHA letter is available at www.aiha.org under "Government Affairs." For more information, please contact Aaron Trippler, AIHA director of government affairs, at (703) 846-0730 or .
About American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
Founded in 1939, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is the premier association of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals. AIHA’s 10,600 members play a crucial role on the front line of worker health and safety every day. Members represent a cross-section of industry, private business, labor, government, and academia.
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AIHA Government Affairs
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