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Carolinas Section Fall PDC & Conference 2019


Carolinas AIHA Fall 2019 PDC/Conference

September 11–13, 2019
Embassy Suites by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

PDC Presentations: Wedenesday, September 11
Industrial Hygiene Focus

Ethical Decision-Making Tools for Enhancing Organizational Safety Culture
Recent investigations of several tragic events have repeatedly identified the absence of a culture of safety as a common contributing factor. An organization's safety culture is a collective reflection of individual decisions made by its workforce, each carrying with them ethical implications. Safety culture, good or bad, is the sum product of many individual ethical decisions, yet the notion of ethical safety decision-making is not often discussed. This presentation will describe ethical dilemmas safety professionals can encounter, and how the decisions that are made can impact an organization's overall safety culture. A set of ethical decision-making tools will be presented, along with a suggested path forward for actually improving safety culture within an organization.

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Effectively Managing the "Under-Exposed"
Consider this: of all the personnel monitoring you have ever been involved with in your career, how many results exceeded the regulatory or recommended exposure limit? Based on the responses to this question from literally hundreds of health & safety professionals from across the country, the consensus answer appears to be in the range of 2 to 5%. This anecdotal feedback suggests that 95 to 98% of the individuals monitored may have received some amount of exposure, but at levels below any recommended or established limit. So while this implies that most of the exposure situations we monitor are not in excess of any accepted limits, experience tells us that a subpopulation of these individuals can still harbor concerns and apprehensions their exposures. If such concerns are mismanaged or ignored, the situation can result in huge losses in terms of decreased productivity, frivolous complaints, regulatory inspections, and possible lawsuits. Hence, the proper management of the "under-exposed" is an essential health & safety job function, yet these skills are rarely addressed in our academic preparation. In this presentation, the variables associated with typical "under-exposed" situations will be discussed, and then the recognized tenets of effective risk communications will be applied to describe ways in which the situations might be managed so that worker concerns can be addressed and impacts on productivity are kept to a minimum. Ample time will be provided for participant questions, comments, and discussion.

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The Promise and Peril of "Citizen Science" — and Why This Matters to Health & Safety
The proliferation of personal electronic devices has resulted in an exponential expansion in the ability to rapidly gather and disseminate information — some accurate, some not so accurate, and some downright wrong. With virtually every member of the workforce and community now equipped with this technology, the notion of "citizen science" has expanded, wherein citizens and employees can collect and instantly transmit data and information about exposures and situations. While this technique holds great promise as a "force multiplier" to address various concerns, the technique is largely unfiltered and can result in the dissemination of misinformation, apprehension, and confusion. This presentation will discuss the evolution of "citizen science" and how it has changed with recent technological developments and then will provide a series of suggested steps for health and safety programs to take to proactively address the challenge.

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PDC Presentations: Thursday, September 12
Contemporary Topics Focus

Strategies for Keeping Your Health & Safety Program on Course in a Sea of Constant Change
The University of Texas School of Public Health recently conducted a straw poll of approximately fifty very experienced health & safety professionals and the results were astonishing: 80% had reported to the person they current report to for a period of less than 5 years, and 25% for a period of less than 1 year! These striking results underscore the old adage that "change is constant." But adapting to change is not something that is traditionally addressed in academic health & safety programs. Interestingly, although change is indeed constant, the underlying data that drives health & safety programs doesn?t change. What does change is the framing of the delivery of this important information to ensure continued program support. This presentation will discuss the dilemma of constant change and provide some tips on the personal management of change and will present options to consider for communicating essential information to the ever-changing environment.

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Health & Safety's Role in Mitigating the "Insider Threat" Security Risk
While organizations maintain many layers of controls to prevent outsiders from gaining unauthorized access to cause loss or harm, persons who have been granted legitimate access can become an "insider threat," and because they are very difficult to detect, cause over $100 billon is losses annually. Although the typical insider targets assets or data, in some cases their actions can also have significant impacts on workplace and environmental health and safety. Because much of an organization's safety program activities are carried out with the workers in their workplace, this represents a unique opportunity to assist in the possible detection of insider threats. This presentation will discuss the threats represented by insiders and will detail their recognized traits so that health & safety professionals can enhance their situational awareness and report suspicions to the appropriate authorities.

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Health & Safety Lessons from Other Public Health Professions: Techniques and discoveries we may be missing that could help us protect workers
Few practicing health & safety (H&S) professionals routinely identify themselves as part of the "public health workforce" but H&S is actually a subset of a very diverse professional community that collectively exists to prevent illness, injury, or death within populations. If H&S professionals would only pause to consider the techniques and discoveries derived from other public health fields, lessons could be gleaned that could help us better manage risks. This presentation is specifically intended to get H&S professionals "out of their box" by providing an overview of the broader field of public health from a historical perspective and then an examination of three examples from public health endeavors that hold potentially powerful lessons for the H&S profession. The presentation will also expose individuals to other possible career tracks within the broader field of public health. Ample time will be allotted for questions and discussion.

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Making Your Safety Message Stick! 35 Years of Powerful Quotes Collected on Sticky Notes
Successful health and safety programs function largely in the realm of prevention, so on a good day "nothing happens." But the value of "making nothing happen" can be a very difficult message to convey, and often becomes an impediment to our ability to tell this important story to key program stakeholders. After 35 years of practice I have learned that the right quote, used at the right time, can be very strategic with regard to desired decision making. These quotes, captured on hundreds of disorganized sticky notes have adorned my office bulletin board for three decades, and now for the first time, have been compiled into a "top ten" list that will be shared during this presentation.

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The Effective Display of Data to Achieve Desired Decision Making
The collection of data describing program activities and outcomes has become a necessity to justify the continued allocation of necessary resources. But programs often do not display this data compellingly, and hence desired decisions may not be reached. In this session, the basic tenants of effective data displays will be presented, drawing from the works of recognized experts in the field of information visualization. This information will be followed by a series of real world data display before-and-after "make overs" to demonstrate the effectiveness of the techniques described. Ample time will be allocated for participant questions and discussion.



PDC Speaker Bio

Dr. Robert Emery is Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Professor of Occupational Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. Bob has over 35 years of experience in health & safety and possesses masters degrees in health physics and environmental sciences, and a doctorate in occupational health. Bob holds the unique distinction of being the only person to hold national board certification in all of the seven main areas of health & safety:

  • health physics [Certified Health Physicist, CHP],

  • occupational safety [Certified Safety Professional, CSP],

  • biological safety [Certified Biological Safety Professional, CBSP],

  • industrial hygiene [Certified Industrial Hygienist, CIH],

  • hazardous materials management [Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, CHMM],

  • security management [Certified Protection Professional, CPP]

  • and risk management [Associate in Risk Management, ARM].

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