Welcome to the Workplace Health Without Borders Forum. This is where we post news items and discuss WHWB projects and issues of importance to the international occupational hygiene community.
We have just established a Mentor program to match experienced occupational hygienists with new entrants to the field of occupational hygiene. We are actively seeking projects to improve the quality of working life for workers everywhere. We are working on a training module on the hazards of silica exposure and their control. This will be contributed to the collection of modular occupational hygiene training materials produced by OHTA and available at the www.ohlearning.com website.
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WHWB member and Regional Correspondent Aristides Medard gave a presentation about WHWB at the National Occupational Safety and Health Course in Tanzania. Thanks, Aristides, for spreading the word about occupational health and WHWB!
Al Jazeera has a video about lead poisoning from a smelter in Kazakhstan — an important exposé about industrial practices.
It mentions a report by the International Task Force for Children’s Environmental Health (ITFCEH) which WHWB members work with.
Periodically, as webmaster I go through our list of subscribers looking for potential spambots who may have registered as a means of harvesting email addresses for their own nefarious purposes. Since launching the website there have been 5 spam attacks, all of which fortunately were caught by security software. When this occurs, I go through our list of subscribers looking for suspected spambots. When I delete suspicious looking subscribers there is always the risk that I delete a real person because they have not placed anything in the biographical data box, they have not included a first and last name or their username does not appear to match their email address.
To ensure that you are not unsubscribed and blocked from signing on to the site, I encourage you to login to the site and edit your user profile so as to convince me that you are a human and not a spambot. To edit your profile after signing in, mouse over your username in the upper right and select “Edit my profile”. To ensure you are not accidentally deleted in future, please ensure that you have included a first and last name and that you have placed something in the biographical details box. If you do not want to provide any personal details, a simple statement like “I am a human” will suffice.
As always, if you have any questions, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am reminded of my Spanish professor who told us about some people having “freckles on their soul”. I think we will agree that no one is perfect. We all have a few freckles on our soul. Most of us try to control the number of freckles to a level as low as reasonably achievable.
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) expects that all Certified Industrial Hygienists will conduct themselves in an ethical manner. At least once every five years CIHs are required to attend a two-hour ethics course and pass the quiz. Is this enough?
I recommend to you an entertaining author who gently teaches ethical behaviour through his novels. Alexander McCall Smith, who was born in Zimbabwe and taught law at the University of Botswana, (www.alexandermccallsmith.com) is a professor emiritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His books fall into five very different series. My favourite is the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series because, after all, industrial hygienists are detectives of the workplace. Academics will find gentle humour and familiar ethical dilemmas in The Portuguese Irregular Verbs series.
My prescription for hygienists and other professionals to maintain and perhaps improve their standard of ethical practice is to read at least one of Alexander McCall Smith’s novels annually. This, I believe, is a painless and pleasurable way to minimize the number of those freckles.
The photo below was taken by WHWB member Dustin Bennett at the AIOH 2013 conference in Sydney Australia on December 2, 2013 where he spoke on WHWB. As I understand it, the folks with their hands up are either members or soon to be members of WHWB. If you were there and didn’t have your hand up, you can still join. Actually, even if you weren’t there you can join. Just fill out the membership form found here and submit it by email to email@example.com.
Marguerite Pilger CIH, ROH
Since early November I have been mentoring a graduate student in occupational hygiene field monitoring. We have been meeting once or twice a week through Skype Video. In real time I can demonstrate various pieces of sampling equipment and techniques such as pump calibration, setting up sampling trains and using direct reading instruments. Augmented by slides and notes from a practical course that our company provides, this complements the course material provided by her professor.
We are finding Skype Video a very useful teaching tool. We can switch back and forth between slides and live demonstrations at any time and I can respond to her questions as they arise and provide more information. We often follow up our sessions with emails.
Equipment: I use a small external webcam on a tripod rather than the one in my laptop computer because it is of better quality. I can also reach over and tilt the camera from my face to my table top as needed. Also, I use a second old computer to display my teaching slides to myself so that Continue reading Mentoring at a distance: my personal experience