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The Galson Blog

07/02/2012

A Newbie's Experience at AIHce 2012


A Newbie’s Experience at AIHce 2012



           



A good deal of my time as the marketing assistant at Galson Laboratories is spent preparing for the annual American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition (AIHce). One of the challenges presented for me this year is that not only was this my first AIHce but I have no prior background in the IH industry!



Many would view this as a disadvantage but I took it as an opportunity to learn more about the industry through reading, research, and planning. One of the exciting aspects to the AIHce is that each year it is held in a different city. This year’s conference was in the heart of downtown Indianapolis -  in the Indiana Convention Center. Surrounding the convention center is a plethora of interesting spots, including great restaurants like St. Elmo’s Fire and sport venues such as Lucas Oil Stadium and the NCAA Headquarters.



Once the booth was assembled and set-up on Sunday morning we were ready for things to kick off on Monday. The exhibition opened up with a bang. In the exhibit hall we had our 20’ X 20’ booth positioned roughly in the center just inside the main entrance doors which was prime real estate in the exhibit hall. Clients and prospects came in waves to check out our new offerings and were treated to a smorgasbord of giveaways such as cupholders, flash drives, USB chargers, and bubbles. They also came to pick up their tickets to the Galson Client Appreciation Party.



Our purpose at the conference is to meet our clients and prospects personally and fill them in on the new offerings – making sure they know all the ways in which they can benefit from our service. Specifically this year we had some big announcements: Report Access a new edition to the Client Portal, the opening of a Canadian Service Center and the acquisition of White Laboratories in Alaska and Hawaii.



 Having one of the larger booths at the conference provided us with a good opportunity for high visibility and traffic. We announced at the show a fun contest using two-dimensional QR codes. Many attendees scanned to win $1000 of free rental or lab analysis. The contest continues through August 15th, 2012 so you can still click to enter!



Now, besides the exhibit hall there were workshops and events scheduled intermittently each day. Monday evening Galson Laboratories sponsored the AIHA International Reception. This was a great opportunity to meet potential new international clients and keep in touch with existing ones.



Tuesday was similar to Monday in terms of attendance at the exhibit hall. The remaining clients stopped by to pick up their tickets prior to the 15thAnnual Galson Client Appreciation Party. The wait list for the party was extensive and many clients were in a frenzy to come. It was shaping up to be our largest attended party to date.  We ended up having to hand write any additions from the waiting list to meet demand since our label maker had an apparent coronary. My advice for anyone who wants to come next year: sign up early and send in more work!



The Client Appreciation Party was a wonderful event. We had fantastic beer from Sun King Brewery – 4 excellent microbrews to taste. We had a classic rock band Kyxx, handed out prizes as well -  t-shirts and hats - and provided an awesome buffet.  This whole event was our way of saying “Thank you” to our clients new and old for their business. It’s a lot of fun as you can see from the pictures and evidenced by the attending IH professionals who set a new record of 12 kegs of beer consumed at a Galson Client Appreciation Party!



Now we turn our attention to next year’s AIHce in Montreal and will be looking for ways to improve. If you have any suggestions, feel free to email me directly jdeleo@galsonlabs.com



 


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Bill Walsh CIH

09/23/2011

Western Michigan AIHA Local Section to Host ½ Day VEM Workshop 10/11/11

One of the daily challenges of IH is the “you should have been here yesterday syndrome”. Speaking with exposed employees, it is often their opinion that the exposures, smells, or environmental conditions were worse yesterday, or will be worse tomorrow, but are not as bad as they usually are on the day on which you are actually doing the monitoring. Another complicating variable in making accurate exposure assessments is that the act of monitoring often causes changes in behavior (for the better or worse) that influence the measured exposures. The ability to track down and characterize intermittent episodes causing complaints is yet another challenge.

Dr. Jim McGlothlin and his team at Purdue University are working on a technical innovation to address these problems. Known as Video Exposure Monitoring (VEM), the system ties together real time (or near real-time) monitoring with video recordings of workers or environmental conditions. The system can adapt to a variety of sensors, including those detecting chemical, radiological, biological, and/or physical agents. Their research is an extension of work originally started by CDC/NIOSH researchers back in the mid ‘8o’s.

The VEM system uses a proprietary design to tie together and integrate data feeds from remote sensors and video cameras. It has been designed to accept input using a wide variety of input protocols and multiple sensors/cameras. Trigger levels specific to the type of sensor used can be entered to flag data as it is collected or during the review process. This combination allows for the rapid correlation of sensor data with either environmental conditions or employee behaviors observed on the video feeds. The data files can be parsed and edited for inclusion in external reports.

The system can be placed into service for extended periods of time, allowing better capture of intermittent episodes as well as the ability to make judgments based upon a longer integration of workplace observations. For example, spike exposures can be traced to specific behaviors, environmental conditions, or machinery operation and can be verified over a number of episodes rather than the normal “snapshot” nature of IH monitoring.

The VEM system has been in development for a number of years and continues to be extensively beta-tested by a variety of educational and research organizations. The Western Michigan AIHA Local Section is sponsoring a half-day workshop at which Dr. McGlothlin will give an overview of the system, present case histories, and give some insight into future plans. The workshop is taking place on October 11th. People with an interest in attending should contact Brenda Wisniewski, Chapter Secretary at brenda.wisniewski@gentex.com .

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Edward Stuber CIH

09/14/2011

OHAO Fall Symposium

It seems only fitting, that as I sit here in my hotel room in Montreal, my blog topic this week has to do with Canada. I hope that all of our Canadian friends and as many as possible from the US can make it to the OHAO Fall Symposium. The symposium is scheduled for Thursday October 13th. This program has always been very informative and should not be missed if at all possible.

The OHAO Program Committee has put together a mix of speakers to cover a wide range of topics – such as the revised CSA Respiration Protection Standard, better use of Direct Reading Instruments, Firefighters’ exposures, and customized hearing protection programs. In addition to the above topics, the OHAO is also seeking people who may have an interesting field study or hygiene problem they would like to present (20 min).

Interested persons may contact Paul Bozek (p.bozek@utoronto.ca)for more information and you can find out more about the OHAO and the fall symposium at www.ohao.org.

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