We are already halfway through the year and the AIOH Council, Staff and the many volunteers involved in our various committees and projects, have been busy delivering on our Annual business plan. If you haven’t already, please take the time to listen to me go through the 2020 AIOH Annual Business Plan.

As we speak, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, which have been progressing across the country, look to slow down as we see a rise in cases across metropolitan Melbourne.

One critical control in the effective containment of the virus is the use of fit for purpose respiratory protection for front line health care workers. To provide guidance and support to procurers and wearers of disposable P2 respiratory protection, the AIOH, in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS), Indoor Air Quality Association Australia (IAQAA) and the New Zealand Occupational Hygiene Society (NZOHS) has developed a comprehensive guidance document to help wade through the myriad of faulty and counterfeit disposable respirators that have flooded the Australian & International market.

This is the first time that these organisations have come together, united on an OHS related issue. It is also the first time that such a guidance document has been supported by the ACTU, State regulatory agencies, and in the case of New Zealand, HASANZ.

As such I am very proud of the development of this guidance document and appreciative of the passion and time spent by both Kate Cole and Jane Whitelaw in its development. Thanks, must also go out to Terry Gorman who also contributed to the guidance document on behalf of the AIOH. This valuable resource would not have achieved the profile and broad level of acceptance but for the collaboration of David Clarke (AIHS CEO), Dr Claire Bird (President, IAQAA), and Suzanne Broadbent (NZOHS). Many thanks for their input, support and advice, particularly with respect to engaging with external supporters of the guidance document.

The theme of looking outwards, rather than inwards will continue as we continue to promote the occupational hygiene profession as well as the value of the AIOH to all stakeholders across the Nation who advocate worker health.

To this end, the AIOH earlier this year signed a memorandum of understanding with the Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Consultants Association (AHCA). Working with AHCA President, Nigel Johnson the AIOH will look to see how we can identify opportunities to collaborate in the area of hazardous materials management.

Continuing this collaborative theme, I am also excited to communicate that the AIOH is also exploring opportunities to work in conjunction with IAQAA to develop a guide around mould assessment strategies, something that has been long overdue.

As mentioned previously, Council is also looking to see how we can better improve our Member Value Proposition across all membership grades. The AIOH Membership Coordinator has been busy working to map out and assess the utilisation and effectiveness of the various services and resources that the AIOH offers its members. Once completed, the aim is to tailor these services and resources specifically to our membership grades, to ensure we provide the appropriate resources and services corresponding to where you currently are on your professional hygiene journey.

To help us get a better understanding of how the institute can improve on our member value proposition we are asking you all for your feedback. You all would have recently received an email requesting you to kindly complete a short three-minute survey. For those that haven’t completed this survey, I urge you do so at your earliest convenience, as it will be a key resource for our future planning.

Martin Jennings and the External Affairs committee continue to work hard in the advocacy space, having submitted the AIOH’s position on the Australian Bushfire Season to the recent Senate Enquiry. Martin also recently caught up with Jacqueline Agius, the new ACT Work Safety Commissioner and Executive Director Construction, Environment and Workplace Protection Division in Canberra.

Kelly Johnstone, along with her Scientific Committee is busy putting together a great line-up of both international and local speakers to speak at our 40th Anniversary Online Symposium on a range of topical subjects. Expressions of interest for speakers is open until the end of July.


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