"Powerful Partnerships" is the theme for the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce), to be held June 1-6 at the San Diego Convention Center. Cosponsors are the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).

Approximately 8,000 attendees are expected at the conference, which offers more than 500 practical, hands-on educational opportunities including forums, platform sessions, case study sessions, EHS (Environmental Health and Safety) crossover programs, and poster sessions.

Introducing the conference theme of partnerships will be Ron Hayes, Founder and Director of The FIGHT Project, Fairhope, Alabama, who is the opening general session speaker on Monday, June 3, at 8 a.m. Hayes' only son, 19-year-old Patrick, suffocated under 60 tons of corn in a grain silo accident. Hayes quit his career to establish and run The FIGHT Project, which helps families cope with workplace-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths. Discover the inspirational and admirable results achieved by Hayes and The FIGHT Project to forge productive alliances and recruit volunteers to lobby Congress, state legislatures, and media contacts. Hear about Hayes' courageous and tenacious efforts to improve workplace health and safety despite the obstacles of red tape and layers of unresponsive bureaucracy.

Tuesday's keynote speaker (also 8 a.m.) is the Honorable John L. Henshaw, CIH, ROH, Assistant Secretary of Labor, OSHA, Washington. A self-described champion of workplace safety and health, Henshaw envisions OSHA as an organization that partners with its customers to focus on the pursuit of improved job safety and health, rather than having an adversarial relationship. There will be a Q&A with Henshaw at 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday at 8 a.m. Kyle B. Olson, Vice President and Senior Associate, Community Research Associates, Washington, D.C., will speak. Olson is ABC News's terrorism consultant, with over 30 appearances in the past 12 months. Olson has been interviewed by all major broadcast news organizations in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific Rim, including 60 Minutes, Nightline, Today, and Dateline. Currently, he is a leading authority on high-technology terrorism, the threat of chemical and biological weapons, and the challenges of arms control. The first Western expert to investigate the 1994 terrorist use of Sarin nerve gas in Matsumoto, Japan, Olson is presently directing the activities of a team of experts supporting New York City response efforts in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks. A breakout Q&A session with Olson will follow his keynote presentation.

Other chemical-biological terrorism events include a chemical-biological terrorism learning track with reports from the industrial hygienists who worked with clean-up crews in New York and the Pentagon. The expo will offer live demonstrations of protective equipment that could be used in the event of another attack and a decontamination tent like the one used at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Preceding the conference, on Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, are 87 professional development courses spread over 32 tracks. Other conference highlights will include:
* A 700+-booth exposition featuring the health and safety products and services of more than 350 companies. The exposition will demonstrate the latest tools, equipment, services, and technologies for industrial hygienists. Exposition hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on June 3 and 4, and 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on June 5.

* The second triennial EHS (Environmental Health and Safety) Symposium, "The Role of Performance Measurement, Management Systems, and EHS Core Values in Performance Improvement." The Symposium will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

* The AIHce Conference Program Planner. The Planner provides a variety of tools to help attendees get the most out of the conference. Visitors can search all session categories. Selection of a session provides full identification with room location and a link to the full abstract (platform, crossover, and case study categories only).

* The AIHce Online Expo Planner. The Online Planner offers attendees 24-hour exposure to exhibitors. Expo "visitors" can create their own list of exhibitors to visit on-site. See the AIHA website (http://www.aiha.org ) to access this Planner and then search for suppliers by company name or nearly 50 product and service categories, and print out an expo floor plan.

* An Employment Services Center sponsored by the AIHA Employment Services Committee.

* The 17th Annual 5K Fun Run and 2K Fun Walk benefiting the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation. They will start at 6:00 a.m. June 4.

Conference participants are eligible for points toward certification or certification maintenance as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), or Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP).

Registration is available on-site ($545 for members) beginning Saturday, June 1, at 7 a.m. at the convention center. For an advance program, contact AIHA Customer Service at 703-849-8888. For detailed conference information, click here to visit the AIHA website.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), founded in 1939, is the world's largest association of occupational and environmental health professionals, and its members play an important role on the front line of worker health and safety. The 12,000 members come from government, labor, industry, academia, and private business. AIHA is the most diverse professional association dedicated to the improvement of the health and well- being of workers, the community, and the environment.