BOHS, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection, is proud to announce Roger Alesbury and Steve Bailey, past presidents and stalwart members of our Society, as joint recipients of the prestigious William P. Yant Award, conferred by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).
The highly respected award was established by AIHA in 1964 to honour the contributions of William P. Yant, the first president of AIHA. The award is presented annually to an individual residing outside the United States who has made outstanding contributions in occupational hygiene or allied fields and has this year been bestowed jointly.
Roger and Steve were nominated for the Yant Award by BOHS, with support from the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH), in recognition of their remarkable contribution to the training and development of occupational hygienists worldwide.
In particular, the Society recommended them for their extraordinary leadership, advocacy and networking, during the 10-year period of 2005 to 2015, which led to the formation and success of the Occupational Hygiene Training Association (OHTA).
For many years, both held senior management positions with global responsibilities in multinational corporations, Roger in the oil industry and Steve in pharmaceuticals. By 2005 it became clear to them that there was a recruitment crisis in the occupational hygiene profession, particularly in emerging economies.
However, their vision was not merely to satisfy the business needs of their own organisations, but for a training scheme under which trainees would develop transferable practical skills using peer-reviewed training materials that would be made available to everyone, and so in 2010, OHTA was created with Roger and Steve amongst the founding directors. By 2016, most national associations of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA), including AIHA, have signed up as members of OHTA.
The Yant Award will be presented to Roger and Steve at the Mark of Excellence Breakfast on 25 May during the 2016 AIHA annual conference, which will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, from 21 to 26 May. The winners have also been invited to deliver the Yant Lecture, scheduled to take place on 24 May, and considered a highlight of the conference. That same evening, Roger and Steve are invited to attend the Yant Award dinner, hosted by the global manufacturer of safety products MSA North America, as the guests of honour.
As the winners of the Yant Award, Roger and Steve will receive complimentary hotel accommodation and registration at the 2016 AIHA annual conference, along with a $500 honorarium each and subsidised airline tickets, generously sponsored by MSA North America.
Previous recipients of the Award have included distinguished industry leaders such as Dr Trevor Ogden, former chief editor of the Annals of Occupational Hygiene and Dr Paul J. Oldershaw, another past president of BOHS, as well as Dr Jukka Takala, the former director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
Commenting on the honours, Tracey Boyle, President-Elect of BOHS, said, “Congratulations, Roger and Steve, on winning this prestigious international award which is so greatly deserved. Your vision, leadership qualities and diplomacy skills were crucial factors without which the OHTA training framework could not have been embraced by the global industrial hygiene community in the way that it has. The creation of an overarching, consistent international framework for the training and development of occupational hygienists worldwide is a remarkable achievement and one which will serve the global occupational hygiene community for years to come. We are delighted to celebrate the formal recognition of your efforts by the William P. Yant Award.”
Note: From 1st January 2017, the Annals of Occupational Hygiene has been renamed the Annals of Work Exposures and Health.
For more information on the change, please visit https://academic.oup.com/annweh/pages/About