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Health & Safety

  • Provides educational and technical information to members to increase knowledge of safety hazards and general health issues related to the conservation profession.
  • Maintains a section of the AIC Wiki on Health & Safety topics relevant to the profession.
  • Write articles and guides that are regularly published in AIC News.
  • Maintains a strong presence at AIC’s Annual Meetings by providing session programming, respirator fit tests, and presence in the Exhibit Hall

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Annual Meeting Resources

Health & Safety Sessions: The Health & Safety Committee maintains a strong presence at AIC’s Annual Meetings. The committee hosted a full-day session dedicated to health and safety topics at the 2014 conference. Presentations covered topics such as ergonomics, safe chemical alternatives, handling of hazardous collection materials, and mold remediation. In addition, the committee also periodically organizes workshops and luncheon lectures at the Annual Meeting.

Respirator Fit Testing: The Committee provides low-cost respirator fit testing to attendees at the AIC Annual Meeting. Respirator fit testing is now much easier, and much of the preparation can be done via an online course.

Exhibit Booth: The Health & Safety Committee provides sample publications for perusal, samples of respirators, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) by various manufacturers and answers questions about health and safety issues. In 2014, the Health & Safety Committee held a session with J.R. Smith (Safety Manager, Smithsonian Institution), "The Safety Doctor Is In" with J. R. Smith to discuss creating a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) and other safety issues.

Brochures, Handouts & Charts

The Health & Safety Committee publishes brief informational guides to provide quick reference on a variety of important health and safety topics.

Bibliography & Web Resources

Numerous public health and safety resources exist to help private conservators and large facilities assess hazards and develop and implement health and safety protocols. These include easily accessible web-based information, such as directories of professional organizations’ safety consultants, information on pro-bono services, and links to occupational medical clinics.

Controlling Hazardous Collections Materials

The Health & Safety Committee is working to provide outreach materials for creating risk management plans for the handling of hazardous collection materials such as pesticide-contaminated objects, ammunition, and mercury-containing mirrors. Collections with uncontrolled safety risks are inaccessible for research or display. Creating a comprehensive plan to assess and manage risks provides management with a prioritized plan for budgeting resources toward not only protecting staff but making collections accessible for use. Safety investments are not just a legal requirement of the collecting institution to provide a safe environment, but also a positive factor in productivity.

Sample Safety Documents

There are certain documents that conservators and laboratories should regularly produce and maintain such as a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). The Committee provides samples of these important documents for reference. In addition, if you feel like you are not comfortable developing, managing or evaluating your safety documents or don’t have a safety specialist available to your organization, the Health & Safety Committee can assist you in finding an appropriate solution. A third party can also provide insight into areas and problems that may be taken for granted or overlooked due to familiarity.

Coming Soon….

Questions?

Contact health-safety@culturalheritage.org