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Professor Hamid Arabzadeh honored by the American Industrial Hygiene Association with President’s and Social Responsibility awards
Hamid Arabzadeh, a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has been named a 2021 recipient of two separate awards by the American Industrial Hygiene Association for his role in the field’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very pleased, and especially honored, by these awards because they represent recognition by my peers of our team’s work on how to safely keep the economy going during the height of the pandemic, in the United States and overseas,” said Arabzadeh, who teaches in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. “We developed practical solutions to assist the economies of these countries to return to work, with confidence that following these reopening guidelines would provide a healthy environment for employees and customers.”
Industrial hygiene is the public health discipline of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, controlling and confirming environmental factors in the workplace to prevent illness and injury for workers and their communities. Arabzadeh, a specialist in occupational and environmental health and industrial safety and hazardous materials management, volunteered for service on an ad hoc task force formed in March, 2020 – the same month the World Health Organization declared SARS-CoV-2 to be a global pandemic.
Little more than a month later, the team’s guidelines were published by the Association, or AIHA; the quick response, and follow-on work that continued through 2021, more than warrant the AIHA’s President’s and Social Responsibility awards, said Lindsay Cook, the AIHA’S immediate past president.
“These awards recognize some of the exceptional contributions made by our volunteers during this most difficult year,” Cook said. “We wish we could recognize all of those who contributed to the success of AIHA this year, but it would be a long list.”
The team’s recommendations were first published May 1, on the AIHA’s `BacktoWorkSafely’ website; by July, the team had prepared 27 guidelines for small business, public (schools and libraries), and non-profit (places of worship) entities and ten posters, in English and Spanish, to help with sound occupational health and safety advice for those workplaces. Within the first seven months of the website being open to the public, the guidelines were downloaded nearly 1.2 million times. The effort was recognized by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration as a resource for recovery.
Arabzadeh has taught at UCLA since 2015, and is a faculty associate with the Southern California NIOSH Education and Research Center. He earned his MS at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, is board certified in industrial hygiene, and is an elected fellow of the AIHA.
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 761 students from 26 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.