2024 AIHA Yuma Pacific Local Section Conference Highlights the Impact of the IH Profession by Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality

RHP Risk Management’s Jacob Persky, MPH, CIH, Ben Heckman, MPH, CIH, and Rod Harvey, P.E., CIH, CSP, CHMM gained valuable industry insights during their recent attendance at the 2024 American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Yuma Pacific Southwest Local Section annual conference.

The Local Section is primarily composed of senior professionals who have made substantial contributions to the Industrial Hygiene industry. The theme of the 2024 AIHA Yuma Pacific SW Local Section conference was “Intersection of Technology, Worker Well-Being, and OEHS”. Presentations provided insights on how emerging technologies have already begun to impact the field of Industrial Hygiene, including discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) and utilization of virtual reality (VR) into training.

Local Section members gained a view of the current and future use of robots in the workplace during a visit and tour of the Contextual Robotics Institute at University of California San Diego (UCSD). During the tour, UCSD graduate students gave a briefing on their research projects into the advancement of autonomous driving systems, cyber-physical technologies, and robotic medical devices for the healthcare industry.

Professor Marty Cohen, PhD, CIH, CSP provided a demonstration on how health and safety professionals have begun to utilize virtual reality technology to train workers within a virtual work environment designed to simulate real-life workplace situations in a controlled environment to reduce the risk of accidents when on the actual jobsite. VR technology also provides health and safety professionals a live 360o panoramic view of an active worksite to help rectify dangerous worksite situations as soon as possible.

Professor Marty Cohen, PhD, CIH, CSP, demonstrates the use of VR while conducting an EHS site audit at a construction site.


RHP’s Rod Harvey reported the technologies exhibited at the conference will take the traditional services that health and safety professionals provide to a new level, “Technologies like virtual reality are fantastic tools for our industry that will better prepare workforces for real-life scenarios and will undoubtedly reduce workplace injuries.”

The 2024 AIHA Yuma Pacific conference saw RHP’s Ben Heckman circled off the conference Board as Past-President, while RHP’s Jacob Persky was inducted onto the Board as a Director for a 3-year term.

Ben Heckman (Outgoing Past-President) is presented with an appreciation award for his service by Incoming Past-President Colin Young


RHP Risk Management has expertise and knowledge in a range of services that include occupational health and safety, environmental sustainability, industrial hygiene, and compliance support. By partnering with RHP, companies can develop and implement effective ESG strategies.

Contact RHP for an initial consultation or call (773) 863-3355.