Good Risk Communications & Conflict Resolution: Learn to Deal Smartly with an IAQ Problem or “Emergency”

Two date options:

Monday, October 15, 2018
NH Department of Public Health
1528 Elm Street, Manchester, NH


Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Dirigo Room, Second Floor
Bangor Savings Bank – 5 Senator Way, Augusta, ME

(To register for either of these sessions, scroll to the end of this page.)

About the Program:

The nightmare scenario:  Your local elementary school discovers mold in the building.  The moisture problem is identified and repaired, and a professional services company is hired to do clean-up.  Problem solved, right?  Wrong.  Parents express concern for the health of the indoor environment.  Demands for repeated environmental testing are made.  Now teachers are complaining about health problems.  Everyone wants proof that the building is safe.  Distrust and blame are assessed all around.  Individuals on both sides are dissatisfied. The building is evacuated.  The issue hits the local papers, then the airwaves. Jobs are now on the line.  Years pass before trust between parties is restored.

* * * * *

Indoor air quality investigations and repairs naturally include assessment of environmental health stressors in the built environment and their potential risks to occupants.  How these potential risks are communicated to interested parties is as important–if not more important–than the actual technical repair and clean-up. This is especially important when the building investigation involves a perceived “IAQ emergency”, where occupants are either evacuated from a facility or refuse to enter it until their health concerns are addressed.  Poor or inadequate response can lead to the nightmare scenario above that nobody wants.

Skillful risk communications about IAQ risks and emergencies, however, can do the following:

  • reduce tensions
  • relieve anxiety
  • effect appropriate changes for how a building is operated and maintained
  • form an effective program of conflict resolution
  • create an on-going system of complaint response and decision-making that involves all concerned parties

The value of effectively and honestly communicating and discussing risk cannot be overstated. Everyone involved–building owners, facility directors, insurers, building occupants or their representatives, parents or relatives of occupants, employers, alllied investigators or medical personnel, regulators, the public, and yes, even the media–have a vested interest in a positive outcome to the indoor air quality problem as well as successful resolution of their concerns.

This session will discuss tried and true methods to address stakeholders’ concerns, reduce conflict and hysteria, develop and implement a strategy to accomplish the stated goals and achieve a successful resolution to the “emergency.”

Who Should Attend:  IAQ investigators and remediators, building facility personnel (especially school/university personnel), building inspectors, codes officials, industrial hygiene professionals, commercial real estate professionals, commercial property lenders,  building owners and managers, property insurers, and employers.

Guest Presenter:


Mike is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with sub-specialty certification from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) in Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). He is also a Certified Environmental Trainer through the National Environmental Training Association and a Certified Indoor Air Quality Professional through the Association of Energy Engineers. He has over 30 years of professional experience in the public sector with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the NJ Bureau of Engineering and Safety and in the private sector with R.K. Occupational and Environmental Analysis, Inc.

Mike is a frequent presenter at national events including the Indoor Air Quality Association, the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the ISIAQ, Healthy Buildings US, USEPA and the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, among others. He was Course Director for Mold Remediation and Health and Safety training at the Mid-Atlantic Environmental Hygiene Resource Center (MEHRC) at the University of Pennsylvania. He developed and taught the first Mold Remediation Worker and Mold Remediation Supervisor courses in the U.S. through MEHRC.

Mike is an internationally recognized expert on issues related to health and safety, Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), building science, energy efficient buildings, mold assessments and remediation and environmental microbiology. He is interested in emerging issues such as nanotechnology and health stressors related to water-damaged buildings. He believes that occupational and environmental health and safety considerations must necessarily be an integral part in the development of any new technology as part of the ethical responsibilities implicit in the development of these technologies. He is also a good dancer and lots of fun at parties.


8:15 a.m. – Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – Introduction & Overview

9:15. – Setting the Stage – Video clips of actual issues

9:30. – First Hands-On Session – How to Handle an IAQ Emergency

10:15 a.m. – Break

10:30 a.m. – Introduction to Risk Communication

11:15 a.m. – Introduction to Conflict Resolution

12:00 Noon – Second Hands-On Session – How to Handle and IAQ Emergency – Applying What You Learned

12:45 p.m. – Wrap-Up

1:00 p.m. – Adjourn


Continuing Education Credits:

BPI – Approved for 2 BPI CE’s

ACAC – Self-Report 4 hours with Certificate of Attendance

AIA – Approved for 4 LU by AIA

Codes Enforcement Professionals – Approved for 4 legal issues contact hours for CEOs

Pesticides Applicators – Not available

Maine Real Estate Professionals – Not available

Professional Engineers – Self-Report 4 hours with Certificate of Attendance

Industrial Hygienists – Self-Report 0.4 CEU with Certificate of Attendance

BOC Certificate Holders – Self-Report 4 Maintenance Points with Certificate of Attendance

USGBC – Self-Report 4 hours of “Live Presentation Hours” with Certificate of Attendance

Attorneys – Not available

This list will be amended as new approvals arrive.



$70.00 Members of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council or the Indoor Air Quality Association

$95.00 Nonmembers


To register for the October 15th presentation in New Hampshire, click here, or contact Jane Stratton at

To register for the October 16th presentation in Maine, use the online form below, or click here for a printable registration form.

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