NORTHBROOK, IL — August 29, 2018 — In anticipation of the upcoming ISSA Show 2018 in Dallas October 29 – November 1, Cleanfax Associate Editor Amanda Hosey sat down to talk to National Organization of Remediation and Mold Inspectors (NORMI) president, Cleanfax contributor, and ISSA Show presenter Doug Hoffman about his organization and his ISSA Show presentation.
Cleanfax: Tell us about your special area of expertise, past experience, and current role with NORMI.
Hoffman: I wrote Mold-Free Construction after 35 years in the construction industry and became recognized as a building contractor who understands healthy homes and commercial structures. In 2004 we were contacted by the State of Louisiana (the first state to have a licensing law for mold professionals) and started NORMI, the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors to train and certify mold professionals in the assessment and remediation disciplines. Because mold is an indoor air quality (IAQ) problem, our over-arching goal was to establish training in various aspects of the IAQ industry and now, as a result of this broad interest, weprovide 14 certifications for IAQ and mold professionals.
Our goal has been to support those who are working in the field by offering continuing education opportunities and to impact mold legislation in a realistic way so the industry is properly controlled. Currently, we are the only international organization that is recognized and an approved training and proctored exam provider in the five places that require licensing: Texas, Florida, Louisiana, New York, and District of Columbia. We train about solution-based assessment and remediation that eliminates IAQ/mold problems and holistically provides long-term IAQ management for both residential and commercial properties.
It’s not just about water events (like flooding or mishaps), but also about providing healthier living environments indoors.
Cleanfax: What will you be talking about during your ISSA Show presentation?
Hoffman: I find facility maintenance managers, and others in the cleaning field, though not required to be licensed, still need to understand the dangers associated with IAQ and mold issues. There is a potential liability they face business managers/owners for not providing a safe workplace. I would like to outline the problem and then give them some simple diagnostics they can follow to identify IAQ/mold problems. At some point a professional should be called. By realizing that there are some things they may be able to do, but others they should avoid, they will have a better understanding of how the industry, licensing, and professional assessors and remediators work.
Cleanfax: What tips/information will attendees of your presentation be able to take with them to apply to their operations?
Hoffman: I want to present a simple, five-step process, well-documented in the industry, to serve as a guideline for facilities maintenance personnel and property owners. Starting with a simple employee questionnaire that HR can use (I’ll provide the document), they will be able to highlight what diagnostics they can do in house. (I’ll show them the tools they might want to purchase for this process.) By giving them a simple, step-by-step way of determining how serious the problem is, they will know when to call in a professional. Those professionals should then follow the NORMI Professional Practices to insure a healthier environment moving forward (so, I will also make that document available). It will be productive, practical, and very profitable time well spent.
Cleanfax: What preview can you give us of your upcoming presentation?
Hoffman: I believe the potential health concerns are too great to risk exposing your employees to elevated IAQ or mold contamination, so you need to know when to call in a professional. If you smell mustiness, mold probably is there. If you see mold, don’t disturb it. When in doubt, seek a professional.