AIHA Urges White House, Federal Agencies to Provide Adequate Protections to Healthcare Workers Amid Ebola Outbreak

Release No. SPR-14-1015-01

Nicole Racadag, AIHA Communications
(703) 846-0700;

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (October 15, 2014) — As cases of Ebola begin to emerge in the United States, the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) is urging the President and federal agencies to help the healthcare community emphasize personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety precautions for healthcare workers. In letters to the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), AIHA Executive Director Peter J. O’Neil, CAE, expressed concern about the U.S. healthcare sector’s readiness to provide adequate protections. 

"Diseases like Ebola create public concern for the health and safety of healthcare workers, and it is only a matter of time before this concern spreads to other workers," said O'Neil. "Industrial hygienists around the world are actively working to ask questions, seek solutions, and provide information to ensure people have a good understanding of, and protection from, this disease. AIHA members have a unique skill set that is tremendously applicable to this emerging crisis, and we believe that the role of industrial hygienists will become increasingly important as more workers become concerned."

AIHA’s letters urged OSHA to quickly move forward with a delayed infectious disease rule, which would provide increased protections and recommendations for America’s healthcare workers, and encouraged the agency to work with NIOSH, CDC, and other stakeholders to separate any misleading information from the science of how best to protect workers from this virus. AIHA also urged President Obama to support these efforts and requested that Congress appropriate the necessary funds to carry out these initiatives.

The Ebola crisis has prompted industrial hygiene and health and safety professionals to take extra measures to ensure that health, safety, and infection controls are properly implemented to safeguard healthcare workers and others during this outbreak. AIHA's Ebola coverage and resources Web page contains information related to the 2014 Ebola outbreak for industrial hygienists, occupational and environmental health and safety professionals, and the public. Additional resources will be added as more information becomes available.

Media: To speak with an AIHA expert on Ebola, contact Nicole Racadag.

​​​​About the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA)
Founded in 1939, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) is the premier association of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals. AIHA’s 10,000 members play a crucial role on the front line of worker health and safety every day. Members represent a cross-section of industry, private business, labor, government and academia.