February 1, 2021

AIHA Letter to the White House: Reopening America’s Schools and Businesses Depends on Worker Health and Safety

February 1, 2021

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden:

Reopening America’s schools and businesses as fast and safely as possible are goals that you, your administration and AIHA share. AIHA represents scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) in the workplace and community. Our members are classified as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure workforce, and they safeguard workers from occupational hazards (e.g., chemical, biological, physical, radioactive) across America and around the globe. AIHA’s members have the expertise needed to protect workers, their families, and communities from COVID-19.

From the early stages of the pandemic, AIHA has responded to the needs of workers by activating our vast network of experts. We would welcome the opportunity to partner with your COVID-19 task force as your administration seeks to accelerate the reopening of America’s schools and businesses.

Prominent examples of our successful work products include AIHA’s comprehensive Back to Work Safely guidelines, designed for small businesses, covering 27 business sectors. The guidelines build on CDC and OSHA guidance, providing practical and implementable recommendations on such control strategies as PPE, engineering controls (e.g., ventilation, enhanced filtration, and physical barriers), enhanced cleaning and disinfection, personal hygiene, and physical distancing. Each of these guidance documents is available in both English and Spanish, further expanding their reach.

The Back to Work Safely guidelines have been downloaded more than 1.25 million times, indicating the need for practical and implementable guidance and resources in our workplaces and communities. The authors of each of these documents are scientists and professionals with deep expertise in addressing this pandemic, all of whom are well-regarded leaders in their field.

We hope you will call on AIHA’s expertise to assist your administration in communicating the overall importance of workplace health and safety, as well as to combat vaccination myths and emphasize the need for continued vigilance during the pandemic. Please feel free to have your taskforce contact Mark Ames, AIHA’s director of government relations, at mames@aiha.org or (703) 846-0730, if we may be of assistance in any way.

Sincerely,

Lawrence D. Sloan, MBA CAE
Chief Executive Office
AIHA

Lindsay Cook, CIH, CSP, FAIHA
President
AIHA