October 23, 2020

Letter to AIHA Members: Important update on AIHA’s Back to Work Safely Initiative and Other News

Dear AIHA Members,

As we begin navigating the return to the workplace and (in some jurisdictions) schools against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, AIHA continues to expand and refine its comprehensive library of Back to Work Safely documents. Currently, on the website, there are 26 guidance documents across different business and community sectors. We are also working to make them accessible to more people by translating them into Spanish.

The following guidelines are available for free download on the Back to Work Safely website:

  • Amateur Sports
  • At-Home Service Providers*
  • Bars
  • Business Services**
  • Childcare Providers
  • Construction Sites*
  • Dental Office Settings**
  • General Office Settings*
  • Gyms and Workout Facilities*
  • Hair and Nail Salons*
  • Houses of Worship
  • Institutions of Higher Education
  • Libraries
  • Museums and Collecting Institutions
  • Outdoor Recreation Venues (e.g., golf courses, parks)
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy, Massage Therapy
  • Restaurants*
  • Retail*
  • Rideshare, Taxi, Limo, and Other Passenger Driver-for-Hire*
  • Schools (K-12)
  • Small Manufacturing and Maintenance Shops
  • Small and Medium Sports Entertainment Venues (e.g., mini-golf, arcades)
  • Small Lodging Establishments
  • Street Vendors and Farmers Markets
  • Transit Systems**
  • Warehousing/Transportation**

*Available in Spanish
**Coming soon in Spanish

In the past two months, AIHA has been working closely with RHP Risk Management to verify accuracy and ensure harmonization across the entire library based on an evolving understanding of best-in-class control strategies; the goal remains to ensure our guidance is practical and understandable to the general public. I would like to personally thank Jason Lang CSP, CIH, Frank Pagone Ph.D., and RHP Risk Management staff for their efforts as technical editors. Although 8 of the 26 documents were translated into Spanish already, we are in the process of getting more translated into Spanish (and exploring Portuguese). We will continue to apprise you as the translations come out.

Other COVID-19 guidance documents

Through its prolific volunteer group community, AIHA also has published a growing library of guidelines on various technical topics. These include applying engineering controls (ventilation, enhanced filtration, and physical barriers), germicidal ultraviolet radiation, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and more to aid the public in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Most are geared towards the non-technical reader, and all are also available in Spanish:

The Back to Work Safely guidance documents and COVID-19 resources continue to receive much-deserved attention from media outlets, like MSN, The Telegraph, The Hill, EHS Today, Construction Today, Business.com, and Industrial Safety & Hygiene News.

I’d like to thank once again all our volunteer groups and the Back to Work Safely task force. Through your time and energy, you have created an extraordinary body of knowledge that has helped AIHA and the OEHS profession secure a more enhanced presence in the mass media than ever before.

I will continue to send these updates about our pandemic-related resources over the coming months. Please feel free to distribute these resources to your colleagues.

I want to close this letter with an invitation. If you are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and are helping to keep workers safe and healthy, please consider sharing your story with us. AIHA launched our “Share Your Story” campaign to highlight the exceptional work done by you and your peers as you help safeguard community and workplace health and safety. Simply submit one or two sentences about your story by Sunday, November 1, 2020, and we will be in touch to interview you to learn more. Your story may appear in one or more of these forums: as a feature story press release to the media, on the AIHA website, in The Synergist, as a SynergistNOW blog, on the Catalyst, on our social media channels, or in an I AM IH video.

In good health,

Lawrence D. Sloan, MBA, CAE
Chief Executive Officer, AIHA