April 17, 2020

Media alert: AIHA Applauds the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America, Urges Leaders to Consult Industrial Hygienists to Protect Workers

What: AIHA welcomes the White House’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, which focuses on protecting Americans as they resume work in phases through an approach led by science, data, and expert recommendations, implemented on a county-by-county and state-by-state basis, without any set deadlines.

Why: These steps will help state and local officials reopen their economies, get people back to work, and protect American lives. President Donald J. Trump and leaders of the White House Coronavirus Task Force have said that there is no higher priority than protecting the health and safety of American workers and the public, and AIHA agrees.

Next step: Going forward, AIHA encourages local, state, and national leaders to continue consulting with industrial hygienists and other occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals to help ensure that all workers are protected as economic activity increases.

OHS professionals are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing expert recommendations on matters including, but not limited to:

  • selecting appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • providing just-in-time training on proper techniques for donning and doffing PPE.
  • determining whether certain types of PPE can be reused after proper cleaning or should be discarded.
  • selecting and providing training on the use of decontamination chemicals and techniques. managing waste that is known or is suspected to contain an infectious substance.
  • creating or revisiting plans to manage the fatigue of workers who may be physically or mentally exhausted.

Where: For additional information about the industrial hygiene profession, please visit AIHA’s website. For more information on the Guidelines for Opening America Again, please visit the White House’s website.

Who: Founded in 1939, AIHA is a nonprofit organization serving professionals dedicated to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and confirmation of environmental stressors in or arising from the workplace that may result in injury, illness, or impairment, or affect the well-being of workers and members of the community. AIHA provides comprehensive education programs and other products and services that help its members maintain the highest professional standards. More than half of AIHA's nearly 8,500 members are Certified Industrial Hygienists, and many hold other professional designations. AIHA serves as a resource for those employed in the industrial, consulting, academic, and government sectors.

Contact: For additional information, contact Mark Ames, AIHA's director of government relations.