December 22, 2020

Occupational and Environmental Health Experts Urge Business Owners to Implement AIHA COVID-19 Guidelines as New Virus Strain Emerges

CONTACT:
Susan Marchese, Managing Director,
Communications & Marketing, AIHA
(202) 256-8986 (Eastern Time)

Candice Warltier,
CS-Effect
(773) 991-1210 (Central Time)


December 21, 2020 (Falls Church, VA)--While business owners and consumers closely watch how the new more readily transmittable variant of COVID-19 develops, the occupational environmental health and safety (OEHS) profession is urging business owners, schools and other organizations to continue implementing practical science-based guidelines developed by AIHA. The comprehensive Back to Work Safely guidelines for small to mid-size businesses in 26 industry sectors (see below for comprehensive list) provide recommendations on PPE, engineering controls (e.g., ventilation, enhanced filtration, physical barriers), enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and personal hygiene and physical distancing. All guidelines are available in both English and Spanish.

AIHA has also issued Guidelines addressing COVID-19-related topics, including engineering controls and cleaning and disinfection in non-healthcare settings (all of which are in both English and Spanish). OEHS professionals are classified as ‘essential workers’ by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, and are unique qualified to provide the consultation needed to help mitigate risks to worker health. To locate an OEHS consultant, visit AIHA’s Consultants Listing.

In January, AIHA, along with other leading health organizations, will release a Joint Consensus Statement on the Importance of Aerosol Transmission of SARS CoV-2 and Recommendations for Preventing Occupational Exposures.

The guidelines have more than 1 million downloads from www.backtoworksafely.org website. They include the following:

  • Amateur Sports
  • At-Home Service Providers (i.e., contractors)
  • Bars
  • Business Services (i.e., banks, dry cleaners)
  • Childcare Providers
  • Construction Sites
  • Dental Office Settings
  • General Office Settings
  • Gyms and Workout Facilities
  • Hair and Nail Salons
  • Institutions of Higher Education
  • Libraries
  • Museums and Collecting Institutions
  • Outdoor Recreation Activities
  • 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 Sports and Entertainment Venues (i.e., mini-golf, arcades)
  • Small Lodging Establishments
  • Street Vendors and Farmers Markets
  • Transit Systems
  • Warehousing/Transportation
  • Worship Services

About AIHA

AIHA is the association for scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) in the workplace and community. Founded in 1939, we support our members with our expertise, networks, comprehensive education programs and other products and services that help them maintain the highest professional and competency 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 across the public and private sectors, as well as to the communities in which they work. For more information, please visit www.aiha.org.