AIHA Introduces “Back to Work Safely” Initiative
AIHA announced the “Back to Work Safely” initiative in early May as the United States economy began to reopen following the shutdown of businesses in most industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the initiative, AIHA published free industry-specific guidelines for the safe reopening of businesses as restrictions are lifted. The new guidelines are intended to help business owners, employers, employees, and consumers implement science-based procedures for limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  The guidance includes recommendations related to ventilation, personal hygiene, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning in the workplace. Smaller businesses that don't have readily available resources for occupational health and safety may find AIHA’s guidance particularly helpful. Guidelines are available for at-home service providers, construction, general office settings, gyms and workout facilities, hair and nail salons, retail, restaurants, and rideshare, taxi, limo, and other passenger driver-for-hire companies. “Owners must not assume that they can walk back into a building that has sat unused or with low occupancy for weeks or months,” said AIHA President Kathleen S. Murphy, CIH. “As professionals committed to preserving and ensuring health and safety in the workplace and community, it is our ethical responsibility to develop science-based recommendations for limiting the transmission of COVID-19 as employers begin to reopen their workplaces.” The “Back to Work Safely” documents were developed by AIHA’s COVID-19 Re-Open America Guidelines Task Force, which comprises more than a dozen OHS experts who worked quickly with the goal of helping people stay healthy as the economy reopens. Members of the group represent a variety of business sectors, including government, the private sector, higher education, and consulting. AIHA’s initiative was launched in conjunction with Mark Cuban, entrepreneur, investor, and owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks. Cuban is one of several sports executives serving on the White House’s council to reopen the economy. All resources are available to download from the Back to Work Safely home page. A link to the guidance documents will also be featured on CDC’s website. AIHA continues to provide accurate and timely resources to members and the public about the current COVID-19 pandemic via its Coronavirus Outbreak Resource Center. The association is also doing its part through partnerships, government relations, and member outreach to the public health sector.

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