NIOSH: “Emergency Response Employees” Include Firefighters, Funeral Service Practitioners
CDC announced in July that it has added a definition of the term “emergency response employees,” or EREs, to a document that identifies infectious diseases of concern to these workers. The updated document defines EREs as firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, funeral service practitioners, and other individuals who respond to emergencies in affected areas while on the job. The new definition appears in the updated document “Infectious Diseases and Circumstances Relevant to Notification of Emergency Response Employees,” which is available on NIOSH’s website. The document includes a list of potentially life-threatening infectious diseases to which EREs may be exposed. NIOSH added COVID-19 to the list in March. The agency publishes the list and companion guidelines in accordance with the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. The document also describes ways employees may be exposed to these diseases and how medical facilities should make determinations about exposures.