New eBook Designed To Help Employers Assess, Mitigate Risks Of Airborne Infectious Diseases

As more employers are examining their workplace health protocols to minimize the risk of airborne infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections, AIHA — the association for scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety in the workplace and community — announced the launch of a comprehensive new resource that employers and employees can utilize to address current, and future, health threats.

AIHA’s “Healthier Workplaces and Schools” eBook is available in English and Spanish to view and download at no charge on AIHA’s Commit to C.A.R.E. website. It is designed to help workplace decision-makers properly assess specific risks. Included is a practical approach to help mitigate the risk of spreading airborne infectious diseases in workplace settings, a risk assessment quiz to determine an organization’s risk of airborne virus transmission among workers, and information on specific actions to help manage those risks.

The eBook was developed by experts with background, training, and experience in industrial hygiene (IH) and occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS), providing practical, evidence-based guidance to protect workers and their communities across all industry sectors — from service sector businesses and healthcare facilities to manufacturing/warehouses and public transit systems.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we cannot afford to be caught unprepared responding to future health risks that jeopardize worker health and our communities. Our new ‘Healthier Workplaces and Schools’ eBook is a natural evolution of our initial COVID-19 guidance documents that have helped countless workplaces around the world get back up and running safely,” AIHA CEO Lawrence Sloan said. “The multi-layered approach outlined in this new eBook includes five overriding strategies to keep employees safe, and it provides scientifically sound solutions written in terms a non-technical person can understand. The more layers of protection that employers can implement, the more they can reduce their risk of infectious diseases in the workplace.”

AIHA’s Commit To C.A.R.E. (Community, Awareness, Responsibility, Equity) website offers a range of free public education resources including an interactive training program with short, animated videos, supporting worksheets, tip sheets, and infographics.

These resources, which were funded thanks to a series of generous grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in cooperation with the IBEC (The Integrated Bioscience and Built Environment Consortium), include three distinct categories of resources — Risk Assessment ToolsIndoor Air Quality Tools, and Vaccines & Testing Tools.

The updated guidance in the new eBook will replace the AIHA’s “Back to Work Safely” guidance documents, which were designed specifically to help businesses get back to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic and were one of the AIHA’s most downloaded documents in its 85-year history.

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