AIHA Announces New Guidance to Protect First Responders

OEHS professionals offer free educational guide and resources for emergency responders.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association has released a new guidance for leaders seeking occupational health resources to protect first responders from dangerous health hazards. 

In a press release, the association announced the availability of the free resources to inform emergency response leaders about the longer-term health risks, not just daily on the job. 

"While first responders are at a higher level of health risks due to the inherently dangerous environment in which they work, these risks — and adverse health effects that may manifest themselves over time — can be minimized by working with an OEHS expert today," said Lawrence Sloan, CEO at AIHA. 

AIHA recommends four ways that OEHS Professionals might help first responders develop long-term health strategies:

  • Develop strategies to reduce exposure to risks such as chemical spills, toxic fumes, heat exposure, drug exposure and smoke inhalation
  • Train first responders to address health and safety risks pre-event, during an event, and post-event Develop an Exposure Control Plan
  • Introduce new technology, such as direct reading instruments, mathematical modeling, and information resources to enhance existing protocols

AIHA urges those who work or volunteer as response and recovery workers, as well as the public, to guard against hazards during disaster response and recovery efforts. Some common hazards include downed power lines, carbon monoxide poisoning, exposures during flood and mold cleanup, and risk of structural collapse. For disaster response guidance, visit AIHA resource center.

To access free resources for your department or if you are interested in finding an OEHS professional in your area, visit AIHA's Consultant Listing.

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