The links below offer specific, easy-to-follow, science-based recommendations for limiting the transmission of the coronavirus while operating a wide variety of businesses, including restaurants, retail outlets, and hair and nail salons.
These guidelines were developed for those smaller businesses that don't have readily available occupational health and safety resources. We encourage employers, employees, and customers to carefully read and implement as many of the recommendations contained in the guidance document provided for your industry as possible.
These resources are free and available to all. Please share them. Together, we can go back to work safely!
Additional COVID-19 Workplace Resources
In 2003, UV radiation was demonstrated to behave with germicidal capabilities against the SARS-CoV-1 virus. Since then, studies have indicated that UV radiation also has the capability of killing SARS-CoV-2.
Effective and Safe Practices, Guidance for Custodians, Cleaning, and Maintenance Staff (Guidance Document)
This document provides cleaning and disinfection guidance for custodians, cleaning, and maintenance staff to reduce transmission of COVID-19 within workplaces. SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease. For simplicity, this document will refer to the virus simply as “the virus” and the disease as “COVID-19”.
As companies return to work in office buildings, retail centers, and other public places employers must take steps to reduce the risk of employees and customers contracting COVID-19 (for simplicity, this document will usually refer to the SARS-CoV-2 virus simply as “the virus”, and the disease as “COVID”). Health officials have reported that many people infected with the virus, even if they never develop symptoms, can spread the disease.
The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease attributed to it – COVID-19 – presents a major worker health protection challenge. The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Construction Committee prepared this guidance to give construction employers a practical plan for protecting construction workers from COVID-19. It includes key information on how the virus spreads and how exposure occurs.
When hazardous agents in the workplace cannot be controlled by elimination, isolation, ventilation, administrative controls, or another better means, then Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is used as a last resort to protect workers. This fact sheet is useful for workers who may be expected to be in contact with known or potentially contagious clients or members of the public during their jobs.
Respirators are imperative for healthcare workers and first responders to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but they only work if they are used properly. Review these tips to remain health and safe.
While the country comes to terms with the inevitable impact that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will have on our lives and communities, public health authorities remain focused on breaking the chain of transmission. Managing the risk has resulted in widespread closures of businesses, schools, universities, resorts, and other facilities deemed “non-essential.” Practically speaking, this means closing buildings and ceasing operations.
Early case reports and epidemiological studies of groups where SARS-CoV-2 has led to outbreaks of COVID-19 indicates that the primary means of disease transmission is the indoor spread of exhaled droplet aerosols. Armed with this knowledge, industrial hygiene professionals may limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission using the hierarchy of controls.
AIHA’s Real Time Detection Systems (RTDS) Committee has prepared some considerations where instrumentation and data could support the protection of public and occupational health during this pandemic event. The committee encourages occupational health and safety science professionals to consider these recommendations while working to advance technology and data during the crisis, as well as to prepare businesses for people to return to work.
This White Paper presents and supports workplace protections that AIHA believes are essential components of occupational health and safety systems and programs. AIHA believes these basic protections are worker rights, as well as an essential ingredient of occupational health and safety systems.
Critical and essential workplaces operating during this pandemic need to implement procedures to reduce the risk of workers, contractors, vendors, customers, and members of the community becoming infected on their premises.
America’s Workplace Health and Safety Experts
The recommendations here are made by America's workplace health and safety (OHS) experts, the industrial hygienists of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. For more than 80 years, AIHA has been helping industries around the world protect workers from short and long-term illness and injury on the job.
What is an Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Expert?
Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) experts are scientists and professionals committed to protecting the health and safety of people where they work: the often “invisible heroes” of workers around the world. What is historically known as Industrial Hygiene (IH), OEHS experts practice the science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating, controlling and confirming environmental factors in the workplace to prevent illness and injury for workers and their communities.
AIHA extends the most sincere gratitude to the dedicated members of AIHA’s COVID-19 Re-Open America Guidelines Task Force who worked tirelessly to develop these documents in record-time with the goal of helping people stay healthy when re-opening after the COVID-19 pandemic (in alphabetical order):
- Hamid Arabzadeh, CIH, CSP, CHMM, FAIHA
- David Beatty, MPH, CSP, CCEP
- Corey Boles, PhD
- Elizabeth Bussman, CIH
- Mark Drozdov, MS, SSM, FSM, BSI, RSO, CAI, CMA, GPRO
- Carter Ficklen, CIH, CSP
- Alan Fleeger, CIH, CSP, FAIHA
- Bernard L. Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP, FAIHA
- Shannon Gaffney, PhD, MHS, CIH
- Thomas G. Grumbles, CIH, FAIHA
- John Henshaw, MPH, CIH, FAIHA
- Dana Hollins, MPH, CIH
- Catherine Hovde, CIH, CSP
- Neva Jacobs, MSPH, CIH
- Perry Logan, PhD, CIH
- Heather Lynch, MPH
- Eric Miller, MPH, CIH
- Amber Hogan Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH
- Melanie D. Nembhard MSPH, CIH
- Justine Parker, CIH, CSP, CHMM, CPH
- Jennifer S. Pierce, MS, PhD
- Aaron Schoemaker, CSP
- Jack Springston, CIH, CSP, FAIHA
- Ken Unice, MS
- Rachel Zisook MS, CIH
- Matt Zock, CIH
Special thanks to AIHA President, Lindsay Cook, CIH, CSP, FAIHA and immediate Past President, Kathleen Murphy, CIH for approving the assembly of this crucial task force.
Spanish translation of the guidance documents were done courtesy of David S. Rodríguez Marín, PCHI, with assistance from Veronica Rodríguez.
AIHA wishes to thank Jason Lang, CSP, CIH, and Frank Pagone, PhD, and staff of RHP Risk Management for their efforts as technical editors providing uniformity of the industry-specific Back to Work Safely guidelines for businesses and consumers.
AIHA is not legally responsible and shall be held harmless from all claims, causes of action, and demands, whatsoever, any third party may incur on account of damage, loss or injury resulting from adhering to these guidelines.
These guidance documents were primarily developed for those smaller business that don't have readily available occupational and environmental health and safety resources, and designed to help business owners, employers, employees and consumers implement science-backed procedures for limiting the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. They are subject to any local, state, or federal directives, laws, or orders about operating a business and should only be used if they do not conflict with any such orders. These documents are subject to revision and shall be updated accordingly.