Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Professionals Urge Trucking Industry to Protect Workers From Health Hazards
AIHA announces free educational resources for trucking operators to better protect their workforce.
Getting from one point to another on America’s roads and highways can be dangerous for even the most experienced drivers, and workers in the trucking industry face risks both on and off the road. AIHA, the association for scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) in the workplace and community, has produced free resources to help trucking operators mitigate transportation-related hazards and protect their workforce.
Trucking industry operators can now find resources or information about hiring OEHS professionals at a new webpage. The trucking health and safety webpage also includes fact sheets, articles, and studies that address how OEHS professionals help mitigate occupational health risks, such as potential exposures to extreme heat, noise, and hazardous materials that could lead to acute or chronic health effects.
OEHS professionals work with trucking safety experts to evaluate and reduce health risks at all stages of transportation that affect workers performing both driving and non-driving activities, from cranking dolly legs and climbing trailer ladders to opening and closing valves and assessing chemical spills for potential human contact and environmental impact. Following this comprehensive assessment, OEHS professionals recommend risk mitigation strategies designed to prevent accidents and injuries from happening. Improving worker health and safety can reduce absenteeism and decrease turnover rates, resulting in a more efficient and productive workforce.
“The trucking industry drives our economy in immeasurable ways,” said Donna S. Heidel, CIH, FAIHA, the president of AIHA. “OEHS professionals can work with the industry safety standards set forth by OSHA and the Department of Transportation to evaluate and assess risks in order to protect the trucking industry’s most valuable resource—its employees,” she continued. “OEHS experts have the skillset, education, experience, and training to reduce and prevent risks to drivers and non-drivers alike.”
AIHA is the association for scientists and professionals committed to preserving and ensuring occupational and environmental health and safety in the workplace and community. Founded in 1939, AIHA supports its members with expertise, networks, comprehensive education programs, and other products and services that help them maintain the highest professional and competency standards. More than half of AIHA’s nearly 8,500 members are Certified Industrial Hygienists, and many hold other professional designations. AIHA serves as a resource for those employed across the public and private sectors, as well as to the communities in which they work.
In 2020, AIHA developed the Back to Work Safely initiative, which provides industry-specific guidelines and resources intended to help small and medium-sized businesses resume operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second editions of AIHA’s Back to Work Safely Guidelines are now available for 27 business sectors in English and Spanish. The free guidance documents provide clear, actionable steps towards the safe operations of a variety of workplaces through prevention, early detection, and control of COVID-19. They offer employers practical guidance for implementing multiple layers of risk mitigation strategies in order of most effective to least effective, through the elimination of hazards, substitution of hazardous materials or activities, use of engineering controls such as ventilation and air filtration, application of administrative controls such as staggered shifts, and use of personal protective equipment such as respirators and gloves. For more information, please visit www.aiha.org.