How To Reduce Health and Safety Risks For First Responders
First responders risk everything to protect their communities—and these heroes deserve protection from the health and safety risks they face when performing their life-saving services.
The nature of first responders’ uncontrolled work environments leads to accidental exposure to dangerous chemicals, opioids, bodily fluids, fumes, and hazardous building materials, among many other concerns. These can lead to long-term health impacts, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, renal disease, respiratory disease, and death.
First responders need professional support to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, control, and communicate the unique hazards they face—and that is where Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) professionals provide invaluable expertise that is proven to protect workers.
How OEHS Professionals Can Support First Responders
OEHS professionals work alongside first responders and safety officers during regular work activity and in emergency response to identify potential risks that present immediate or long-term health implications. In addition, OEHS professionals can partner with emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters, and police officers, as well as other certified or non-traditional first responders.
While first responders are at a higher level of health risk due to the potentially dangerous environments in which they work, these risks—and the costly downstream that comes with them—can be minimized by working with an OEHS expert.
In the below ‘Resources by Type,’ you will find more information including case studies and relevant news articles about how OEHS professionals help first responder teams. If you’re ready to partner with an OEHS expert to safeguard your team, find a consultant through AIHA’s Consultant Directory.
Resources by Type
To learn more about how to protect the health and safety of first responders, we encourage you to review these resources:
Decision Time: Exposure Models for Emergency Response (By Dyron Hamlin, 2018 March Synergist)
More Than Cancer: The New Health Threat Facing 9/11 First Responders, Significant Differences (Healthline)
Opioids and Protection of Workers Involved in Opioid Response (webinar)
The Long-Term Health Effects of September 11, 2001 (Renal & Urology News)