WELL Building Institute, ISSA Launch Coalition for Workplace Safety
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and ISSA–The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association announced the launch of the Healthy Workplaces Coalition, a new coalition of more than 40 national organizations, industry leaders and trade associations collaborating to support and advance federal policy aimed at helping businesses and organizations better afford and implement health and safety improvements in workplaces and across the built environment — to benefit the health and well-being of employees, customers and the public.
Members of this new advocacy coalition launched on Capitol Hill will work together to not only support federal policy promoting healthy workplaces, but also raise awareness using a collective voice to help the public, policymakers and businesses understand the imperative of workplace health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
In addition to IWBI and ISSA, the Coalition’s leadership team includes the following Steering Committee members:
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)
- Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA)
- Green Seal
- International Facilities Management Association (IFMA)
- The Real Estate Roundtable (RER)
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
“For the first time, many of the nation’s most important building organizations and leading businesses are uniting to advocate for workplace health,” says Rachel Hodgdon, president and CEO of IWBI. “This kind of collaborative advocacy will help drive the level of investment necessary to get us safely back to business now and fortify our workplaces for the future.”
Over the past two years, businesses across the country have struggled to meet new and evolving expectations for safely returning to the workplace. According to a recent Honeywell survey, 72 percent of office workers worldwide worry about air quality in their workplaces’ buildings. They are concerned about the impact of poor air quality on their well-being and want more information from their employers about actions taken to improve the built environment and support the health and safety of employees and patrons alike.
“While COVID-19 increased the public’s attention to the importance of cleaning, air filtration, and hand hygiene, there is now an increased focus and commitment by businesses and buildings to invest in healthy spaces,” says John Barrett, executive director, ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. “As more workers head back to physical workplaces, the demand and expectation for clean, healthy, and safe environments will continue to increase. This coalition will help to educate policymakers about the need to support policies to help employers make these essential investments in healthy workplaces.”
Businesses need education and financial assistance to accelerate and deploy proven workplace solutions and strategies to address health threats such as COVID-19 as well as broader health and safety-related issues of the future. While several relevant policy proposals have emerged, further action is needed to incentivize businesses to create and maintain healthy workplaces.
The Coalition’s Steering Committee continues to welcome interested participants and anticipates that membership will expand over the next several months.