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Disease Prevention

Reducing Death And Disability From Heart Disease And Stroke In The Workplace

A formal alliance has been formed to provide a foundation between the American Heart Association (AHA) and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to focus on reducing death and disability from heart disease and stroke in the workplace.

The purpose of the alliance is for both organizations to work together to share best practices and technical knowledge on the prevention, and management of risk factors, recognition of warning signs and actions for early treatment related to heart disease and stroke.

OSHA and the AHA will develop information and guidance on employee wellness that can be incorporated into workplace safety and health education and training programs, officials said. Topics for discussion will include primary and secondary prevention of heart disease and stroke by recognition and management of related risk factors and warning signs, exercise, fitness and weight management.

"The AHA has significant resources of medical experience and expertise that we can draw on to reduce the instances of heart disease and stroke suffered by workers," said John Henshaw, OSHA administrator. "This truly can be a life-saving alliance."

"Protecting workers from these illnesses not only leads to greater productivity; but, more importantly, allows them to spend healthier happier times at home with their families," said M. Cass Wheeler, AHA CEO.

Through the alliance both organizations will develop training and education programs on automated external defibrillator (AED) program implementation including key elements, system designs and best practices, as jointly determined by both organizations.

Both organizations will also speak, exhibit and appear at AHA conferences, local meetings or other events, such as AHA’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Update, Scientific Sessions and the Quality of Care and Outcomes Conference, according to officials.

According to the alliance’s announcement, the organizations will also encourage cross-training OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals in the AHA’s best practices for effective approaches to fighting heart disease and stroke.

The AHA and OSHA will also develop and disseminate case studies illustrating the importance of employee wellness and publicize those results, and other relevant information, through print and electronic media, including the use of electronic assistance tools and links from both organizations’ Web sites. Finally, representatives of OSHA and the AHA will participate in forums and roundtable discussions to help raise awareness of the value of employee health and wellness programs and the use of AEDs in the workplace.

Addresses: American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231; (800) 242-8721, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20210;

Copyright 2004 Health Resources Publishing

© 2004 Health Resources Publishing