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COVID-19 and Workplace Safety – Still A Concern!

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With the COVID-19 vaccine slowly making its way to our most at-risk citizens, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a long way to go before the pandemic is behind us. We have surpassed 485,000 deaths linked to this pandemic at the time of this writing.

Businesses have a moral responsibility to continue to keep their employees as safe as possible – and take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Whether your employees have returned to the office or continue to work remotely, everyone should be reminded to continue taking precautions.

While you may have taken steps early on and educated your employees on safety measures, it’s almost been a year since COVID became an issue here in the United States, and a refresher is a good idea. Unless they themselves or a friend or family member has contracted COVID-19, your employees may not really understand the severity of this virus. One action step that helps continue the education conversation is to include employees who have been affected by this virus share their experiences and management should be encouraged to share their stories as well.

Employees need to understand and adhere to the rules put in place to keep themselves and their co-workers safe. Setting ground rules and expectations – and following up on those rules if employees fail to comply - is important for the overall health of your team. Any rules that are in place should be fully explained and revisited on a regular basis through this pandemic. It’s the ultimate responsibility of the employees to adhere to the rules, but leaders set the stage by leading by example, communicating the rules and expectations, and reprimanding those who are not following them.

During this past year, many families have struggled on several different levels, and employee mental health should be a top priority for any business. Providing mental health support, including talking about the statistics and creating a culture that removes the stigma around mental health is extremely important, as well as encouraging employees to use such resources as Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

This has been such a unique year for businesses – a worldwide pandemic is not something most of us ever would have imagined or planned for. But until that light at the end of the tunnel gets closer and brighter, let’s do our part to keep our most valuable assets – our employees – as safe and healthy as possible when it comes to COVID-19.

Mr. Griffith has a received his bachelors degree in Environmental Health from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and president of Workplace Safety & Health Company. He has over 35 years of industrial hygiene, safety, loss control and consulting experience. Chemical monitoring, noise measurement, program development and management, risk assessment and computer management of health and safety data are areas of particular strength. Mr. Griffith is a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) at the local and national level. He is also active in the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

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