The National Safety Council, teaming with dozens of associations, nonprofits, and businesses, will identify and work to mitigate safety issues as employers prepare to bring workers back into the field.
With chatter of a potential reopening of many businesses in the coming days—for example, Georgia began to allow some businesses to reopen Friday—businesses need strategies to understand how to revive their workplaces while keeping employees safe.
Fortunately, the National Safety Council is ready to help. Recently, the group announced a program called SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns, which is bringing together a task force that will help identify issues that arise in bringing employees back to the workforce, along with strategies for individual sectors to focus on safety after returning to work. The task force includes a number of associations and large companies, including the American Trucking Associations, the American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, NASA, Walgreens, and McDonald’s.
This careful approach matters, says NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin, because it could help prevent unnecessary illness from COVID-19.
“The manner in which employers bring people back to work will define our national response to the pandemic,” Martin said in a news release. “For more than a century, NSC has been helping employers put safety at the forefront of all their decisions, and we are once again taking action to continue serving this important role. With SAFER, we are confident we’re bringing the best minds together to ensure Americans have the safest transition back to work so we can truly flatten the curve and enable people to live their fullest lives.”
The council notes that workplace fatality trends were already rising before the COVID-19 outbreak, complicating how employers mitigate risk. The task force aims to right the ship.
“Through NSC, task force researchers will issue resources with insights, policies, guidelines, and tools across industry sectors with the goal of disseminating the lifesaving information quickly so employers do not lose time on trial and error,” the release states.