Editor's Note

Editor's Note: A lasting impact

“Unprecedented” is a word we’ve all heard many times in the past few months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause illness and death. It certainly applies to the publication of this magazine during my nearly 20 years as part of the editorial team. That said, what I’m experiencing pales in comparison to what occupational safety and health pros are dealing with as this issue of Safety+Health goes to press.

As a group, not only are you facing the immediate challenge of how to keep essential workers safe on the job, you’re also trying to plan for a future in which you’ll need to safely return quarantined employees to work when business and the economy start rolling again. How do you work on getting things back to “normal” when no one is certain what the “new normal” will look like?

The S+H 2020 Job Outlook survey mailed when the number of COVID-19-related deaths in the United States and its territories was in the hundreds rather than the tens of thousands that have been reported as I write this. Still, when asked, “Do you believe the COVID-19 situation will have a lasting impact on the field of occupational safety and health?” 86% of respondents said yes. The same question is our current “What’s Your Opinion?” poll on the homepage of the S+H website, and the percentage of people saying yes is even higher, at 89%.

As the introduction to the Job Outlook survey results says, the question is one we’ll keep asking and reporting on. You can share your thoughts on what you think the new normal for safety pros will be by going to the What's Your Opinion poll, voting and submitting a comment. Please stay safe and well.

Melissa J. Ruminski The opinions expressed in “Editor’s Note” do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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