The future of safety

How will the COVID-19 pandemic change the field of occupational safety and health?

< >

John Newquist

Former OSHA area director

I think the virus will be around for a few months until a vaccine will be developed. Safety professionals will have to lead in setting up guidelines using OSHA/CDC guidelines for the facilities. This will require barriers if people cannot do social distancing. A good PPE analysis should identify areas with congestion and the proper PPE for workers. Companies are relying on the safety professionals to develop a plan that lets the workers be protected and the company remain open. Training will be online or in a classroom with social distancing. Internet training has to push beyond clicking on a PowerPoint. Interaction, live demos and knowledge checks will have to be incorporated into future training sessions. Auditing will have to change, as the safety professions will be wearing face covering, gloves and eye protection.


Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)