The future of safety
How will the COVID-19 pandemic change the field of occupational safety and health?
John NewquistFormer 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.