Editor's Note: More learning to do
Events of the past year have led both individuals and organizations to take a hard look at diversity, equity and inclusion, and what has been done – and needs to be done – to promote what National Safety Council President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin calls “positive and lasting change.”
In a statement issued June 2, Martin adds, “We must strive not only to ensure physical safety but create an environment where everyone feels secure and welcome.” And speaking with Safety+Health Associate Editor Kevin Druley for his article this month, she and several other occupational safety and health experts weigh in on why DE&I is a worker safety issue.
Longtime safety professional I. David Daniels put his feelings and experiences into simple yet powerful words. As Kevin reports:
Daniels said minority workers commonly battle psychosocial safety hazards stemming from stress related to harassment, intimidation, communication difficulties, inadequate training and job insecurity. When combined with perceived or actual mistreatment from employers and/or colleagues, these stressors may put workers at additional risk.
“They’re just distracted,” Daniels said. “It’s hard to really pay attention to the work and to focus on doing it safely when you don’t feel supported or protected by your employer.”
Daniels and the other experts offer advice on what employers can do to make DE&I a genuine value in their organizations, including creating a committee, as NSC recently did.
Here at NSC and S+H, many of us have learned a lot this year – about others, and about ourselves. But we still have more learning to do. It’s a journey we’ll undertake wholeheartedly.