What steps have employers taken to keep workers safe during COVID-19? NSC explores

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Itasca, IL — A new report from the National Safety Council details the results of a recent survey on what employers are doing to protect their workers against exposure to COVID-19.

SAFER employer report infographic

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NSC launched the national survey in July, targeting safety and health decision-makers at organizations with at least 250 employees across several different industries. Respondents were asked whether they had implemented more than 20 recommended safety practices related to COVID-19, and the impact on productivity and COVID-19-related outcomes such as confirmed cases. Safety practices included health screenings, employee self-reporting of symptoms, contact tracing, temperature screenings at worksite entry and restricted travel for non-employees onsite.

Across nearly all industries, NSC found that employers are:

  • Investing in handwashing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout their facilities
  • Implementing procedures to increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitization
  • Providing proper personal protective equipment, including face coverings and faceshields
  • Facilitating physical distancing by enabling nonessential workers to work remotely, and installing signage and other visual reminders of proper traffic flow and spacing for workers still reporting to facilities

Results from this survey also hint that positive coronavirus cases were on the rise as organizations started to ramp up operations and bring more employees back to the worksites,” the report states. “Therefore, investment in better surveillance protocols such as testing and contact tracing will be crucial aspects of the COVID-19 response for employers moving forward.”

NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said the pandemic has redefined the scope of what it takes to keep workers safe.

“In addition to protecting against the traditional hazards, employers have had to take on new safety challenges – from establishing new ways of working to tackling emerging issues like employee mental health,” Martin said. “Employers are doing so much to help their workers stay safe, but there is always more to learn and share in enhancing the safety, health and well-being of the workforce.”

The survey report is part of SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns, an NSC initiative.

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