Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: A focus on the future

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As we enter the final months of yet another challenging year for occupational safety and health professionals, the October issue of Safety+Health offers a look at the future of the field.

We start with our coverage of the 2021 Rising Stars of Safety, the National Safety Council’s annual recognition of safety pros younger than 40 who are making their mark. “People often ask me, ‘What excites you most about the future of safety and health?’ My answer never changes: It’s the next generation of leaders,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin says in the article’s introduction.

Another feature goes “back to the future.” It’s a follow-up to an article we published in July 2020, when, although the COVID-19 pandemic was only a few months old, it was already clear that the OSH field was going to play a prominent role in tackling the health crisis. We asked various thought leaders and experts: “Do you believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on occupational safety and health and, if so, how?” Now, we’ve gone back to them and asked some follow-up questions about their predictions as well as lessons learned.

Our contributors spoke about everything from the new normal of remote work to how things have (or haven’t) changed for essential workers who have been on the jobsite throughout the pandemic. We appreciate their time and insights, which were so extensive that we didn’t have space for everything in print. You can find the full responses on our website. And if you’d like to add to the conversation, please don’t hesitate to submit a comment online.

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