Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: Staying on top of safe returns

In June, Safety+Health featured an article in which Associate Editor Barry Bottino spoke with John Dony, senior director of thought leadership at the National Safety Council, about the one-year anniversary of the launch of SAFER (Safe Actions for Employee Returns).

SAFER is an initiative “aimed at developing industry- and risk-specific resources and recommendations” for employers trying to keep their workers safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its task force is made up of “large and small Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, legal experts, public health professionals, medical professionals, and government agency representatives.”

NSC itself used SAFER guidance to help create the safest possible environment for inviting staff back the office.

Although many of you oversee safety at facilities where essential workers have been onsite since the onset of the pandemic, we all know safety plans need to be reviewed and, if necessary, adjusted. This month, Barry spoke with SAFER Program Manager Stephanie Roberts and came away with 10 key focus areas to either guide a safe return to offices or help ensure your current plan covers all bases.

One of the 10 focus areas is “Stay on top of what’s working.” As I write this, SAFER has released another report – this time highlighting lessons learned. A Year in Review, and What’s Next: COVID-19 Employer Approaches and Worker Experiences is based on data from “surveys and interviews conducted between June and August 2021, with responses representative of 300 U.S.-based employers and 3,785 individuals.” It offers five key findings and four recommended actions for creating and maintaining a safe workplace during pandemics.

You can access the report and other SAFER resources at nsc.org/safer. Thanks for all you do to keep people safe.

Melissa J. Ruminski The opinions expressed in “Editor’s Note” do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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