After months of economic and industrial disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world are either beginning to bring workers back to the physical workplace or are in the planning process. Asia and some countries in Europe have reopened factories and eased restrictions on travel, and other countries are looking to follow suit as new infection rate curves flatten.
As organizations navigate the actual and potential return-to-work scenarios resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Safety Council (NSC) has launched an initiative to help organizations create safe workplaces. The NSC Safe Actions for Employee Return to Work (SAFER) initiative will leverage a newly formed task force of national safety and health leaders from Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, and government and medical organizations. Lending their voices and expertise, the task force members will create and issue recommendations and guidance to organizations of all types and sizes in the coming weeks.
The Post-Pandemic Workplace
Proper pre-planning and cross-functional collaboration in returning employees to the workplace are the keys to a smooth and safe transition. With so much to consider – from the physical, to the psychological, to the operational, to processes and policies, to compliance with evolving regulations, and more – getting it right has the potential to require more effort and care than when the pandemic first started.
While industries and workers may be eagerly anticipating returning to business, we all need to do our part to adequately prepare the worker and the workplace to prevent exposure during this still-active COVID-19 pandemic.
With the collective intelligence of over 110 experts from 50 organizations, including NIOSH-CDC, NASA, Walgreens, the American Society of Safety Professionals, Industrial Scientific, Intelex, and more, we are working together to deliver a post-pandemic workplace framework that will be introduced in the weeks to come.
What the NSC SAFER Task Force Is Doing For You
The priorities of the task force are threefold:
- Develop and issue industry- and risk-specific resources and guidance for employers of all sizes as they navigate the changed work environment and determine most critical needs
- Identify complexities in reengaging the workforce, including contractors, by partnering with human resources, legal, labor, healthcare, and workers’ compensation providers
- Develop general and sector-specific playbooks to help businesses align worker safety with business objectives
While many are still in the midst of managing the crisis day-to-day, over the critical next few weeks, governments will continue to scale back mandatory restrictions and we will experience a phased re-opening of businesses.
At Intelex, we have the benefit of insights from our global EHSQ customers and practitioners, as well as our global partners, who have successfully implemented return-to-work programs. Having worked in partnership with these organizations, we have come to understand the best practices, the pitfalls to avoid, and the tools that are required to proactively protect workers – and businesses – from the risk of a resurgence.
I want to reassure you that you are not alone in your efforts to provide a safe workplace for your employees. We stand with you and are honoured to partner with NSC SAFER members – and you – to enable a safe, post-pandemic workplace.
Participate in our Global Post-Pandemic Workplace Study
Interested in participating in our global study on the post-pandemic workplace? Complete our survey (it will only take 5 minutes), and receive the Intelex Post-Pandemic Workplace report due to be released in the next few weeks.