COVID-19 Delta Variant: 42% of Workers Are Worried about Returning to the Workplace

Due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, more workers than ever are concerned about returning to work.

As the Delta variant continues to proliferate and workers head into the Labor Day weekend, 42 percent say they are worried about returning to the workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19. This marks a substantial jump from June 2021, when only 24 percent had that concern.

“With headlines about the rise of the Delta variant, breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, and an overburdened healthcare system in much of the country, COVID-19 concerns that were subsiding just two months ago have risen,” said Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board, a think tank.

Conducted in August by The Conference Board, the new survey captured the thoughts of more than 2,400 U.S. workers on topics including return-to-work anxiety, factors driving them to pursue new job opportunities, opinions about … Read more...

ILO Director-General Urges G20 to Focus on a Human-Centered Pandemic Recovery

In 2020, the equivalent of 161 million full-time jobs were lost in the G20, and 255 million in the world as a whole.

Speaking at the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting in Catania, Italy, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder emphasised the need to prevent long-term scarring of economies and societies and to shape an inclusive, sustainable and resilient response that leaves no one behind.

“We are all aware of the devastating impact of the pandemic on our health, our lives, our societies, our economies,” said Ryder, adding, “It has had a cataclysmic impact on the world of work.”

He went on to highlight three aspects of the pandemic and how the impact was felt in the workplace.

In 2020, he noted, the equivalent of 161 million full time jobs were lost in the G20, and 255 million in the world as a whole. As a result:

  • The number of people
Read more...

OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard to Protect Healthcare Workers from COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on June 10 it will issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. The standard focuses on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with someone infected with the virus.

In addition to the healthcare-focused ETS, OSHA is issuing updated guidance to help employers and workers in other industries protect workers who are still not vaccinated, with a special emphasis on other industries noted for prolonged close-contacts like meat processing, manufacturing, seafood and grocery and high-volume retail. The agency also issued a new general industry guidance, and both the guidance and the ETS are aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Too many of our frontline healthcare workers continue to be at high risk of contracting the coronavirus,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “As I said when … Read more...

Catch Up on the News: What You Might Have Missed on the ILX.com Blog

The ILX.com blog features thought leadership, new product information, trending topics, regulatory updates and much more! Have you checked it out?

If not, you missed these interesting articles, but it’s not too late to read them!

Best Practices for Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries – Despite many improvements over the last century, serious injuries, work-related fatalities and property loss remain a significant global challenge in different high-hazard industries. Improved risk identification, control and management can reduce risks to employees, facilities and the surrounding area. Our latest Expert Connection session, Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries, is designed to examine the elements of risk management, particularly in high hazard industries, and the technologies being used to mitigate risk. Find out more!

Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging: Intelex Hosts its First Employee Resources Groups Summit – Last week, our Employee Resources Groups (ERG) hosted our first ERG Summit. Our ERGs worked hard to … Read more...

WHO Report on COVID-19 Response Shows the Importance of Organizational Learning and System Preparedness

In May 2021, The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response presented its final report on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the World Health Organization. A significant lesson from the report is that standard EHSQ practices could have improved the COVID-19 response, reinforcing the importance of organizational learning and system preparedness.

The report, titled COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic, aims to provide insights into how the world responded to the fast-moving pandemic in its early stages, as well as how to learn the important lessons that can mitigate the impact of future health crises. While the report contains many frustrating and heart-breaking insights, EHSQ professionals will probably recognize some familiar themes. This summary will provide some examples of important elements of the COVID-19 response and the lessons we can learn from them.

Summary of the Impact of COVID-19

The report describes COVID-19 as the 21st century’s … Read more...

Douglas L. Parker Nominated by U.S. President Biden for Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health

As head of Cal-OSHA, California’s workplace safety organization, Douglas Parker was responsible for implementing and enforcing that state’s emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Douglas L. Parker for Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Department of Labor. Parker, as the director of Cal-OSHA, California’s workplace safety agency, directed that state’s efforts to implement an emergency workplace COVID standard. The Biden administration continues to weigh whether or not it should issue an emergency temporary standard that includes Covid-19-related workplace safety regulations.

Parker, of San Francisco, Calif., previously served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration and was a member of the Biden-Harris transition team focused on worker health and safety issues. He also held positions as a senior policy advisor and special assistant at the Department … Read more...

The New Retool: Pivoting Manufacturing to be Ready for Anything


Experts say that because of changes forced on the manufacturing industry by the pandemic and a new administration, we’ll begin to see the evolution of manufacturing as an industry that’s more responsive and adaptive to both markets and consumers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic exploded around the globe, it’s not surprising the industry that makes personal protective equipment (PPE) rapidly ramped up production. The demand for N95 respirators and a range of other vital protective equipment like faceshields, gloves, atmosphere-supplying respirators (supplied-air respirators (SARs), self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) and combination SARs/SCBAs) and protective garments initially overwhelmed supply.

A video from the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA)—“Beyond the Mask”—shows how the PPE industry responded to the unprecedented challenges posed by the worst public-health crisis in a century.

“Beyond the Mask” reveals the behind-the-scenes work involved in getting PPE into the hands of those whose lives depended on it. “In January, … Read more...

Don’t Use COVID-19 as Excuse for OSHA Non-Compliance: Legal Experts

When it comes to recordkeeping, the hardest questions employers are grappling with are whether an incident is recordable or not, and whether it is work-related.

Employers who try to use the pandemic as an excuse for non-compliance with OSHA regulations can expect no mercy from the agency and will still face hefty fines and penalties, according to legal experts.

During a recent webinar hosted by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Todd Logsdon, partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP, and Barry Spurlock, practicing attorney and associate professor at Eastern Kentucky University, offered these and other insights into common questions they have received around how OSHA regulations may or may not have changed in the new COVID landscape. Here is a summary of their observations on a number of top-of-mind topics.

Training During COVID

Many organizations are wondering how to proceed with required training while operating under the onerous restrictions … Read more...

Quality Management Can’t Be Optional Anymore

Here is an unfortunate truth: the story of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of epic quality failures in almost every area imaginable.

While there have been some admirable successes, such as the food and beverage organizations that have ensured the continued safe delivery of food supplies to most regions, failures both large and small have caused an untold amount of damage to the infrastructure of society and business. Arguably, these quality failures have worsened the impact of the pandemic, including economic devastation and even a higher death toll. 

Here are just a few of the quality failures that will become prominent themes in the narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PPE Shortages and Quality Failures 

Almost immediately after the start of the pandemic, healthcare organizations worldwide faced a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as the crucial N95 respirators that would protect doctors, nurses and other frontline workers from infection. There were … Read more...

Connected Safety Q&A: How the Global COVID-19 Pandemic Is Fueling Innovation and Digital Transformation

Connected Safety at Expert Connect

The outbreak of COVID-19 ushered in dramatic changes to EHSQ management, which, as a result, have propelled leaders to ramp up business continuity efforts, fortify their risk management strategies and improve day-to-day operations to boost efficiency.

In our upcoming Expert Connect Session, Innovating Towards a Future Focused on Connected Safety, Senior Product Marketing Manager Aaron Davis from Intelex Technologies and Tom Henson, Vice President, Global Marketing and Product Management from Industrial Scientific will take you on a journey that will explore how advancements in connected safety and connected worker technologies are changing key areas of EHSQ management, including environmental compliance and hazard monitoring, control of work and lone worker safety.

According to Davis, we’ve reached what he called “an inflection point in innovation” of safety technologies, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had not only on business performance and management worldwide but on worker safety. Davis … Read more...