Combining Worlds: Why Leveraging Key Health and Behavioral Economics-Based Strategies Are Integral to Post-Pandemic Business Continuity

While it’s not common to incorporate highly scientific principles and insights into corporate strategies, it’s not completely unheard of either. If anything, the current business landscape calls for it.

Incorporating Science and Business: The Key to Reviving Post-Pandemic Business Operations


To meet the pressures of continuing commerce-related activities and trade, leaders have been faced with making challenging decisions on a regular basis. As a result, many decision-makers, through a lack of understanding of the true breadth and severity of the epidemic, have decisions that appear to favor business interests over public health.

To add to the gravity of the situation, let’s look at some alarming and insightful observations that health and business experts have made:

  • COVID-19 is not an emergency that has short-term implications – rather, it is a major disrupter, having both high impacts and long-term implications.
  • The pandemic will be around for the next 2 to 5 years
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6 Feet Apart: How Our Lives and Workplaces Have Changed Post-COVID

To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important for all employers to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of COVID-19.

For the first time since March 14, I ate a meal in a restaurant. Well, not in a restaurant; on a restaurant patio.

While the restaurant looks the same from the outside and the brunch food is familiarly delicious – brioche French toast with local blueberries, ricotta custard and Ohio maple syrup – everything else is different. Masks are required for all employees and customers, who could take them off once seated. Customers are reminded not to “congregate” around other tables or the bar area. Tables are spaced 6-8 feet apart. Menus are paper and are thrown away after use. Tables are disinfected as soon as diners got up to leave.

While I appreciate the new protocols the … Read more...

25 Tips to Stay Safe While Celebrating the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July should be a fun family holiday, so follow these tips to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

The Fourth of July is the quintessential summer holiday in the United States. It’s a fun celebration, filled with picnics and barbecues, fireworks displays and time spent in pools and on beaches and on boats. It also can be a painful day for many, and results in thousands of trips to the emergency room each year. Injuries caused by mishandled fireworks, drownings and boating injuries, fires and burns related to grilling incidents, insect stings, food poisoning and car crashes are just some of the fun buzz kills seen by ER doctors and nurses.

This year, a new layer of safety concerns has been added. Celebrating Independence Day will be different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The American Red Cross offers these safety tips you can … Read more...

Intelex’s Software Set + the SAFER Framework = A Robust 360° Return-to-Work Solution

With the quarantine phase of the COVID-19 outbreak reaching an end in many areas, organizations have started planning their return-to-work initiatives, with some having already launched them.

Let’s look ahead – not to just the immediate “return” phase, but the phase after that- what we’ve defined as the “reimagine” phase.

Our Return to Work Initiative: Respond, Return and Reimagine


When developing our return-to-work program, we decided the best approach would be a phased one. Similar to the concept of continuous deployment, breaking down the plan to allow individuals to quickly process, adapt, and execute practices and procedures makes it more manageable for employers and employees alike.

To summarize each phase and their objectives:

  1. Respond: involves the immediate steps taken during the initial outbreak
  2. Return: introduces short-term changes implemented to address all the newly discovered issues
  3. Reimagine: implements long-terms policies, procedures and best practices to create an agile and resilient workforce
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NSC: A Temporary OSHA Standard Is Needed to Protect Workers from COVID-19

The National Safety Council is calling on OSHA to issue a temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19 as they return to the workplace.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is using all means at its disposal – legislative, administrative, judicial, and public support – to pursue implementation of a temporary OSHA standard to protect workers from COVID-19.

As employers send more workers back into facilities, they are doing so without a standard to protect workers from COVID-19. This becomes even more problematic given 20 states are reporting surges in cases. In response, the NSC is calling on OSHA to immediately exercise its emergency authority and issue a temporary emergency standard. The standard would protect workers during the pandemic and reopening process. The NSC made its position clear regarding a temporary OSHA standard in a new policy position statement released June 12.

“Employers must know the specific measures they are required … Read more...

COVID-19 and Mental Health: Are Employers Prepared for Increased Employee Substance Misuse?

Employers should prepare for a surge in substance misuse issues and employee mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Safety Council (NSC) is warning employers to prepare for a surge in addiction issues and is offering guidance to handle employee mental health issues related to the pandemic.

At least 30 states are reporting spikes in fatal opioid overdoses and ongoing concern about mental illness or substance use disorders, all in connection with COVID-19, according to the American Medical Association. To help employers address these interconnected issues, the NSC is calling on employers to prioritize employee stress, including emotional and mental health, both now and as they return employees to traditional work environments.

Prepare for an Increase in Substance Misuse

Additionally, NSC warns employers that they must prepare for an increase in substance misuse – one that could be a serious threat to worker safety. Substance misuse … Read more...

COVID-19: How Social Distancing and Other Measures Fit into the Traditional Hierarchy of Controls

Some workplaces are measuring the temperatures of workers and visitors before they enter the workplace.

Like any workplace hazard, the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace can be slowed or eliminated by using a hierarchy of controls like those created for other hazardous exposures.

Elimination

The first step in the hierarchy of controls, however sometimes elimination of a hazard is not possible. Until a vaccine or other countermeasures are identified, COVID-19 is a potential hazard in the workplace. Review, update, or develop workplace plans to potentially include:  Liberal leave and telework policies including a leave policy for workers with COVID-19 symptoms; encourage employees to stay home and notify workplace administrators when sick; and provide non-punitive sick leave options to allow staff to stay home when ill.

Substitution

COVID-19 is not a hazardous chemical or process that can be replaced with a less-dangerous option. However, some employers are implementing a new … Read more...

Mitigating Threats and Uncovering Opportunity: Learning About the Complexity of Risk

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the concept of risk-based thinking to worldwide attention. The global scale of the pandemic and the indiscriminate way in which the virus is transmitted mean that risk experts must consider a vast number of risk profiles when calculating the threat.

Consider this: COVID-19 can be transmitted from anyone to anyone, which means every single person on the planet is at risk. Yet the nature of the virus and the different contexts in which people live mean that not everyone shares the same level of risk. Elderly people and those with pre-existing conditions are at very high risk of serious complications from COVID-19, while young, healthy people are at a much lower level of risk.

The economy is facing an extreme risk from the disruption to the labor market and mandatory isolation of consumers who would normally be out spending money, yet fully digital enterprises like … Read more...

Are You Ready to Return to Work? Intelex Hosts Ready2Return Virtual Conference for Post-Pandemic Health & Safety and Business Continuity

The “new normal” of the post-pandemic workplace requires reimagining all aspects of the workplace, employee health and safety, and being ready for anything to ensure business continuity.

Intelex Technologies, ULC, a leading global provider of SaaS-based Environmental, Health, Safety and Quality (EHSQ) management software, is hosting a three-part post-pandemic workplace event, the Ready2Return Virtual Conference, taking place June 9, 16, and 23, 2020. Held over three consecutive Tuesdays, the free event is the first of its kind, bringing together a large, global community of experts and EHSQ practitioners to share best practices for the foreseeable phases in the re-opening of workplaces in the post-pandemic global economy. 
 
The “new normal” of the post-pandemic workplace requires reimagining all aspects of the workplace, employee health and safety, and being ready for anything to ensure business continuity. As the complexities that come along with returning employees to work and resuming business operations … Read more...

Ready to Return: Our Return-To-Work Tools Can Help You Safely and Successfully Reopen Your Workplace

Cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination, and ventilation of the work area is an important step in returning employees safely to the workplace.

As a result of COVID-19, it is no longer business as usual. As businesses ramp back up, employers need a plan to reopen keeping safety and productivity top of mind.

Your COVID-19 Preparedness Plan should establish the policies, practices and conditions necessary to meet the regulatory requirements where you do business.

What Your RTW Plan Should Address

The plan should include and describe how your business will implement, at a minimum, the following:

  • Infection prevention measures;
  • Prompt identification and isolation of sick workers;
  • Engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
  • Cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination, and ventilation of the work area;
  • Communications and training for managers and workers necessary to implement the plan; and
  • Provision of management and supervision necessary to ensure effective ongoing implementation of the plan.

If you are a … Read more...