June is National Safety Month, intended to raise awareness of potential hazards that contribute to accidental injuries and fatalities. After dealing with COVID-19 for more than a year, 2021’s National Safety Month is the time to focus on how to navigate workplace safety as the pandemic begins to improve. Learn more about the safety measures all employers should provide in 2021:
As COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available throughout the US, employers must determine their company-specific vaccine policy, as CDC safety guidelines for workplace safety vary depending on whether or not workers are fully vaccinated. Clarify if you will encourage or require employees to get vaccinated, as well as review full guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for ensuring your policies abide by workplace anti-discrimination laws.
For workers in a shared space, preventing the spread of viruses is truly a group effort. While the more major cleaning and sanitizing should be done by a designated facilities manager as a safety measure, you also need to provide supplies for employees to pitch in on an individual basis. Ensure you offer hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes, so employees feel comfortable when having to use common flat surfaces, tools, supplies, etc.
Poor indoor air quality is not just an annoyance in the workplace – it can be a hazard to your employees’ health by contributing to respiratory problems due to dust, smoke, mold, or other irritants, as well as encouraging the spread of airborne viruses. Get your HVAC systems checked to verify they are providing proper ventilation in your workplace.
Mental Health Resources
The pandemic hasn’t just affected physical health – even for those who never contracted COVID-19, the stress related to it contributed to mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse. It’s essential to provide mental health resources to your employees they can turn to if they are struggling to keep them safe and healthy. Communicate any employee assistance programs that are available and make it clear they will not be judged in any way if they need to utilize these resources.
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