As the U.S. prepares to reopen, the nation’s leading safety advocate announces a multifaceted effort to help employers create safe workplaces in a post-coronavirus world. On April 23, the National Safety Council announced SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns, a comprehensive effort to guide employers through the process of safely resuming traditional work and operations now and in a post-pandemic environment.
Created in partnership with Fortune 500 companies, leading safety organizations and public health professionals and experts, the center of SAFER is the formation of the first national task force focused on worker safety. The task force will issue recommendations and develop guidance for employers, including small and mid-size companies, as they navigate the changed work environment and determine most critical needs to ensure the safety of their workers.
SAFER will also:
- Identify complexities with reengaging the workforce, including contractors, by partnering with human resources, legal, labor, health care and workers compensation providers
- Develop general and sector-specific playbooks for America’s businesses to help them align worker safety with business objectives
“The manner in which employers bring people back to work will define our national response to the pandemic,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “For more than a century, NSC has been helping employers put safety at the forefront of all their decisions, and we are once again taking action to continue serving this important role. With SAFER, we are confident we’re bringing the best minds together to ensure Americans have the safest transition back to work so we can truly flatten the curve and enable people to live their fullest lives.”
SAFER will serve as the leading workplace safety voice to employers now and in the post-pandemic era, ensuring that safety is at the core of business decisions. The task force is comprised of nonprofit organizations, businesses, medical professionals, government agencies and trade associations – all with the intention of sharing their own expertise to develop industry- and risk-specific resources and recommendations for U.S. employers of all sizes. Through NSC, task force researchers will issue resources with insights, policies, guidelines and tools across industry sectors with the goal of disseminating the life-saving information quickly so employers do not lose time on trial and error.
Workplace fatalities already were on the rise, and the pandemic has further complicated employers’ response to mitigating risk and driving down deaths and injuries. COVID-19 has forced workplaces across the U.S. to close or limit operations to protect public health and safety. As of April 1, 55 states and territories had some closures of non-essential businesses, and 28 states and territories have prohibited in-person workforces for non-essential businesses.*
For up-to-date information about the NSC response to COVID-19 and the task force’s activities, please visit nsc.org/safer or nsc.org/coronavirus.
*Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma (in counties with reported community spread), Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.