NSC Statement on 1 Million Lives Lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. - National Safety Council

NSC Statement on 1 Million Lives Lost to COVID-19 in the U.S.

Leaders should continuously reevaluate workplace policies and procedures to reflect current COVID-19 community levels.

May 12, 2022

Itasca, Ill. — Following President Biden’s announcement today that 1 million people in the United States have died from COVID-19, the National Safety Council marks this tragic milestone as a reminder of the omnipresent threat of COVID-19 in the U.S. As much of the nation’s workforce returns to in-person work, NSC urges employers to take responsibility for both the physical and psychological safety of workers. 

“Losing more than 1 million lives to COVID-19 in the United States is devastating to our nation, and the threat of more loss to this deadly virus persists,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “As President Biden said in his statement, ‘as a nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow.’ We must all do more, and I urge employers across the country to help mitigate the spread and loss of life to COVID-19 by implementing proven safety techniques. We know how to keep workers safe; we need to take action to do so.”

By implementing vaccine requirements and utilizing all proven safety countermeasures, such as masking, frequent handwashing, improved ventilation systems and regularly disinfecting work surfaces, employers can do their part to keep workforces safer and healthier and prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Leaders should continuously reevaluate how their organization addresses safety, and update their policies and procedures to reflect their current COVID-19 community levels.

For organizations in need of assistance, NSC, in partnership with the Health Action Alliance, developed a decision tool for business leaders that provides specific guidance and addresses key questions and considerations for workplace vaccine requirements and other safety countermeasures as well as an employer readiness assessment to help employers through the post-emergency phase of COVID-19. For additional workplace vaccine-related information and resources such as reports, playbooks, webinars and surveys, visit www.nsc.org/safer.

Additionally, the pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of U.S. employees; recent NSC Workforce Trends Indicator Survey findings reveal feelings of depression and anxiety were strongly correlated with how safe a respondent felt at work. NSC encourages business leaders to take action to support their workers by prioritizing mental health and using NSC materials, consulting services and additional resources to help keep employees safe. NSC mental health resources are available to help employers and employees at nsc.org/MentalHealth.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate — and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.