NSC Statement on Coronavirus, or COVID-19

Employers and workers can take action to help prevent possible transmission.

January 31, 2020

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council is following the data about coronavirus, or COVID-19. NSC urges employers – particularly those in the healthcare sector, those with employees who travel internationally and those in the international travel industry – to assess their risk of exposure and ensure procedures are in place to effectively control transmission. Workplace illness prevention training is imperative for all employees, and employers should provide it.

In relation to COVID-19, NSC echoes recommendations from OSHA and CDC, which include:

  • Practice proper infection control and sterilization measures
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick, and see a doctor immediately to be evaluated for COVID-19
  • If a worker becomes infected, insist that he or she fully recovers before returning to work
  • Employees who have traveled to areas with heightened levels of exposure should inform their employers immediately
  • Avoid sending staff on business trips to China, where the virus originated and has yet to be contained; the U.S. State Department is advising against all travel to China

The safety of workers is employers’ most vital task. For more information on preventing COVID-19, go to cdc.govOSHA.gov and who.int.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council 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.

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With a century-long legacy, the National Safety Council is a global center for safety expertise. Let's work together to align resources. We look forward to learning about ways we can join efforts to expand safety everywhere!

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