Addressing Coronavirus, One Day at a Time

Safety never stops.

Lorraine M. Martin
March 24, 2020

All of us are addressing COVID-19, not just in our workplaces but also in our personal lives. Daily routines have been upended, whether it’s working from home, juggling new schedules or attempting to maintain a sense of social connection. This really hit me as I spoke with leaders around the country, who have shared their stories of the realities they face each day as anxieties rise and demands increase.

As the impacts of COVID-19 escalate, many businesses are quickly shifting priorities. Some have had to change their operations overnight, reallocating resources to ensure essential services are covered, all while safeguarding workers. Some have had to operate with a skeleton crew to maintain social distancing, while others have asked teams to take on new skill sets. Others now face the new reality that their job, once thought to be low risk, is now high risk. The day-to-day landscape is constantly evolving and each day brings new challenges.

During this time, we all must do our part to help save lives – whether it’s preventing new infections or responding to practical safety needs of the workers doing their jobs, especially those now on the front lines of the response.

At the National Safety Council, we are here to serve during this challenging time, beginning with regular updates and resources at nsc.org/coronavirus. We continue to respond to this pandemic with you, as safety cannot hit pause.

Whether we find ourselves supporting critical business operations, working from home or performing essential work in the field, we must remain attentive to existing hazards and address common risks. Many workers may now need to perform new functions that carry non-COVID-19-related hazards, such as driving and delivery services. Shifting work responsibilities likely means workers need additional training, including remote learning options.

As businesses adapt and support their operations the best way they know how, we must continue asking how we can help workers stay safe both on and off the job. We cannot lose sight of this imperative.

If there is a silver lining to this crisis, it may be that it will force organizations to innovate how we think about work. For NSC, this period will allow us to consider new ways of delivering safety products and services that will help people live their fullest lives.

Our mission is safety. Our approach is to be smart, be prepared and be respectful. Our commitment is to those we serve – our employees, our communities and our families. Whether we’re dealing with coronavirus or a more familiar safety threat on or off the job, our intention remains to keep people safe, from the workplace to anyplace.

While this is a stressful period for all of us, we remain committed to safely being available to our customers and those who need us, so we can come out stronger and more resilient on the other side. This may be the defining challenge of our generation, and I know our success will depend on our focus on safety today, tomorrow and beyond.

My mantra has been, every commitment – every day. With current challenges, I have doubled down on my commitment to those I serve through NSC. With that said, meeting commitments to our loved ones, our community and our own wellbeing is equally important. Please take care of you and yours.

Lorraine M. Martin

Lorraine M. Martin is president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

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