Post-COVID Best Practices
As the Director for Safety, Environmental Compliance and Emergency Management in Federal Occupational Health (FOH/PSC), Martin Lloyd Sanders Gives Advice on Moving Foward from COVOD-19.
Today, Martin Lloyd Sanders would like to share his thoughts on best practices moving forward into the new post COVID-19 world:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have first-hand experience that HR professionals and facility managers are being called upon to make safety and public health-related decisions. This is particularly true in private industry. Rather than see this as a challenge to the safety profession, I urge all of us as safety professionals to take the opportunity to work closely with the staff and leaderships of all support services both during the pandemic and in the planning for what comes next. It may take some patience, but let’s knock down any remaining walls between our industries and build lasting coalitions that will serve us better in the months and years to come.
Of particular value is a safety professional’s ability to explain the reasons behind the recommendations. It is one thing to simply cut and paste from a CDC website, but understanding the rationale behind the regulations allows for adaptation. No guidance ever covers 100 percent of the situations. Knowing why face masks are different than fitted respirators or why administrative controls are better for risk management than PPE will provide the flexibility to apply safe practices to your specific situation while maintaining workplace safety and following the spirit of government requirements.
As the country begins the process of returning to work, I urge all CEOs, directors, boards, and other senior leaders to take this opportunity to break down the walls between you and the support staff in your organizations. Too often we see senior leaders in a bubble, with silos artificially created between the critical functions needed to return to full capacity. Even if all the leaders state that they know and listen to their subject matter experts, how many back that up with action?
If you are one of those senior leaders, ask yourself when was the last time you spoke directly to your safety staff, your facilities personnel, your HR groups? If you can’t remember, or you only get your information through layers and layers of management, now is your opportunity to invite them to the table.
Build a stronger operation, gain new viewpoints, get unfiltered information for your decision making. If we do this, I am convinced we will all have better and more sustainable organizations moving forward.
Disclaimer: This article was prepared by Martin L. Sanders in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of the USPHS, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the United States government.”