Jennifer Strackbein’s household and buddies have a greater grasp of what she does for a dwelling. That’s one of many modifications she’s skilled within the two-plus years for the reason that onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They didn’t perceive what public well being or employee well being meant or why it was vital,” the senior principal environmental, well being and security regulatory compliance analyst at Northrop Grumman stated. “Now they see why my function in a office is crucial.”
The Security+Well being 2022 Job Outlook requested occupational security and well being professionals about different changes they’ve observed or skilled for the reason that pandemic started. Nearly all of respondents agreed with the next statements:
- The pandemic has elevated most of the people’s consciousness of the OSH occupation.
- The pandemic has elevated the profile of the OSH perform inside my group.
- Employees are extra conscious of their private security and well being.
- Employee well-being is now a stronger space of focus within the OSH area.
“Regardless that we work on fall safety, chemical security and different hazards that may be very damaging and even deadly if poorly dealt with, few individuals know staff who have been killed on the job,” Strackbein stated. “Sadly, many individuals know somebody who was killed by COVID-19, so it could be simpler to see now why prevention is so vital. I consider the pandemic supplied an particularly tangible option to see how a superb security program saves lives.”
Preparation was a standard theme in feedback to the survey’s open-ended questions, together with: What lessons have been learned?
One respondent wrote, “We’ve got to arrange and have catastrophe plans and contingency plans. We’ve got to plan for issues to be completely different sooner or later, and nothing needs to be thought-about regular.”
One other query requested: Do you believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the OSH profession? (Sixty-seven % of the respondents stated “Sure.”)
One respondent added: “I believe the pandemic will heighten security professionals’ response to future epidemics and pandemics. Figuring out a highway as soon as traveled permits one to refine responses and actions for future disruptions.”
One other wrote: “It supplied an actual instance for making ready and planning for surprising occasions. As a producer, we had by no means thought-about protocols and contingency plans for a pandemic. Now that the blue-print needed to be created in response to COVID-19, non-health care entities have plans that might tackle one other pandemic such that firms are extra ready to not be caught off guard by such an occasion.”
Practically two-thirds (63%) of the survey respondents stated the pandemic hasn’t changed their perspective on the office security and well being occupation.
“We are actually acknowledged for having the ability to cowl a much bigger scope, however my emotions haven’t modified,” one respondent wrote.
The general public well being disaster has supplied a “golden alternative” to analysis packages on bloodborne pathogens, infectious illnesses, respiratory safety and private protecting gear assessments, stated one other respondent, “to make sure they’re nonetheless related and relevant to the pandemic.”
That respondent added: “Plus, many security professionals had a chance to be a useful resource to human sources departments in regard to cleansing chemical compounds, cleansing schedules, PPE use, social distancing, and so forth.”
Even amid the “Nice Resignation,” an financial pattern that started final yr wherein workers are voluntarily resigning from their jobs en masse, 76% of the respondents indicated they don’t plan to depart their present employer within the subsequent 12 months and 59% don’t see themselves leaving within the subsequent 5 years.
As for the long run, Strackbein stated security execs and their groups have a chance to make use of their “seats on the desk” earned over the previous two-plus years to “emphasize that security doesn’t cease when COVID-19 is asserted to now not be a pandemic.”