This year’s focus on safety looks a little different from the past. We are dealing with new risks – to the health of our employees and community, to the wellbeing of our businesses and finances, and to our mental and emotional health – and we have to address them all if we want to get back to work safely.
It’s not just about protecting our community from COVID, We ALL want that. However, the collateral damage to our economic base is very real. Every business, in every community has been affected. I don’t have a crystal ball or a magic bullet… I so wish I did. I believe we have to start working on opening our economies. We have to get business back in business.

Opening up businesses, requires a multi-prong approach, in my opinion:

  1. As an employer, you must carefully review the policies and procedures for your industry. Have those policies and procedures WRITTEN.
  2. Educate your employees on what those policies and procedures are. They have to know how to keep themselves safe and protect the customers you are hoping to invite into your business.
  3. Consider what your customers need to know about your policies. Folks want to come to see you, but they need to know what you are doing to protect them. Proper advertising and signage are key here. You cannot over-communicate with the public on this.
  4. Know when to take action if someone is not feeling well. Make sure folks understand that it’s okay to speak up about not being on top of their game.The last thing we want is stigma associated with being sick.

This is a virus that will continue to go around, just like other viruses. It’s awful and scary. The damage that has already occurred is devastating. But, with proper sanitizing and personal responsibility, we can safely return to work and get our communities moving forward. Do your part, have a plan, and let’s get growing. #safetyismysuperpower #TSScanhelp

The other piece in this …. there are many who are struggling mentally. These are hard times. Be okay with not being okay. Know that there are many people riding this same wave in the storm. Reach out and talk with your colleagues about how they are coping. I make sure to get outside every day. I work out. I stick to a routine. Get up, shower, dress for work, eat breakfast, all on time, just like I was going to the office. These habits keep me balanced.

If your team is working from home, check in with them individually to ensure that they are doing well. Keep in mind alcohol and marijuana sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic. As folks try to cope with such a fast-changing world, self-medicating is not uncommon. 

As your employees return to work, it’s a great time to review your policies and train supervisors on signs and symptoms of substance misuse. We want all workers to be safe from harm in the workplace. Understanding what substance misuse looks like is the first step to identifying and supporting someone who may need help with an addiction issue. Know that for someone in recovery, dealing with this stressful time is dangerous. 

Check in with your co-workers, your employees, your family. Take care of each other. The people you care about may just need to know you have their back. Be that person.