OHS Canada Magazine

U.S. safety council calls on employers to lead vaccine promotion, uptake


On May 11, the National Safety Council (NSC), a United States non-profit workplace safety advocate in Itasca, Ill., said it is time for employers to lead U.S. vaccination efforts, understanding this is the best route to a safe, collaborative and productive work environment, free from masks and social distancing.

NSC President and CEO Lorraine Martin said that, while vaccines bring great benefits to the workforce, employers now have more complexity in planning a safe transition back to a physical workspace beyond essential workers, particularly when some people are vaccinated and some are not.

“It’s clear employers can play a direct role in helping to encourage vaccine uptake, especially if they deploy policies and approaches that are backed by public health research,” said Martin, in a news release.

“Ultimately, following this guidance will allow in-person workplaces to collaborate safely again, benefiting workers, businesses and the entire American economy.”

Acknowledging employers’ powerful role in safety leadership, NSC released guidelines including paid time off for immunization and recovery, on-site vaccination clinics, help with scheduling and transportation, and support of peer-to-peer vaccination promotion efforts.

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This guidance comes as the Biden Administration announced its new goal that 70 per cent of adults will have at least one coronavirus vaccine by July 4.

As part of its SAFER effort, NSC also updated its SAFER Framework to account for more workers returning to a traditional work environment as well provide the latest guidance for ventilation, vaccine policies, mental health and long-term implications of remote work and flexible schedules.