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  • 2 Sep 2020 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    About the Author: James Boretti is the President and founder of Boretti, Inc. James has over thirty years of environmental, health and safety management and consultation experience. He is a Certified Safety Professional, a prestigious designation he has held for over 25 years. You can contact him at (559) 372-7545 or

    In today’s COVID-19 environment, people may think this isn’t a great statement to make: having safety makes sense. In the safety profession, the following question has always been a challenge: “Why safety?”

    There are many reasons why organizations embrace safety, such as complying with OSHA regulations, minimizing the impact of insurance rates, reducing injuries, or minimizing risk exposures. And on the surface, it appears that most companies pay attention to safety to avoid something: recurrence of a recent serious injury; OSHA penalties; high insurance rates. While all of these are good reasons, these actions are reactions: in each case safety isn’t planned, it’s a reaction to something that happens.

    In the past, the assumed answer is “because it’s required;” however, today we see safety is all about creating confidence: confidence that our food supply is safe, confidence that our workplaces are safe to work in, and confidence that it’s safe for customers to return. And that confidence comes with success. A safe environment allows customers to feel confident to visit and buy from you, talent to seek employment at your organization and remain, and stability for the organization. Over 30 years of experience has shown that to build this confidence, businesses must follow five steps to embrace safety.

    5 Basic Steps to Embrace Safety

    1.    Assess

    Ask yourself “What is of risk to the organization, and how can I possibly control it?” You’d be amazed at all the wasted effort you’ll find if you spend a little time asking these questions. Knowing these risks helps you know how to address them.

    OSHA lists absenteeism, change in commerce patterns, and interrupted supply chain are potential risks to businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic. And, if we are to assess for risk, OSHA’s assessment for risk fall into three major categories:
    • Job duties involving close (within 6 feet), frequent contact with the public, customers or workers, especially contact with infected people or other sources of the virus.
    • Social conditions in the population area have ongoing transmission.
    • Traveling to areas that are highly affected by COVID-19.
    Considerations would be given to proximity (closeness to others); frequently touched surfaces that may be found in a common area such as a lobby, customer waiting room, breakrooms, restrooms, and timeclocks; and layouts such as open spaced work areas and airflow.

    2.  Process –

    Once you know risks you need to address, you can know how you’re going to control them, and you’ll want to put them into a written process. OSHA has outlined a process to reduce exposure risk for employees by addressing both workplace-specific and non-occupational risk factors to determine the best prevention measures for your operation. As always, ensure you are following federal, state, local, tribal and/or territorial recommendations.

    Applying this to the COVID-19 situation, capturing the efforts you make into a plan ensures your efforts are on track and documented, and that they are working well. The key is to ensure everyone knows who is going to do what by when. Elements of a process would include the following:

      • Elements
      • Expectations, Better Practices, Application
      • Responsibilities / Roles
      • Lists who is responsible for what by when
      • Access
      • Who can access the facility / job-site / when (i.e., employees, contractors, visitors), working from home, screenings, PPE and distancing expectations, etc.
      • Cleaning
      • How is this done, frequency, what surfaces (hard vs. porous), post-COVID suspected or confirmed, etc.
      • Precautions
      • Social distancing, PPE, washing / sanitizing, staggered shifts and breaks, etc.
      • Travel
      • If necessary / approved, precautions to take, etc.
      • Carpooling / Vanpooling / Ridesharing
      • If necessary, cleaning and disinfecting after each ride, self-screening, barriers / PPE, ventilation
      • Resources
      • Items the company will provide to employees, customers (within its ability)
      • Communication
      • For confidence on cleaning, following suspected / confirmed COVID cases, etc.
    3.    Educate –
    Educating on and including your people in the process, including the risks being controlled and why, will help them engage and contribute to the success, making it more valuable.

    Applying this to the COVID-19 situation, education would cover the following elements at a minimum:

    • What COVID is and How it Transmits: this provides the “why” we are doing what we’re doing.
    • What to do:
          Cover coughs and sneezes
          Wash hands
          Wear face coverings
          Frequent cleaning
          Stay home if sick / exposure
          What’s changed in the workplace
          Your program / what’s expected
    4.    Implement –

    Implement the process and watch it take off. For the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and OSHA suggest implementing frequent handwashing and shifting policies or practices to include more flexible worksites and work hours. Workplace changes such as workstation distancing or use of barriers, and one single point for entry and a separate single point for exit are also some ideas to consider COVID prevention.

    5.    Investigate –
    Not everything will be perfect the first time: if something goes wrong, investigate to find out why, then make a change to improve the process.
    OSHA uses the following investigation technique for a COVID situation to determine if it is possibly work related or not.
    • COVID-19 case is likely work-related if:
          Several cases develop among workers who work closely together
          Contracted shortly after lengthy, close exposure to customer or coworker who has a confirmed case of COVID-19
          Job duties include frequent, close exposure to the general public in a locality with ongoing community transmission
    • COVID-19 case is likely NOT work-related if:
          The person is the only worker to contract COVID-19 in vicinity and job duties do not include having frequent contact with the general public, regardless of the rate of community spread.
          Outside the workplace, the worker closely and frequently associates with someone who (1) has COVID-19; (2) is not a coworker, and (3) exposes the employee during period in which the individual is likely infectious
    The answers to the investigation would trigger immediate actions to do with regard to communication, quarantining and cleaning, and how the process can be improved, if needed.

    For additional resources regarding COVID, see the following links:

    These five simple steps will create the confidence needed for success. Contact a safety professional to provide you guidance and support.

  • 31 Mar 2020 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Leader,

    You were made for such a time as this. 

    You need to hear how much you and your leadership matters right now. Amidst the panic, the fear, and the unknown, your team and employees are looking to you for real leadership. Our team is thinking about you, praying over you, and discussing ways we can best support you through this time. 

    Here are a couple of ways that your leadership can have a powerful positive impact on the people you lead:

    ·         Tell them "You are okay. We will all be okay."  A trauma doctor will tell you that the most important first thing a trauma patient needs to hear is that they are okay. Tell your people this, and really mean it. This time will not last forever. China has already begun closing ICU hospitals set up just for Covid-19 treatment because there are fewer cases requiring hospitalization. There will be light at the end of this tunnel and you need to remind your team that your company will not be overcome by this pandemic. 

    ·         Use this time to get ready for the BIG REBOUND. As soon as everyone gets the green light to be able to go to dinner, travel and congregate again, the demand for goods and services will skyrocket. Consider how badly you desire something as soon as you are told you can't have it or do it? Your competitors are not preparing for this and will still be trying to mobilize while you will hit the ground running. Get ready, it is coming.

    ·         Be audacious and generous with positive encouragement and care. Your employees will remember this time and how you led them through the uncertainty.   Right now, they are telling their spouses and friends and family about your leadership.  When it is over, how do you want to be remembered?  Write notes of appreciation, help out with creative solutions to keep things running, catch people going above and beyond to help their co-workers.  This is your chance to become the leader you always wanted to have lead your division or company.

    ·         Take some time for creative brainstorming.  Is there an opportunity to seize created by this pandemic?  What could your organization do right now that could bring value to your clients?  What new needs have been created that your organization can fulfill?  There is gold in adversity.  Your job as a leader is to help your people discover it.

    ·         Lastly, and most importantly, put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.  Every time I fly, the flight attendant reminds us to put on our own oxygen mask before helping others.  Please, please, please be mindful of what information you are allowing into your mind.  Your spirit will reflect your own inputs.  If you allow yourself to be inundated with bad news, you will sweat despair...which is very stinky.  Make sure you are intentional about looking for good news, reading books and articles that make you feel hopeful and optimistic.  Don't fake it, be intentional about building belief that the future is bright.

    This pandemic is creating the scene in the movie of your life where you take all of the lessons you've learned, all of the hardships you've endured and you pull everything good from those experiences to lead your people in ways that change their lives for good.  You've got this!  You really do!  I believe in you and I am here to help you any way you need!

    Now go powerful...make a difference...and you will celebrate with your teams in triumphant ways when this is over!

    Warm Regards,

    Jody Bagno

    Jazz Business Consulting


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