Tyson Promoting workplace safety
Countries around the world have struggled to contain the first wave of the pandemic, some with more success than others. The fragmented nature of the US healthcare system has not made response easy and the lack of coordination and competition between government institutions and private entities for scarce resources has been highly challenging.This is why Tyson Foods, which has been at the forefront of these issues, enlisted expertise from across the healthcare spectrum, from organizational medicine specialists, to virologists, immunologists, leaders in infectious disease and epidemiologists, to work urgently to help protect its employees and safeguard the part of the global protein supply it manages.
The company believes it is equally critical to share what it has learned and continue to support the collective growth in understanding of how to manage and ultimately defeat this deadly threat to human wellbeing so all Americans can feel safe at work and at home. As part of this effort, Tyson convened a scientific working group in August 2020, to examine what we have learned about this powerful disease. The first meeting of this occupational safety scientific working group covered a wide range of subjects but focused on the critical areas of testing and tracing, social distancing in the workplace, airflow and personal protective equipment, the promise and potential limitations of a vaccine and communications to and between workers about how to protect themselves. The panel also discussed new areas for research prompted by the gaps in current knowledge.
The report “Promoting workplace safety in the era of COVID-19: keeping employees, their families and communities healthy and safe” concluded, that as several members of the panel observed, we should not have been surprised by the arrival of sars-cov-2 and we should assume that it will not be the last virus to make the leap from wild animals to human beings. Only time will tell whether this virus fades away or becomes, once an effective vaccine is in use, a regular threat to manage such as measles or influenza. Regardless of the path it chooses, it is clear from our experience with the pandemic so far that commercial organizations, no less than public entities, need to be actively engaged seeking better insights about the way the virus works and finding innovative ways on how to handle the pandemic in the workplace and in the community.