Trump’s actions make safety fight harder
As a past Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance officer, and later consultant, and now a private occupational environmental health and safety consultant, I find it extremely difficult to provide my services to my many clients, nationwide. Those of us in the field of occupational safety and health must guide our employers and clients, ensuring that they provide a safe, healthy working environment, along with ensuring regulatory compliance.
The current coronavirus pandemic introduced a new challenge to many of us. We relied on experts within the field of infectious disease, control, transmission and prevention to show us and provide us with the necessary tools that must be implemented and adhered to, ensuring that our workers were being provided the aforementioned safe, healthy working environment. We also relied on our elected leaders, from the governors to the nation’s capital.
Such “leadership” sets the rules, regulations and best practices to be followed, ensuring we are doing what needs to be done to possibly eliminate the risk, or at a minimum, reduce the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Although many of our state-elected officials and appointees have done a great job in providing such guidance and such important factual information, we see leadership and support lacking, and often contradicting established procedures, coming out of the White House.
With such a large following in support of the current administration, it is extremely difficult to persuade, guide or instruct, however you want to put it, both employers and employees in adhering to proven, established risk-reduction provisions, such as social distancing and face covering, when you see the reopening of many states and the subsequent resurgence of COVID-19 cases or when you see our top leader, the president, ignoring social distancing guidelines, ignoring the need to curb large gatherings, removing experts in his administration and supporting the “miraculous disappearing” of the virus.
For us in the field of occupational safety and health, such action, such comments, once again make it extremely difficult to recommend, suggest the aforementioned risk reduction provisions: social distancing and facial covering. Those of us in the field of occupational safety and health, along with the leaders of this great nation, must respect, listen to and rely on the experts, not on any opinion, hunch, feeling or political alignment.
God bless and help America.
JOHN P. LESEGANICH SR.