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Most employers invested in providing sanitizing stations, increasing deep cleaning of common areas and hanging signage to educate workers on COVID-19 prevention and hygiene, according to a study conducted by the National Safety Council released Friday.
Itasca, Illinois-based NSC researchers surveyed 334 safety and health decision-makers for organizations with at least 250 employees across the U.S. to determine what safety practices the companies were implementing, how much they were spending on COVID-19 prevention and what effect those safety practices were having on productivity, performance and the spread of the virus.
The researchers surveyed employers primarily in manufacturing, construction, retail and office operations, as well as other industries, between July 14, and Aug. 4, finding that companies spent on average slightly more than $5,000 per employee on safety practices, which ranged from making remote work possible to providing personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer.
Among the most common safety practices adopted by employers was offering hand sanitizers throughout the facilities (80%), requiring face masks/shields or other personal protective equipment (75%) and requiring operators to sanitize work surfaces, machines, stations and tools at the beginning and/or end of each shift (72%), the study revealed.
More than three-quarters of surveyed employers also increased the frequency of deep cleaning (71%), added COVID-19 educational signage (70%), created employee self-reporting symptom and positive screening protocols (69%) and implemented remote working for non-essential employees (69%).
Of the industries, retailers were the most likely to use temperature screening (70%) and spend the most per employee on COVID-19 prevention, followed by educational services and health care and social services.
At the time of the survey, employers in construction reported the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among workers, followed by retail trade and educational services.
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
Twenty-four percent of retail workers surveyed reported having mild anxiety and 8% reported mild depression during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published Friday in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.