Click here for all the latest information from the State of Minnesota

Minnesota Safety Council COVID-19 Updates/Resources

 

March 26, 2020

Member Update: MN's Stay at Home Executive Order

The Governor just issued a Stay at Home Executive Order. Now what?

Get the latest information:

  • COVID-19 web page and checklist: Updates from MSC and the Minnesota Department of Health.
  • SafetyNet: Members-only online community to ask questions, share advice, resources, and solutions.

Catch up on safety training and tips:

  • On-demand safety video streaming: More than 1,500 safety and HR titles available in multiple languages.
  • Online Training: Over 150 training modules are available through our partnership with National Safety Council and Summit Training Source.
  • Employee DDC Online: Covers a number of roadway safety topics based on specific training needs and corporate policies.
  • CTOT Training: 2-hour modules that promote safe operation of construction trucks.
  • Fact Sheet Library: Nearly 200 fact sheets offering tips on topics including safety at work, home and on the road.

Catch up on your defensive driving AND car insurance discount:

You can count on our staff and services to continue to be available to you via online, phone and email. Our office operations are suspended during the stay at home order.

All in-person classes remain suspended through mid-April. This is a fluid situation that we are monitoring closely. As we learn more about the course of COVID-19, we will update the schedule.

Thank you for keeping Minnesota safe and healthy. Be safe while staying safe. #StayHomeMN

Paul Aasen

President, Minnesota Safety Council

 


 

March 19, 2020

Conference Rescheduled for October 19-20, 2020

The Minnesota Safety Council continues to closely monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and act in a timely manner in line with the recommendations of federal and state officials. We know safety and health must always come first.

We were looking forward to being with our members and others in May for the 86th annual Minnesota Safety and Health Conference. But we now know it will be some time until we can safely be together to learn and be inspired on new ways to be safe at work, at home and on the roadways.

To keep you and all our attendees safe, we've rescheduled our annual conference for October 19-20, 2020 - with a full day of professional development courses on October 21. The event will remain at the Mystic Lake Center in Prior Lake, Minn.

If you've already registered, we will contact you personally to assist you with your registration options. If you are not yet registered, information will be sent to all of our members, and others, through our normal communication channels. It will also appear on our website.

In the meantime, as we all adapt to this changed world, we'll still provide you with the safety and health education and other resources you need.

In the midst of this crisis, whether you're working from home, hunkering down with family or keeping the rest of us supplied with essential goods and services, remember to always put safety first. Rest assured, our staff and services will continue to be available to you via online, phone and email.

Thank you for continuing to keep Minnesota safe and healthy.


All my best,

Janie Ritter

Vice President, Minnesota Safety Council

 


March 17, 2020

Member Update: Training Postponed


The Minnesota Safety Council continues to closely monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and act in a timely manner to the recommendations of federal and state authorities.

As of today, March 17, we are suspending all on-site and off-site training March 20 through April 12 and will work with you to reschedule classes.

We currently offer on-demand safety video streaming for members, as well as online defensive driving training, and are working to make workplace safety training options available for you in the near future.

While in-person training is temporarily on hold, know that our staff and services will continue to be available to you via online, phone and email.

Thank you for keeping Minnesota safe and healthy,


Paul Aasen
President, Minnesota Safety Council

March 16, 2020

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Minnesota Safety Council is:

  • Running a very limited training schedule at our facility this week.

  • Re-evaluating our training schedule through mid-April.

  • Continuing to follow infectious disease management protocols including social distancing in our facility.

  • Willing and able to work with you to reschedule classes that are delayed, cancelled or that you can't attend for other reasons.

Thank you for keeping Minnesota safe and healthy,


Paul Aasen


President, Minnesota Safety Council


 

March 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

COVID-19 is clearly in Minnesota and impacting our daily lives. All of us have questions and concerns; some of which deal with how to conduct our professional business, others deal with how to protect ourselves and some deal with how the Minnesota Safety Council is going to operate in the near future. We plan to operate in an informed, respectful and responsible manner to ensure the safety of our members, visitors and our employees. Here are the actions we are taking and practices we are promoting.

Actions Members can take: Infection management recommendations from OSHA, CDC and MSC.

What is MSC doing?

We are following the infectious disease management protocols linked above. Our cleaning service has ramped up disinfection in our classrooms and common areas. We are encouraging our staff to stay home when sick to protect themselves, their co-workers AND their co-workers family and friends who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 or other diseases. We have modified our leave policy to make it easier for staff to use their leave time. We have gradually developed remote work capacity over the past two years and are fine tuning it now. Finally, we are practicing social distancing as possible within our facility and in our interactions with others.


Will MSC continue to hold training classes at its facility?

Yes, until further notice. MSC will follow the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health on meetings and gatherings. At this time, they are not recommending against holding classes or similar gatherings. We are also preparing to offer training remotely in the event of an MDH recommendation against in-person classes. We have instituted a series of safe meeting protocols that are posted in our facility.


What if MSC cancels a class I'm registered for?

We will work with you to find a class that works for you or we will refund your registration.


What if I get sick and can't attend a class?

We will work with you to find a class that works for you or we will refund your registration.


What about the big Safety and Health Conference in May?

At this time, we are proceeding with preparations for the Minnesota Safety and Health Conference on May 12-13, 2020. We will be monitoring advice from State and Federal agencies on large events over the next month to determine if we need to change our plans. Similar to our class registrations, if you register for conference and we decide to delay, change or modify the event, we will work with you to move or refund your registration.


Managing infectious disease is something we all are very familiar with. We know to wash our hands and not touch our faces. We know to stay home or away when we are sick. COVID-19 is different enough, infectious enough, and sufficiently unknown enough that we need to increase our diligence, practice what we preach, cut out the daily shortcuts and protect ourselves and those we care about.

Thank you for helping keep Minnesota safe and healthy,

Paul Aasen

President, Minnesota Safety Council

 

Dear Colleagues,

Actions Members can take:

1. Infection Management -
We all need to follow good infection management practices. The National Safety Council has a good summary of infection management recommendations from OSHA and CDC, including:

  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water; if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Stay home when you are sick, and see a doctor immediately to be evaluated for COVID-19

  • If a worker becomes infected, insist that he or she fully recovers before returning to work

  • Employees who have traveled to areas with heightened levels of exposure should inform their employers immediately

  • Avoid sending staff on business trips to Warning Level 3 countries. Specific information is available here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

  • The safety of workers is employers' most vital task. For more information on preventing COVID-19, go to cdc.gov, OSHA.gov and who.int.

These recommendations are sound practices for anyone who wants to avoid getting sick be it from COVID-19, a common cold, the flu or any other disease.

2. Emphasize the need for employees who are or may be sick, or who have been exposed, to stay home.
There are two key elements to making this happen. First, employees need assurance and re-assurance that it's OK to stay home. Second, sick leave and personal leave policies need to reasonably allow employees to stay home. Consider reviewing sick and personal leave policies to see how well they address the current situation and then reinforce your best practices with leadership and management messages and actions that support employees who need time away for illness or whose family has an event that results in quarantine.

3. Use and build your organization's ability to work and meet remotely.
Maximizing the ability of your employees to work remotely has many benefits. Remote work now reduces the possibilities of transmission. The same is true for virtual meetings especially considering increasing travel restrictions. Lastly, if an employee is infected and/or is placed in quarantine, there could be a 2 to 3 week period when that employee cannot physically be on the premises. The ability to work remotely can greatly reduce the business impact of this time period.

4. Practice social distancing.
Social distancing is essentially the practice of not getting too close to other people to avoid disease transmission. Ask yourself, where do people come together during our business or personal day? Identify those gathering points and ask the hard questions. Do we need to gather or meet? Is there another way accomplish our work, at least in the near term?

Staying home when you're sick and remote work/meetings are two examples of social distancing. Creating space between walk-in interactions and reception/front desk/service personnel helps. Practice NOT shaking hands. Replace the shake with a verbal greeting and a smile. If you must gather, avoid filling meeting spaces and avoid prolonged sessions. It's not in our nature to leave space but for now we should try to maintain a six foot personal bubble at work and away from work.

Business visits that take employees to other locations and sites is particularly challenging. Your employees could be entering an environment that may or may not be following practices you follow in your own organization. Work with your partners, clients and suppliers to understand the steps they are taking and, most importantly, give your employees permission to leave situations they find unsafe.

Lastly, consider your local and state health experts advice on conferences and larger gatherings. Some jurisdictions are restricting gatherings of more than 250 people. Major sporting events are being held without fans in the stands. If you have a larger event in the works, consult with your local experts and the Minnesota Department of Health about prevention steps to take at an event or if the event should be held at all.

 

 

FAQ - What is MSC doing?

 

 

1. We are following the steps outlined above.
We are following the infectious disease management protocols outlined above. Our cleaning service has ramped up disinfection in our classrooms and common areas. We are encouraging our staff to stay home when sick to protect themselves, their co-workers AND their co-workers family and friends who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 or other diseases. We have modified our leave policy to make it easier for staff to use their leave time. We have gradually developed remote work capacity over the past two years and are fine tuning it now. Finally, we are practicing social distancing as possible within our facility and in our interactions with others.

2. Will MSC continue to hold training classes at its facility?
Yes, until further notice. MSC will follow the recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health on meetings and gatherings. At this time, they are not recommending against holding classes or similar gatherings. We are also preparing to offer training remotely in the event of an MDH recommendation against in-person classes.

 

We have instituted a series of safe meeting protocols that are posted in our facility. They are:

3. What if MSC cancels a class I'm registered for?
We will work with you to find a class that works for you or we will refund your registration

4. What if I get sick and can't attend a class?
We will work with you to find a class that works for you or we will refund your registration.

5. What about the big Safety and Health Conference in May?
At this time, we are proceeding with preparations for the conference on May 12tth and 13th. We will be monitoring advice from State and Federal agencies on large events over the next month to determine if we need to change our plans. Similar to our class registrations, if you register for conference and we decide to delay, change or modify the event, we will work with you to move or refund your registration.

Managing infectious disease is something we all are very familiar with. We know to wash our hands and not touch our faces. We know to stay home or away when we are sick. COVID-19 is different enough, infectious enough, and sufficiently unknown enough that we need to increase our diligence, practice what we preach, cut out the daily shortcuts and protect ourselves and those we care about.

Thank you for helping keep Minnesota safe and healthy,

Paul Aasen

President, Minnesota Safety Council