Moving from Resiliency to Recovery – The COVID World of Work in 2022

Navigating the COVID world of work in 2022

Discussions on supply chain, sustainability, and ESG are often overshadowed by climate change and the environment, and more recently, COVID. 

As workplaces struggle with OHS and COVID demands, safety professionals must learn how to stay on top of rising issues. 

In this webinar, learn about ESG risks and their impact on supply chain and sustainability. The session will discuss research and trends to prepare organizations for the future of safety. 

Watch now to gain insight into:

  • Managing supply chain, safety, sustainability and risk in a changing world
  • Shifting gears from supply chain and safety resilience to recovery and sustainability 
  • Real-world solutions from safety professionals 


To view full transcript, please click here

Maia: [00:00:03] Thank you to everyone joining us today. I’m Maia Foulis, Editor of Canadian Occupational Safety and I’m pleased to introduce today’s webinar, Moving from Resiliency to Recovery brought to you by Avetta.

So, Covid has increased the workload of safety professionals. I mean, these new demands are in addition to their already very busy roles and as workplaces struggle in keeping on top of OHS and Covid, safety professionals have to learn how to stay afloat.

So, to answer your questions about the evolving world of work, it’s my pleasure to introduce our two speakers, Tom Cecich and Peter Sturm. Tom is a Strategic Board Advisor of Avetta and President of TFC and Associates. He was previously Vice President of EHS Global Business Support at the Pharmaceutical Company, GlaxoSmithKline and also held safety management positions at IBM and LIT Chemical Corporations. He served as the 102nd president of American Society of Safety Engineers and is ASSE fellow, the society's highest honor. He was also the past president of the board of certified safety professionals.

Peter is a Senior Safety Health and Risk Management Executive with Sturm Consulting and he's been a CRSP since 1996. He is a past president of the Canadian Society of safety engineering, a board member of the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability, Chair of the CSA Z1005 investigation standard, and a governor with the BPCRSP.

So, just a couple of notes before we get started. At the end of the presentation, we'll be welcoming audience questions, so please feel free to type any questions you have into the Q&A box. Within the webinar software, you'll see that to the right-hand side of your screen. If you experience any technical difficulties or have any trouble hearing the audio, please use the chatbox next to the Q&A icon to let us know. And we will be sending out a recording as well as a copy of the slides to all attendees soon after the webinar. With all that said, over to you Tom.

Tom: [00:02:05] Great. Well, thank you, and welcome to everyone. It's great to have you this afternoon. Peter and I are joining you about the wonders of modern technology. Peter is about half north of Toronto and I'm actually in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. So, for me, it's pushing 10 o'clock at night. But it's great to have the opportunity to gather for this discussion.

Our contact information is via this slide and we'll also put this up at the end of our talk. We're going to allow ample time for questions and some conversation. This webinar will also be available for you. I understand everybody will [get] email with a link, there also be a link on the COS website, and there's a link on the Avetta website. So, plenty of opportunities to check it down if you'd like to hear it or have someone else, or share it with someone, and the PDF of our PowerPoints will also be available.

Avetta is very pleased to be a sponsor along with COS. And a [general] word about Avetta, Avetta is the company that provides supply chain risk management services. And by supply chain, that can mean that you're dealing with contract manufacturers anywhere in the world or small contractors in your local facility. Whatever third parties you use to achieve your business objectives, Avetta is [there] to assist you in that process.

We have over five clients and working with over 100,000 suppliers and with 1.2 million supplier assessments, 400 -- 1.5 million employees over 120 countries. So, we have a very broad reach around the world providing services anywhere from pre-qualification to assessments, to audit, to project closeout.

When we talk about the supply chain risk landscape, a few examples and the recent period where organizations and the impacts are new, or they can be from somebody that's actually walking through or doing work on your site or making product for you. We've seen just supply chains impacted in so many different ways, in ways that you would never predict. Not included there but just the recent trucking work stoppages at the border have majors impact on supply chains. Would anybody have predicted six weeks ago, maybe four weeks ago, but yet these are major impacts.

I'm wondering, you know, with businesses in Ukraine, the conflict that's occurring there. Are there many organizations that are going to get some interruption either by doing business with you Ukraine or with Russia? And so, it's very difficult to predict how might get impacted how your businesses and your organization's impacted.

I'd say in the past we've looked at, you know, supply chain risk as sometimes a clearly high-risk operation. If you have suppliers that are dealing with hazardous chemicals, or you know, a lot of people [in your organization] are gonna be concerned about the spending and the cost and the timing and the [goal]. But, I know from my perspective and [over there], from a safety, health and environmental [standpoint], things that concern me we're certainly liability, reputational risk, compliance risk, and continuity of supply, it was impacted by those safety, health, and environmental activities that occurred within [inaudible]. Again, supply chain is broadly defined as maybe back manufacturer around the world or a contract on the street that you use periodically.

And what -- certainly from a vendor standpoint, what we've been successful and what [inaudible] clients is looking at additional risks beyond the obvious ones. Some of the them -- some perhaps the more -- again, say a welder down the street, you know, it's not your classic high risk but depending on what they do in your facility, can create a, you know, a very significant fire hazard or explosion hazard depending on what they're working on.

Sustainability issues say a little bit more about that, but workforce, management, diversity and inclusion, liability, cybersecurity, financial viability, these are all significant risks that sometimes fly under the radar. And they need to be managed. Many times they're issues that impact state and health professionals like us. And so, certainly, we have to come up with ways to manage these activities.

Again, I will just offer up. Avetta has a process to do that, we'll be happy to talk further if you have questions.

For us as safety professionals -- Peter and I have been involved in safety for a long time, and I suppose maybe my first job description and you know, I don't know whether I should be proud to say it or embarrassed to say it is almost 50 years now this year, the -- you know, probably my first job description was helped keep people from getting hurt.

Whereas now if you look at what organizations are asking safety and health professionals to do -- and frankly, I think this is a good thing. I mean, we're becoming part of the success of our organization directly. They're asking us, you know, defining safety and our responsibilities in a broader manner. And certainly, the area of human capital goes beyond, you know, purely “Don't let people get hurt”, or you know, “let's keep them from getting sick.” It's also what can they be -- what can we do to make them more efficient, to help them reduce absenteeism. Help people say, you know, have an environment that keeps them on, you know, in the workplace. And so, you know, management looks less to be part of that solution.

We've talked already about the supply chain and our role in working with suppliers to minimize those risks that fall within, you know, our sphere of influence. You know, safety and health risks, you know, those that create compliance issues or liability issues.

Mental health is certainly -- you know, I do most work in the US but the more and more we're seeing that there's an expectation -- certainly globally, certainly in Europe, we're seeing more and more expectation that organizations will put in programs to reduce the risk of mental health issues at the workplace. And, you know, that brings us into a whole new realm that I never would have thought that you know, had put on a psychologist hat as part of, you know, what my job was.

Sustainability is becoming more and more a part of what organizations are being held to account for. And so, one more slide, on that the next slide a little bit.

But the main part of this talk, which Peter will jump into in a second, is because pandemic, safety professionals have found themselves on the front line of advising senior management in what are necessary precautions to take to protect the workforce, and what will it take, you know, keep the production processes, whatever your business function is to keep it going, and to minimize the potential for staff and interactions with the public in transmitting the disease.