Whole-Person Safety

March 15 2021
By: Terry L. Mathis

Before COVID we dealt with employees at work, and their personal lives were a largely separate from their work lives. When we sent people home to work, the work life and the personal life merged. Workers had to learn the discipline of getting work done in an environment that was previously non-work. Whole-Person Safety Managers had to learn to direct worker's efforts remotely over the sound of kids and pets. Families had to make room for working parents both in space and loudness. Work safety and home safety became one and the same.

Workers who were still required to travel to work began to expect that the things available to the homebound workers they were missing should be furnished at work. Many closed lunchrooms and cafeterias had to be reopened in coronavirus-safe formats, and industrial nurses and other medical personnel had to be made available. Although most communication was no longer face-to-face, it was more personal like an informal call or visit to the worker's home rather than their workstation.

If we carry anything forward from the pandemic, perhaps this addressing of the whole person versus the work person would a worthwhile find.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.