Health and safety

Stay Alert, Stay Safe: Addressing COVID-19 Response Fatigue

November 09, 2020

Canadians are starting to adjust to the new normal, which involves ongoing adherence to strict health and safety measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, as changes continue to occur, some people have had a higher comfort level than others with disobeying these guidelines. This has left many employers and HR professionals wondering what they can do if this disobedience becomes (or already is) a problem in their workplace.

Guidelines relaxed over the summer, and many businesses re-opened. This has given some a false sense of security, with people assuming that businesses would not re-open if the situation were still serious, meaning they might not take health and safety measures seriously. A relaxed attitude is extremely problematic, as re-opening actually increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, making adherence to health and safety measures vital. We’re seeing the effects of this now, with certain jurisdictions returning to earlier stages of re-opening and tightening restrictions in “hot spot” areas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) still classifies the global risk level of COVID-19 to be very high, so health and safety measures are expected to be in place for the foreseeable future. We are at a critical point in this pandemic when our choices can have a major impact. This has led the WHO to express concern about response fatigue. Response fatigue occurs when people stop adhering to the health and safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You may be hearing this around your workplace. Some employees might have visited family and friends over the Thanksgiving weekend, and others might be shaming them for it. It’s a difficult time, with many tough choices to make. Some of these employees may not be thinking about how their choices on their personal time affect their team if they are coming to the workplace regularly.

Response fatigue is cause for serious concern, as it could lead to a resurgence in the number of cases. Taking a look in your workplace, you may be wondering why response fatigue is occurring in your workplace and what you can do to address it. Download our FREE Addressing COVID-19 Fatigue in the Workplace Guide for more information on how to combat the COVID-19 fatigue your team may be experiencing.

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