Turn Alphabet Soup into S-A-F-E-T-Y

Lisa Robinson

These days, there is an acronym for just about everything, including COVID-19. The ‘CO’ stands for corona, the ‘VI’ for virus and ‘D’ for disease. The letters are used in this case to abbreviate the name of the health crisis that has altered life in the U.S. and around the world.

You might prefer to call it ‘novel coronavirus’ or just ‘coronavirus.’ For some, to utter those words is to experience feelings of stress and anxiety. To cope, some have limited news consumption. Others have turned to diet and exercise for relief. The new normal that requires many to work remotely and shelter in place is anything but normal.

As in other times of crisis, there could be spikes in alcohol and substance use. This shift in routine has put people in close proximity to their liquor cabinets. In fact, 1 in 3 respondents said they are likely to drink more in self-isolation, according to a survey conducted by Alcohol.org. Leading people safely through these difficult times requires the introduction of another acronym, D-I-T-T-E.

Those five letters stand for Drug Impairment Training for Texas Employers. This free training explores the effects of alcohol and other drugs on driving and workplace performance and highlights costs and lifestyle impacts of a DWI-alcohol arrest. Benefits of preventive training for employers and employees also are outlined.

In each section of DITTE training, participants are directed to free resources designed to raise awareness of risks associated with impairment and promote safe behaviors. The training addresses seven categories of impairment:

  • Cannabis
  • Central nervous system depressants (sedatives and tranquilizers)
  • Central nervous system stimulants (Amphetamines, including ecstasy)
  • Dissociative anesthetics
  • Hallucinogens
  • Inhalants
  • Narcotic analgesics (codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone)

Build your safety skills. Register to attend our next free online DITTE session: 8:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, April 29.

Many other safety risks can be exacerbated, too, during times of crisis. Impairment that results from fatigue is a possible trickle-down effect of workers putting in long hours and tiring because COVID-19 job demands have increased. In normal times, studies show more than 40% of workers are sleep-deprived, and safety performance decreases when employees are tired.

Watch these two recorded webinars and get answers to safety-proof your workplace when we do return to normal:

Stay connected. Share these free resources in communications with your team:

Better days are ahead. Be healthy, wash your hands and stay safe.

That’s S-A-F-E.

– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council