Take Precautions at Home, Just Like at Work
By Sara Hazzard, President & CEO
SC Manufacturers Alliance
South Carolina’s manufacturing community spans across a variety of industries including textile, automotive, tire, aerospace, chemical and more, but despite the diversity of the products one common thread binds manufacturers together – a steadfast commitment to safety.
Manufacturers’ focus on workplace safety principles is not new and is an essential component for all manufacturing companies and their employees. That is why manufacturers must be committed now, more than ever, to helping ensure the well-being of our families, communities, and state as we continue to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
This global health crisis has impacted us all. From economic uncertainty to school closings to enjoying meals at our favorite restaurants, the outbreak of COVID-19 has created challenges we have never seen during our lifetime. But we can – and must – bounce back.
That is why it is critical that we can count on our manufacturing workforce to lead by example and do its part to stay safe at work, while also taking those same best practices and behaviors home to protect our families and communities. To combat the spread of COVID-19, rebuild our economy, and return to a sense of normalcy in our everyday lives, we must all exercise personal responsibility through basic health and safety measures.
Manufacturers employ 12% of South Carolina’s workers and form the backbone of our economy. According to Dr. Joey Von Nessen, Research Economist with the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, manufacturing, as compared to other sectors of South Carolina’s economy, has much greater impact in terms of its combined contribution to both GDP and employment.
The impact of manufacturers cannot be understated. South Carolina’s manufacturers make products that are recognized around the world – passenger airplanes, luxury cars and SUVs, Amazon delivery vans, fighter jets, earth moving tires, and so much more. The same ingenuity and commitment to excellence that allows us to create these world-renowned products should also guide us in protecting our family and friends.
Our state’s manufacturers have answered the call to re-imagine, re-tool, and re-invent to combat the greatest health and economic challenge of our time. This is the timeless story of manufacturing and South Carolina – a commitment to doing what’s right, innovating, and working hard with an unwavering spirit to help when needed. Today that help also comes in the form of individual personal responsibility and a duty to our families, neighbors, communities, and state.
The small steps we can all take – wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, practicing social distancing – will make a difference. There is an old saying regarding safety, “Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.” I cannot think of anything more applicable to our current situation as we fight COVID-19, not only in the workforce, but in our daily lives. Taking basic health and safety precautions may seem tiresome and frustrating at times, but the benefits far outweigh the minor inconveniences.
Take it from the safety experts, our state’s manufacturers, and please join with us to consider the implications of your personal actions not only in the workplace, but at home and in public. Your simple actions today, may protect a neighbor’s health tomorrow.
The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance is the only statewide organization dedicated exclusively to the interests of manufacturers. Its mission is to elevate the quality of life for all South Carolinians by advancing the state’s manufacturing industry. The SCMA membership comprises more than 200 manufacturing companies that represent more than 80,000 associates in South Carolina.