Thanks to Essential Workers everywhere

FullSizeRender[1]As this week’s storm brought in amounts of snow and deep cold that Portland hasn’t seen in decades, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge those who braved the snow, ice and cold to show up at work. Folks who helped keep us warm, cared for, and safe.

While some of us learned we were effectively “non-essential” employees and advised not to report for duty, in efforts to keep people out of cars and away from slippery streets and downed power lines, others did in fact brave the elements. Workers in patient care, emergency services, with utilities – and some with other jobs who needed to show up to continue to receive a pay check. We honor and thank all of you. And we acknowledge the long work shifts (32 hours anyone? More?) that employers required or requested of workers in efforts to restore power and cut tree limbs to keep the public warm and safe. Thank you to those who helped find care for our homeless in efforts to avoid more loss of life on our bitter streets.

While, yes, the snow is beautiful, we do recognize the challenge it presented to so many. All of us at the Institute thank those who did what was needed to keep the rest of us safe and warm. We hope you will soon get a long and well-deserved sleep.

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About the Author

Dede supports the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center's research, engagement and education programs. She is a certified industrial hygienist.

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