National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Webinar Series

Webinar presentations: 

Introduction to Ethical Issues around COVID-19 and Work
There is ample evidence that workers in “essential industries” – from transportation to health care delivery, and from grocery stores to meat processing facilities – have experienced high rates of COVID-19 infection. States continue to experience rising community transmission, which is often driven by focal outbreaks in workplaces. The presenters explore the ethical issues that have surfaced for workers through the pandemic. From public health ethics to clinical ethics to the ethics of occupational medicine, the presenters give an overview of how COVID-19 has converged traditional approaches. Over the course of the presentation, presenters overview the ethical issues of implementing worker safety measures as well as concerns with testing and contact tracing that have been a part of the lives of workers in the pandemic.

Ethical Considerations Regarding Meat Processing Plant Operations, Worker Safety, and Community Welfare
In this webinar, we explore the ethical considerations regarding meat processing plant operations, worker safety, and community welfare. The presenters illustrate the challenges of providing guidance to meat processing plants, as well as discussing the issues workers are facing. The presenters examine the strategies and interventions that can most effectively and ethically reduce the risks of outbreaks and protect the people working in these plants.

Ethical Issues around Contact Tracing/Testing in the Workplace
One important tool to prevent disease spread is contact tracing. Yet, especially in workplaces, contact tracing must be implemented in ways that are both ethical and effective to best protect workers who are already bearing disproportionate burdens in the pandemic. The presenters examine key ethical issues typically associated with contact tracing and the workplace, including the impacts of weak protections for workers and structural factors that leave workers more vulnerable and disadvantaged in the context of contact tracing. The presenters conclude with a discussion of how to optimize both the ethics and effectiveness of contact tracing to prevent workplace outbreaks.