Los Angeles County Monday launched a “Safer at Work LA” campaign to boost awareness of public health orders and support essential workers who don’t have the luxury of staying home.

The campaign by the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation seeks to build shared responsibility for limiting the spread of COVID-19 between businesses, employees, customers and surrounding communities.

“Our essential workers, by definition, are integral to the functioning of our healthcare system, food supply chain, government operations and much more. Keeping them safe is more important now than ever before,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “The Safer at Work LA campaign is a critical reminder that worksites and businesses, as well as customers and employees, must collectively work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.”

Small businesses account for nearly half of all private sector jobs in the U.S. and a majority of new jobs, but many do not expect to survive the pandemic. In Los Angeles County, about 15,000 small businesses have permanently closed their doors as a result of COVID-19, according to WDACS.

Fifty-nine cities, eight business chambers and 61 businesses have so far agreed to champion the educational campaign, which plans a three-pronged approach to support employers, employees and customers by:

— giving employers information and resources they need to create a safer environment;

— giving workers the information and resources they need to protect themselves, their co-workers and customers; and

— giving customers clear and friendly directions on how to be safer patrons.

“All over the county we are seeing an astounding rise in case numbers… Every single one of us — customers, employees, business owners, community members — has an obligation to make sure that those on the front line are protected,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said.

Resources include downloadable print materials with accurate, easy-to understand instructions, as well as digital communication tools ranging from digital billboards to social media and local radio and television ads. Murals and chalk art will be used to promote campaign safety messages in local neighborhoods. The campaign encourages residents to use their own social media platforms to spread the word in order to limit the spread of the virus.

“This latest surge is dangerous. We must do everything we can to keep essential businesses as safe as possible — for employees and customers alike,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said. “Through Safer at Work, we are giving essential businesses the tools they need to not only keep their doors open, but also be our partners in the fight against this virus.”

LAEDC is also offering multilingual small business assistance training webinars and one-on-one consulting for businesses experiencing pandemic related challenges.

Campaign resources can be accessed on the campaign’s website, as well as by calling the Los Angeles County Disaster Center helpline, 833-877-8008. Businesses in need of consulting are encouraged to contact LAEDC directly at covid19response@laedc.org.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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