• Covid-19 and essential workers: A narrative review of health outcomes and moral injury

      Gaitens, J.; Condon, M.; Fernandes, E.; McDiarmid, M. (MDPI AG, 2021-02-04)
      The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a number of added obstacles to safe employment for already-challenged essential workers. Essential workers not employed in the health sector generally include racially diverse, low-wage workers whose jobs require close interaction with the public and/or close proximity to their coworkers, placing them at increased risk of infection. A narrative review facilitated the analyses of health outcome data in these workers and contributing factors to illness related to limited workplace protections and a lack of organizational support. Findings suggest that this already marginalized population may also be at increased risk of "moral injury" due to specific work-related factors, such as limited personal protective equipment (PPE) and the failure of the employer, as the safety and health "duty holder," to protect workers. Evidence suggests that ethical and, in some cases, legally required safety protections benefit not only the individual worker, but an employer's enterprise and the larger community which can retain access to resilient, essential services. Copyright 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.