Safety and health have become huge focuses for most people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of all Mt. Hood Meadows did to slow the spread while keeping people on the slopes, the ski resort has received the coveted Best Employee Safety Program award from the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA).
"The award recognizes the resort-wide focus that prioritizes the health and well-being of team members while providing outdoor recreation to guests during a pandemic," Meadows representatives said in a statement.
"Every ski area faced the same challenges, and we were united in our efforts to develop plans to continue operations responsibly and safely," added Resort General Manger Greg Pack. "To be selected as doing it the best is a tribute to our planning and preparation; but ultimately the challenging day-to-day tasks of getting both team and guests to comply with our COVID safety measures. This is an honor we proudly share with both our team and our guests who worked together to get through this difficult season."
Pack also mentioned the work by NSAA in developing the "Ski Well, Be Well" program, which Meadows adopted.
Besides the resort as a whole, NSAA also recognized Meadows Risk Manager Anna Laxague as a NSAA Safety Champion finalist.
Meadows operations were temporarily suspended in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, but Meadows representatives attribute the resort's later success to early establishment of the Coronavirus Readiness Task Force (CRTF) -- "a cross-departmental collaboration to prepare and guide our company to an eventual safe return to operations."
"The CRTF prioritized the health and well-being of team members, provided updates (health advisories, risk levels), allowed for departmental feedback and identified areas of focus and resources needed to manage our team and operate safely," representatives said. "The Task Force created guidance for department managers to design specific team member and guest journeys; assess, reduce or eliminate infection risks; develop sanitizing routines; and revamp recruiting, hiring, onboarding, orientation and socially-distanced training efforts."
As a result, Meadows reportedly experienced zero traceable workplace transmissions of COVID-19 at Meadows or Cooper Spur Mt. Resort.
For more information, visit the resort website at skihood.com.
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