World Day for Safety & Health at Work
28th APRIL 2020
Every year the International Labour organisation (ILO) uses this day to raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces and the role that occupational safety and health (OSH) services play. This year the ILO has changed its focus to the current Covid-19 pandemic to address the outbreak of infectious diseases at work. In the face of the pandemic we have witnessed an unprecedented high speed of transmission worldwide due to travel, global integration and urbanisation.
The impact on our daily lives and work have changed dramatically with increased unemployment / underemployment, worsening working conditions and reduced access to social protection. By looking at health and safety at work it can identify those at risk of any disease spread by close contact, control and prevention measures that can be implemented based on risk assessments and provide information on prevention and protection measures that can help to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
During this difficult time it is a good opportunity for companies in all sectors to look at their current procedures in preventing and controlling infection in the workplace. By looking at the current measures in place globally to prevent diseases that can be spread by close contact, as part of their risk assessment, companies can identify Occupational Safety and Health training, PPE training and health monitoring and survelliance required within their organisations so that employees are ready to come back to work and preventing workplaces becoming affected by any other contagious diseases.
However, it is not just important to consider the measures that can be implemented at work but companies also need to consider the stress and psychsocial actors that can occur during a pandemic including low moods and motivation, anxiety and depression. With people trying to work from home as well as home school their children, worried about their job security as the lock down continues and trying to isolate themselves so that the disease does not spread it is vital that companies consider and put in place measures to assist with the mental health of their workers. By providing stress management and mental health awareness training employees can take steps to look after their mental health during this period of adjustment.