TODAY -

COVID-19 outbreak: Safety at work is must

Ranjan K Baruah *



We work for our livelihood in different sectors which includes government or private. There are people who are also involved in entrepreneurial activities and may are also engaged in unorganised work. Around the world people are engaged in different occupations which may be even challenging and risky.

Global data shows that every day, people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases more than 2.78 million deaths per year. Additionally, there are some 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries each year while we may not know about the mental health issues of workers working in different situations.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) aims to create worldwide awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents, injuries and diseases and to place the health and safety of all workers on the international agenda to stimulate and support practical action at all levels.

At present we are locked down inside our homes without going out for work. People around the world are worried about the pandemic and as a safety measures offices and business houses are close except the essential services. It is not only a health crisis but has also bought economic and social disruptions.

Many individuals fear job loss due to this pandemic and unorganised sector like small businesses/economic activities are also at risk. But there is no doubt that lock down shall end one day and things should become normal as before but that would certainly take some time and coping up these days is really challenging for many .

We are talking about work and safety at work in different sectors. Recognizing the great challenge that governments, employers, workers and whole societies are facing worldwide to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work will focus on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, in particular, on the COVID-19 pandemic.

This global day is being observed on 28th April. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work will aim to stimulate national tripartite dialogue on safety and health at work.

The ILO is using this day to raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces and the role that occupational safety and health (OSH) services play.

It will also focus on the medium to long-term, including recovery and future preparedness, in particular, integrating measures into OSH management systems and policies at the national and enterprise levels.

In 2003, the ILO, began to observe World Day in order to stress the prevention of accidents and diseases at work, capitalizing on the ILO's traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue.

This celebration is an integral part of the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health of the ILO, as documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference in June 2003.

One of the main pillars of the Global Strategy is advocacy, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a significant tool to raise awareness of how to make work safe and healthy and of the need to raise the political profile of occupational safety and health. 28th April is also the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers organized worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996.

The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28th April promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.

Each of us is responsible for stopping deaths and injuries on the job. Government can make laws and infrastructure to avoid and death or injury at work place.

Similarly private players or corporate must make sure good working conditions for all workers or staffs so that everyone may contribute in a healthy condition. At present we must be careful as we have to fight the pandemic. Let us ensure safety and health at work so that all of us may contribute for sustainable development through our productive works.

(With direct inputs from UN/ILO publication )


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor, skill trainer and motivational speaker and can be reached at at bkranjan(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on May 04, 2020.


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