For the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHAS), COVID-19 is one of the greatest challenges that society and companies have faced in recent centuries. It is a global pandemic that continues to cause social problems (unemployment, poverty, informality, depression and social detachment), impacts on the health of the population (diseases, deaths and pollution), economic and productive: by May 2020, a reduction of 8 to 13% the global economyMcKinsey & Company2020).
In this new scenario, it is essential to think about how to respond to the crisis, resume the new normal and re-imagine protecting the lives of workers and resuming the basic activities necessary for the subsistence of the population. Current dynamics have shown that most companies are responding to the crisis by implementing preventive actions for occupational health and safety that allow industrial operations to continue. In addition, several companies have stated that they intend to continue the model of home Office.
Resuming operational activities in a safe and healthy manner requires that we begin to develop different Occupational Safety and Health (OHS) strategies to adapt workplaces and ensure the protection of workers, especially those who are beginning to return to their jobs. . Normal work environments It is a unique opportunity to build a solid and solid foundation to meet the short-term challenge and raise awareness of the importance of SSO in corporate strategy.
Then based on a set of guidelines and publications compiled by the OSHAS and experiences of professionals in the area of Occupational Safety Engineering, we highlight a set of actions in the work environment that allow the adaptation of workplaces and ensure the protection of the health of workers.
Back to work
Several countries in Europe (Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, among others) are resuming their economic activities with great care and are adopting various health and safety measures at work to avoid the appearance of a new wave of cases. of COVID-19.
For the The conference board (TCB) the reopening of the economy in the countries stabilizes consumer confidence, but remains a concern with income generation. In other words, there is great concern about the loss of jobs, the reduction of wages, the increase in unemployment rates and informality in the economy.
It is a scenario that becomes more critical for Brazil, since the pandemic does not receive effective government actions to control and contain progress in the different regions and, consequently, in the country’s workers. Furthermore, one of our greatest concerns is also workers working in the informal sector who end up being more exposed to situations of risk of contamination by the coronavirus.
In Brazil, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths from infection in general continues to grow, as reported by several board national (COVID-19 Observatory, CORONAVIRUSBRASIL, CNSalud and The balloon) and international (who) Despite these statistics, several cities in the country have started to resume their economic activities and, for this reason, they are adopting organizational and technical measures in their work environments to reopen their businesses.
To reduce transmission, protect the lives of workers, and save lives in Latin America, which has been considered the epicenter of the pandemic, the Pan American Health Organization (OPS) and the World Health Organization (who) has been disseminating technical information and various protocols for adoption by organizations, workers and government authorities in the workplace.
THE OSHAS notes that by adopting occupational health and safety practices during the pandemic period and the resumption of activities in industries, it changes significantly at the transmission rate of the COVID-19 pandemic. To eliminate the risk of work environments and resume activities or reopen businesses, it is necessary to be aware of several situations that previously went unnoticed.
Good practice for resuming or reopening businesses involves risk assessment and the implementation of appropriate measures to minimize exposure, resume work, address absences, and continue to manage workers who work at home. It also includes the participation of workers and care for sick people, as well as providing information and care centers for an emergency.
Actions in the workplace
The International Labor Organization (ILO) published guidelines for a safer return to work. It highlights the importance of formulating national policies for a safer return that follows international standards of Safety and Health at Work. It is necessary to ensure an effective dialogue with the worker about the situation, risks and impacts of the pandemic and the return to work.
When implementing protective actions or measures, it is essential to have the cooperation of managers from different business areas and professionals who work in Occupational Safety and Health (OHS). For the ILO Any strategy for returning to the workplace must be based on a hierarchy of control actions.
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For the ILO The hierarchy of actions or measures is an occupational safety and health approach that structures protective measures in an order from most effective to least effective and includes elimination, substitution, and engineering controls such as physical, administrative o Organizational factors such as worker hygiene and, finally, the EPP (Personal Protective Equipment)
Our team has put together a list of practices that employers and workers should adopt for a safe return to work. These are actions that promote risk assessment and the implementation of preventive actions or measures to minimize exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
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The National School of Labor Inspection (ENIT) provides a file base with recommendations for various industrial sectors (Civil Construction, Pharmacies and Drugstores, Refrigerators, Gas Stations, Rural, Health Services, Supermarkets, Teleservices) and procedures that can be adopted for Domestic Workers and Use of PFF1 Masks.
8mm Ideasoffers a check list general so that it can be used in various industrial sectors and check list presented by ENIT. Technology can be used to their advantage to return activities more safely and protect the health of workers. To use any of the checklists just do the to download of the 8mm IdeasAPP.
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