ILO Outlines Conditions For Re-Opening Workplaces
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Labour Organisation, ILO, has outlined certain conditions for re-opening workplaces.
The Organization urged governments to take action to prevent and control COVID-19 in the workplace with active involvement and dialogue with employers’ and workers’ organisations, as the pressure mounts on countries to ease their lockdown restrictions.
In the statement by ILO’s Director-General, Guy Ryder, He noted that “without such controls, countries face the very real risk of a resurgence of the virus. Putting in place the necessary measures will minimise the risk of a second wave of contagion contracted at the workplace.
“In the face of an infectious disease outbreak, how we protect our workers now clearly dictates how safe our communities are and how resilient our businesses will be, as this pandemic evolves.
“The safety and health of our entire workforce is paramount today. It is only by implementing occupational safety and health measures that we can protect the lives of workers, their families and the larger communities, ensure work continuity and economic survival.
“In particular, risk control measures should be specifically adapted to the needs of workers at the frontline of the pandemic. These include health workers, nurses, doctors and emergency workers, as well as those in food retail and cleaning services.”
ILO also highlighted the needs of the most vulnerable workers and businesses, in particular those in the informal economy, migrant and domestic workers.
It said measures to protect these workers should include, among others, education and training on safe and healthy work practices, free provision of PPE as needed, access to public health services and livelihood alternatives.
To ensure a safe return to work and to avoid further work disruptions, ILO recommends, among others, “mapping hazards and assessing risks of contagion in relation to all work operations, and continuing assessing them following a return to work;
“Adopting risk control measures adapted to each sector and the specifics of each workplace and workforce. These may include reducing physical interactions between workers, contractors, customers and visitors and respecting physical distancing when any interactions occur.