ILO’s World Day For Safety & Health At Work

April 28, 2020

Sis Lalisha Simmons Bermuda April 2020Around the world, April 28 is recognised as the International Labour Organisation [ILO]’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

BPSU 1st Vice President, Sis Lalisha Simmons said, “Around the world, April 28 is recognised as the International Labour Organisation [ILO]’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

“Historically, April 28 has been marked as a day to raise international awareness on occupational safety and health among trade unions, employers’ organsations and government representatives. The ILO has always emphasised the shared responsibility of key stakeholders in efforts to keep workers safe.

“This year, however, brings a heightening level of appreciation of its importance given the overwhelming challenge that societies are facing worldwide to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect safety and health at work.

“Beyond the immediate crisis, the Bermuda Public Services Union [BPSU] acknowledges that as the Island prepares for the easing of the Government’s shelter-in-place restrictions, there is uncertainty about how the world of work and the workplace will look going forward. The Union understands that there are also concerns about resuming activity in a way that sustains the progress made during the shutdown in suppressing transmission and flattening the curve.

In keeping with the World Day for Safety and Health at Work and in unity with the ILO, the BPSU encourages national tripartite dialogue on safety and health at work as well as an increase the Island’s awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces. It is also that important that the Island focuses on the medium to long-term, including our recovery from Covid-19 as well as preparedness for future pandemics. To this end, a review of legislation and Government and employer policies will be required.

“The pandemic has highlighted some key areas of focus for stakeholders to consider. Special measures will need to be taken to protect all workers who are on the frontline risking their own health for us every day. Ensuring access to personal protective equipment will be essential. Employers and Government must ensure that workers are provided with reliable data regarding any health and safety related risks. Strict workplace hygiene practices need to be implemented and responsible workplace behaviours must be enforced. Additionally, due to both the present and future uncertainty of the employment, there is an increase in stress levels, anxiety, depression and burnout.

ILO World Day for Safety and Health at Work

“While teleworking offers new opportunities for workers to keep working, workers must be able to negotiate these arrangements so that they retain balance with other responsibilities, such as caring for children, the sick or the elderly. Working from home brings new challenges including securing access to appropriate equipment and internet connection, establishing new ways to effectively communicate, combating feelings of isolation, ensuring that there is not a blurring of the lines between work and family life, etc.

“While we face this new reality, it is more important than ever before that there be a renewed commitment by all stakeholder to meaningful collaboration. To this end, all stakeholders are encouraged to work together to promote a preventive safety and health culture and fulfill their obligations and responsibilities for preventing deaths, injuries and diseases in the workplace. By doing so, this ensures that workers return safely to their homes at the end of the working day.

“The BPSU looks forward to joining forces with stakeholders; united with the shared objective of creating and maintaining safe and healthy working environments.”

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  1. Katharyn Albouy says:

    Congrats Lalisha!!!