Kathmandu: The International Labor Organization (ILO) has stressed that countries need to put in place sound and resilient occupational safety and health (OSH) systems that would minimize the risks for everyone in the world of work in the event of future health emergencies.
In a report, released on World Day for Safety and Health at Work, ILO said it will require investment in OSH infrastructure and integrating it into overall national crisis emergency preparedness and response plans so that workers’ safety and health is protected, and the business continuity of enterprises is supported.
The report, Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises. Invest now in resilient OSH systems, examines risk prevention and management relating to the pandemic, and analyze other health and safety risks associated with the changing work arrangements arising from virus control measures.
It outlines the critical roles played during the pandemic by occupational safety and health regulatory frameworks and institutions, compliance mechanisms, health and advisory services, data, research and training.
“There could be no clearer demonstration of the importance of a strong, resilient, occupational safety and health environment. Recovery and prevention will require better national policies, institutional and regulatory frameworks, properly integrated into crisis response frameworks,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, “There could be no clearer demonstration of the importance of a strong, resilient, occupational safety and health environment.”
“There could be no clearer demonstration of the importance of a strong, resilient, occupational safety and health environment.”
The report says small and micro-sized enterprises have often found it hard to meet official OSH requirements because many have lacked the resources to adapt to the threats posed by the pandemic.
In the informal economy, many of the 1.6 billion workers, especially in developing countries, have continued working despite lockdowns, restrictions on movement and social interaction, and other measures. This has put them at high risk of catching the virus, yet most do not have access to basic social protection, such as sick leave or sick pay.