Planning for new normal at work – The Star Online - Freelance Rack

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Planning for new normal at work – The Star Online

ONE key area in the fight against Covid-19 is the workplace. It is essential to protect workers’ physical and mental health and prevent them from being exposed to the new coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

This is the time for the occupational safety and health (OSH) fraternity to advise governments and employers to take all the necessary measures to protect their workers, clients, consumers and the communities, using the workplace to promote awareness about the spread of Covid-19, safe practices and use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

OSH professionals must guide and assist employers to protect all their employees, paying special attention to those workers most at risk of the disease due to factors such as health status, age or level of exposure to the coronavirus.

They must ensure that workers who become infected have access to the best treatment and provide support to those who are quarantined.

OSH professionals are well placed to provide the right advice and help during epidemics and pandemics like Covid-19. They are able to coordinate with other leading agencies, both local and international, to provide relevant, timely and key information.

As it is unclear how long the Covid-19 threat will last, OSH professionals can also provide the following help and advice:

> Identify solutions and design safety features in workplaces;

> Plan for post-pandemic safety measures;

> Establish adequate staffing level, training and personal protective equipment;

> Promote mental health literature;

> Draw up appropriate return-to-work procedures;

> Ascertain non-essential and essential activities; and

> Help with income support and employment protection for those affected.

Saving lives and protecting the health and welfare of the people are central to the way in which these professionals respond to pandemics.

The government needs to provide a safety net for all workers, including the self-employed, those in the gig economy and migrant workers, so that they will not be a burden to the public health system or to themselves.

Leaders of organisations must be proactive in ensuring a safe environment for their workers, clients, consumers and the community they serve.

They should use the workplaces to promote safe practices, introduce control strategies and generate and display appropriate safety and health messages.

TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE

Chairman

Alliance For Safe Community



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