COVID-19: Making workplaces fit for heroes
British Safety Council remembers workers who have died and renews commitment to the living
THE British Safety Council is today marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work with a pledge to support workers’ safety through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
It is also honouring the memory of all workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak on International Workers’ Memorial Day – a day traditionally given to the memory of workers who have been killed or injured at work, now including many healthcare workers.
The British Safety Council joins the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in calling for a co-ordinated global response to safeguard people’s jobs and incomes and to respect workers’ rights as the world tackles the pandemic.
The British Safety Council is providing support to employers whose workers are at the frontline, including healthcare workers and essential workers in retail, manufacturing and construction.
As well as providing direct support through the lockdown, the British Safety Council is developing new services to help organizations adapt when restrictions are eased and has today published its annual impact report (downloadable below), setting out key campaigning and advocacy activity in 2019.
Speaking from his home today, the chair of the British Safety Council, Lawrence Waterman, said: ‘Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has presented us with new challenges, but it does not change the fundamentals. All employers still have a duty of care to their workers – wherever they are working.
‘As we adapt to a new working environment, the same principles which keep workers safe will apply – good health and safety is about working together to reduce risk, and this is just as true in this crisis as it ever was.
‘Of course, this crisis cannot be used as an excuse to lower work standards – but I actually hope as we look beyond the horizon people will see the return to normal life as a chance to honour workers. The British Safety Council will be working with its members and customers to embed real improvements in working environments.
‘When we clap for our carers and when we salute people working on the buses, in the shops, keeping the electricity and water flowing and getting food to our homes, we should demand safe workplaces for every single one of them. These workers are today’s heroes and their place of work should be fit for them.’
The British Safety Council’s free resources can be accessed at: www.britsafe.org/about-us/coronavirus-resource-database/