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World Day for Safety and Health at Work – construction workers are a priority

Construction / 28 April 2020

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) marks its ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’ on or around 28th April each year. This World Day is an existing international campaign to promote safe, healthy, and decent work around the globe. Recognising the challenges that governments, employers, workers and whole societies are facing worldwide to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work’ is focussing on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, in particular, on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries. This message is now more pertinent than ever before.

During the current on-going crisis, governments, employers, workers and their organisations face enormous challenges as they try to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and protect safety and health at work. Beyond the immediate crisis, there are also concerns about resuming activity in a manner that sustains progress made in suppressing transmission.

This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work focusses on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, focussing on the current COVID-19 pandemic. The ILO has recently published a report “In the face of a pandemic: Ensuring Safety and Health at Work”. The report highlights occupational safety and health risks arising from the spread of COVID-19, including preventing and controlling the risks of:

–  contagion;
–  psychosocial;
–  ergonomic; and
– other work-related safety and health risks associated with the pandemic.

The business secretary, Alok Sharma, recently told Construction News that the health and safety of construction workers is a government priority. He also urged individuals to directly contact the Health and Safety Executive if they had any concerns about onsite safety (which we wrote about in a recent update). Mr. Sharma also referred to the Site Operating Procedures document issues by the Construction Leadership Council, which was updated to version 3 on 14 April 2020.

Amidst many uncertainties, it is abundantly clear that ensuring safety and health at work is indispensable in the management of the pandemic and the ability to resume work.

Our Regulatory and Construction experts are on hand to provide urgent advice in respect of your duties relating to COVID-19 and safety and health generally. We can help you prepare a bespoke, strategic business plan to mitigate the risks of work-related deaths, injuries and the spread of infectious diseases. This is time very well spent now. Please do get in touch.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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