UWI Science Info: 6 Things about OSH in a Pandemic
Dr. Norbert Campbell, Lecturer and Coordinator of the Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health (OESH) programme in the Dept of Chemistry suggests six things to bear in mind about creating a safer work environment in the time of a pandemic.
The occupational hazards associated with COVID-19 are not just biological, but also ergonomic (e.g. lifting patients), psychosocial (e.g. abuse of symptomatic colleagues), chemical (e.g. disinfectants), and physical (e.g. heat stress due to PPEs)
Companies that follow OSH guidelines and continuously improve their management practices have been more successful in dealing with the pandemic
A culture of Occupational SafeHy and health (OSH) compliance, continuous monitoring, risk assessment, and involvement of OSH and health professionals ensures that workers are protected when a threat arises
Special attention must be paid to high risk workers, such as emergency responders, emergency transport workers, cleaners and waste management workers in health-care and emergency facilities, and essential services and workers in high-density workspaces
The spectrum of preventative and protective measures must be understood and implemented, ranging from elimination through isolation to use of PPEs, both during and after the pandemic, but the legislative framework to drive this process is urgently needed
To hear more from Dr. Campbell check out his talk “OSH considerations during COVID” presented at the virtual mini-conference on “COVID-19 and the Environment: For Better for Worse” staged on World Environment Day June 2020 by the Faculty of Science and Technology (go to time stamp 3:26:54)