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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.

  1. 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)
  2. Companies that follow OSH guidelines and continuously improve their management practices have been more successful in dealing with the pandemic
  3. 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
  4. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has laid out useful guidelines for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 for a safe return to work (Link: )
  5. 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
  6. 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)


To see all talks from “COVID-19 and the Environment: For Better for Worse 


To learn about the OESH programmes in the Department of Chemistry:

Published on 13 Aug, 2020

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