HEALTH AND SAFETY: WORKER’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY, ALSO KNOWN AS LABOUR DAY IN MOST COUNTRIES AND OFTEN REFERRED TO AS MAY DAY IS A CELEBRATION OF THE WORKING CLASSES. THIS YEAR, THE DAY FINDS GREATER SIGNIFICANCE UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE PANDEMIC THAT IS ENDANGERING THE LIVES OF MANY A LABOURERS AND ESSENTIAL WORKERS.
By: Sapna Srivastava
On the occasion of Labour Day on May 01, this year the International Labour Organization (ILO) while highlighting the workplace dangers faced by key workers who need greater protection to do their jobs safely, has underlined the need to minimize the risks for everyone in the workplace and put strong and resilient safety systems in place.
The workers are facing increased workloads and longer working hours during the crisis in all sectors with dire consequences on both physical and mental well-being. Such scenario calls for implementation of international labour standards (ILS) on occupational safety and health, working arrangements, non-discrimination, social and employment security for the labourers of all sectors and business segments.
TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN
Many a real estate developers have initiated programs for the welfare of the construction workers from free vaccination drives to providing meals and residential facilities at construction sites. Precautionary measure of testing and restricted access to sites have been put in place for health safeguards. The workers are being provided rations, drinking water and milk for children as well as toiletries for personal hygiene. The businesses are taking extra steps for fumigation and sanitization of buildings for safety of essential workers and conducting awareness programs for safe conduct and to reduce the stress amongst the workers.
In its report, “Anticipate, prepare, and respond to crisis Invest now in resilient (OSH) Occupational Safety and Health systems” ILO has said that Covid-19 is not only a health emergency, but has also profoundly impacted on nearly every aspect of the world of work – from the closure of businesses, widespread job losses, global supply chain disruption and restrictions on mobility.
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE
Central and State Governments implemented decisive measures to protect workers by issuing guidelines for workplace safety, but a more ground approach of reaching to the bottom of the pyramid workers and supporting the establishments with necessary provisions to enable workers safety at work would help create far reaching impact. While, we combat the spread of the disease, ameliorating its effect on the economy and labour market remains a concern.