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February 12, 2021

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coronavirus

WHO releases COVID-19 occupational health and safety guidance for health workers

The document is an update of the World Health Organization (WHO) interim guidance, Coronavirus disease (COVID19) outbreak: rights, roles and responsibilities of health workers, including key considerations for occupational safety and health, which was published in March 2020.

This version, which is based on new and emerging evidence, provides guidance on occupational health and safety measures for health workers and occupational health services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also updates the rights and responsibilities for health and safety at work for health workers according to the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Key points

  • Health workers should continue to enjoy their right to decent, healthy and safe working conditions in the context of COVID-19;
  • Primary prevention of COVID-19 among health workers should be based on risk assessment and introduction of appropriate measures;
  • Other occupational risks amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, including violence, harassment, stigma, discrimination, heavy workload and prolonged use of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be addressed;
  • Occupational health services, mental health and psychosocial support, adequate sanitation, hygiene and rest facilities should be provided to all health workers;
  • Health-care facilities should have occupational health programmes in conjunction with programmes for infection prevention and control;
  • Employers have the overall responsibility to ensure that all necessary preventive and protective measures are taken to minimize occupational risks to health workers;
  • Health workers are responsible for following established rules for the protection of their health and safety at work.

Click here to download Coronavirus disease (COVID19) outbreak: rights, roles and responsibilities of health workers, including key considerations for occupational safety and health.

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
  • Recommendations for employers;
  • Case law;
  • Legal duties.
Barbour EHS

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