The Environmental and Social Development Organisation (ESDO) has urged that the health and safety of frontline workers be protected, on the occasion of the International Workers' Day today.
The ESDO – which has observed the May Day every year since its formation by honouring workers and professionals in different fields – is taking their campaign indoors this year with the online platform amid the Covid-19 pandemic, says a press release issued by the organisation.
Two posters and awareness materials on workplace safety have been released on the occasion.
The International Workers' Day this year has come amid a global pandemic when work safety and health of the frontline and essential workers in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic has become a pressing issue. And also the safety of limitedly opened industrial workers are becoming an issue now as the garments industries are resuming production with the promise of ensuring social distancing and safety in workplaces.
Since the start of this year, the world is adjusting to the new reality of living with the Covid-19 pandemic to fight with. And for the first time in decades, there shall be no processions or parades or mass demonstrations on the occasion around the world.
But people around the world will be working on the clock as doctors, nurses, paramedics, health workers, cleaners, essential delivery persons, police, drivers and many more to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and save lives.
In recent days, the number of doctors, nurses and health workers infected with the novel coronavirus is on the rise in Bangladesh. Also, journalists who are working to collect news in the fields are getting infected too. There are numbers of death among these cases as well. Lack of proper and sufficient Personal Safety Equipment has been a crying need in the country since the start. Though that crisis has been covered with the government's initiative, still the workplace safety is not ensured due to lack of public awareness and negligence among the general people.
Also, garments industries have resumed their operations amongst the rise in the number of coronavirus cases, and many garments workers are risking their lives to travel back to their workplaces in fear of losing their jobs. Though the owners of the factories are promising to maintain the social distancing in the factories and not to lay off the workers who are staying in remote places due to the shutdown situation, the general workers commonly are not convinced.
They are travelling back even if the long distance public transports are shut down; also they are not concerned about keeping the social distance while travelling. This situation has spiked the risk of spreading the disease massively in the population.
Besides, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the way we handle our waste and its impact on those who are most vulnerable to its exposure. For millions of people who make a living in the informal sector, isolation measures that guarantee their safety pose a dramatic threat to their livelihoods. People in the informal waste sector, are now facing a grave threat.