The International Labour Organization (ILO) has urged the governments to take action to prevent and control Covid-19 in the workplace, with active involvement and dialogue with employers' and workers' organizations.
ILO also warned that without adequate safeguards for returning workers there could be a second wave of the virus, according to a ILO press release.
"It is only by implementing occupational safety and health measures that we can protect the lives of workers, their families and the larger communities, ensure work continuity and economic survival," Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder said.
Country Director of ILO Bangladesh, Tuomo Poutiainen said, "As some industries begin to slowly resume operations, the ILO has developed a three-pronged strategy to ensure a safer return to work in the Bangladesh context. The first step is the adoption of several safety and health measures at work based on dialogue between employers and workers, and a shared understanding of coronavirus risks."
"To prevent transmission of the virus and safeguard workers, the ILO has developed Covid-19 specific OSH guidelines, together with the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE)," he added.
In particular, risk control measures should be specifically adapted to the needs of workers at the frontline of the pandemic. These include health workers, nurses, doctors and emergency workers, as well as those in food retail and cleaning services.
To ensure a safe return to work and to avoid further work disruptions, the ILO recommends:
• Mapping hazards and assessing risks of contagion in relation to all work operations, and continuing to assess them following a return to work.
• Adopting risk control measures adapted to each sector and the specifics of each workplace and workforce. These may include:
• Reducing physical interactions between workers, contractors, customers and visitors and respecting physical distancing when any interactions occur.
• Improving ventilation in the work place.
• Regularly cleaning surfaces, ensuring workplaces are clean and hygienic, and providing adequate facilities for handwashing and sanitization.
• Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to workers where necessary and at no cost.
• Providing arrangements for isolating suspected cases and tracing every contact.
• Providing mental health support for staff.
• Providing training, education and informational material about health and safety at work, including proper hygiene practices and the use of any workplace controls (including PPE).