Before the COVID-19 crisis, the underreporting of accidents, injuries, illnesses, and other safety incidents loomed large as a major hurdle to improving safety performance. Since then, the pandemic has scrambled many safety priorities. But return to work shouldn’t be a return to safety underreporting. And here’s why.
The imperatives of social distancing during the pandemic have created unprecedented changes to work. Foremost among them: the increased need for people to work alone or in remote arrangements.
For PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking), more people working alone mean more lone workers in need of a new class of safety protections, documented internal policies to keep this high-risk occupational group out of harm’s way. How to go about mitigating the risk so you don’t incur the liability?
PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking) in the Australian state of New South Wales woke up this month to a more aggressive safety compliance regime.
Amendments to pre-existing safety law now put employers who fail to meet health and safety obligations on the hook for stiff new penalties should their negligence lead to a worker dying on the job. Those penalties include up to 25 years in prison for individual actors. Add to that, millions in fines for companies.
For many organizations whose physical operations were forced to close due to COVID-19-induced lockdowns, reopening day is coming soon. Indeed, employers are busy planning for a safe reopening as the day approaches.
While planning matters, it’s the quality of those plans that will determine whether a safe reopening is possible. And as it turns out, too many organizations follow one-size-fits-all strategies that can actually compromise the safety of returning employees, imperiling business recovery from the crisis. How, exactly?
After months of disruption, organizations are eager to return to normal as part of the recovery lifecycle. For many, that means resuming operations in work facilities vacated due to local, state, and national lockdown orders.
With the spread of the coronavirus, the health and safety of our workers is back in the news. Indeed, frontline workers, especially healthcare professionals, have become the faces of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic – their heroism matched only by the level of safety risk they court to do their jobs, with data sources showing a disproportionate number of healthcare workers among those infected with the coronavirus.
Frontline workers, especially healthcare professionals, have become the faces of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In areas hard hit by the rapid spread of the coronavirus, like Lombardy, New York City, and New Orleans, stories of the noble sacrifices of healthcare workers who have had to risk their personal safety to treat patients without an adequate stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) have proliferated – incomplete data sources point to at least 5,400 healthcare workers COVID-19 infections in the U.S. alone, with dozens of deaths.
The COVID-19 public health crisis is rapidly changing the way we do work. And safety regulators aren’t staying on the sidelines.
As major shifts occur in the workplace, safety regulators are issuing new recommendations and descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. For PCBUs, the question remains, though: will your safety software adjust to the changes?
With a surge of coronavirus cases around the world, new reports of workplace closures due to fear of exposure are emerging outside of coronavirus-epicenter, China, and outbreak hotspots like Hong Kong, South Korea, and Italy.
Hiring employees to perform remote and isolated work often helps businesses improve their productivity. But lone work isn’t without operational risk. For one, managing the safety risk to lone worker populations is part and parcel of a PCBU’s (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) duty of care obligation.