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Finding a safer, silver lining this International Workers’ Memorial Day

Industry Trends | By | 27 Apr 2020 | 2 minute read

As COVID-19 changes our definition of dangerous work, we can create safer workplaces by empowering frontline heroes.

For millions of us around the world, health and safety have never been more of a focus than they are on this International Workers’ Memorial Day. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, our definition of a high risk job has changed dramatically. 

For many who would not normally think twice about whether they would come home safely from their job, that’s no longer the case. Catching or spreading a potentially deadly virus while working is now a very real possibility. What was once routine is now risky. 

This new reality is born out in the fact that we’ve seen a significant increase in active users on iAuditor across a number of industries over the past month, as more organisations search for ways to keep track of COVID-19 related risks. Since early March, active users rose in utilities (15%), healthcare providers and services (14%) and the chemicals industry (5%). 

A stark reminder

For those living this reality as workers on the frontline during this pandemic, thank you. Many of you do so because you are considered essential, whether you choose to be or not. It is with you in mind that today, International Workers’ Memorial Day, takes on new significance. 

From supermarket to healthcare workers, utility staff to delivery drivers, you are the frontline heroes, supplying the life-sustaining products and services we all rely on during this battle against COVID-19. 

Accelerating a cultural shift

Many have speculated if COVID-19 will change our work practices in positive ways. We anticipate that one of the long running benefits of COVID-19 will be an ongoing increase in focus on health and safety for us as workers.

After all, we’re in this for the long haul. As The International Labour Organisation (ILO) points out, there is both the immediate health crisis to address, as well as how we sustain progress in suppressing the virus once normal activities start to resume.

This International Workers’ Memorial day and beyond, we owe it to all frontline heroes to use these challenging times to accelerate a long overdue shift towards safer and healthier work. 

By making sure compliance is simply the minimum viable standard not the goal; by creating a culture of workplace enablement that empowers all of us to take ownership and drive improvements, we can find a safer, silver lining during this pandemic and beyond.

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