British Safety Council marks World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Published:  29 April, 2020

The British Safety Council marked the World Day for Safety and Health at Work with a pledge to support workers’ safety through the coronavirus outbreak and beyond. It is also honouring the memory of all workers who have died during the coronavirus outbreak on Workers’ Memorial Day – a day traditionally given to the memory of workers who have been killed or injured at work, now including many healthcare workers.

The British Safety Council joins the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in calling for a coordinated global response to safeguard people’s jobs and incomes and to respect workers’ rights as the world tackles the pandemic.

The British Safety Council is providing support to employers whose workers are at the frontline, including healthcare workers and essential workers in retail, manufacturing and construction. As well as providing direct support through the lockdown, the British Safety Council is developing new services to help organisations adapt when restrictions are eased. The British Safety Council has today published its annual impact report, setting out key campaigning and advocacy activity in 2019.

Speaking from his home today the chair of the British Safety Council Lawrence Waterman said:

“Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has presented us with new challenges, but it does not change the fundamentals. All employers still have a duty of care to their workers – wherever they are working. As we adapt to a new working environment the same principles which keep workers safe will apply – good health and safety is about working together to reduce risk, and this is just as true in this crisis as it ever was.”

Lawrence Waterman went on to say:

“Of course, this crisis cannot be used as an excuse to lower work standards – but I actually hope as we look beyond the horizon people will see the return to normal life as a chance to honour workers. The British Safety Council will be working with our members and customers to embed real improvements in working environments.

He concluded by saying:

“When we clap for our carers and when we salute people working on the buses, in the shops, keeping the electricity and water flowing and getting food to our homes we should demand safe workplaces for every single one of them. These workers are today’s heroes and their place of work should be fit for them.”

Since 1957, the British Safety Council has been championing workplace health and safety around the world. The charity played an instrumental role in the campaign for the compulsory seat belt law and comprehensive protection for all workers. It contributed to the creation of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974 and, ahead of its time, helped to establish the British Wellness Council in 1979.

Anyone can access the British Safety Council’s free resources here: https://www.britsafe.org/about-us/coronavirus-resource-database/

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