Since emerging as a global crisis in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts everywhere. The pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of the world of work, from the risk of transmission of the virus in workplaces, to occupational safety and health (OSH) risks that have emerged as a result of measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. Shifts to new forms of working arrangements, such as the widespread reliance on teleworking, have, for example, presented many opportunities for workers but also posed potential OSH risks, including psycho social risks and violence in particular.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021 focused on leveraging the elements of an OSH system as set out in the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187). The world day report examines how the current crisis demonstrates the importance of strengthening these OSH systems, including occupational health services, at both the national and undertaking level.
The ILO will take this opportunity to raise awareness and stimulate dialogue on the importance of creating and investing in resilient OSH systems, drawing on both regional and country examples in mitigating and preventing the Spread of COVID-19 at the workplace.
Rwanda started commemorating World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2008. As RNMU,this day offers us a renewed opportunity to:
- Remember nurses and midwives who have been victims of accidents at their respective work places
- It is an opportunity for employers in all health facilities to take the safety of nurses and midwives as a priority.
Work related accidents and illnesses/ diseases often befall our members, some even lose their lives. It is very important for employees to devise means of avoiding or minimizing these challenges. They happen majorly as a result of the following reasons.
- Lack of proper and adequate equipment
- Poor work environment
- Poor or Inadequate skills by the employee
At a national level according to statistics from Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) work related accidents have increased. Between 2016 and 2017, a total number of 1272 work related accidents were registered.
RNMU calls upon government, employers and employees to put in place measures to ensure safety of nurses and midwives at their various workplaces.
We pledge to continuously play a role in ensuring that policies that protect nurses and midwives at work places are put in place, continuously creating awareness to our members to play a role in ensuring their safety at work and creating advocacy to ensure the safety of nurses and midwives at work.