News

ILO and AUDA-NEPAD develop OSH and COVID19 Guidelines

In fulfilment of the ILO/AUDA-NEPAD Memorandum of Understanding, the two agencies joined forces to enhance OSH capacity and mitigate impact of COVID19 in workplace. The Group of Experts, from all over Africa, as assembled by ILO and AUDA-NEPAD, produced Guidelines targeting the Food and Retail, Education, Health Care and Mining sectors, and providing guidance on Clinical Occupational health and Risk Assessment, for member states’ domestication.

News | Lusaka | 31 October 2020
The technical support rendered by East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC), National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), South Africa Department of Employment & Labour (DEL), South Africa Department of Health (DoH) and OSHAfrica, made this process a success.

The Guideline Series include:

Volume 1: Workplace Sector-specific Risk Assessment
This generic guide to assessing the potential risk of exposure to OSH/COVID-19 infection and control measures at workplaces.

Volume 2: Mining Industries
The purpose (objective) of this Guideline is to promote the integrations of COVID-19 prevention and management into the broader OSH management systems of the respective responsible organisation, assist relevant organisations and authorities to establish and maintain a COVID-19 prevention and management programme at mines, which if properly implemented and complied with, would protect the health of the mine employees, to assist organisations with no OSHMS such as artisanal small-scale mines to establish theirs systematically.

Volume 3: Health and Wellness of Health Workers
The promotion and maintenance of the safety and health of health workers (HWs) remain paramount during this challenging phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. HWs on the frontline have been the most exposed, with the highest risk of COVID-19 infection. The multiplicity of hazards of COVID-19 beyond just acquiring the infection and experiencing its other related pathophysiologic effects is a cause for concern.

Volume 4: Education Sector
The protection of children, educators and auxiliary staff is particularly important. Precautions are necessary to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 in school settings; however, care must also be taken to avoid stigmatizing students and staff who may have been exposed to the virus.

Volume 5: Food and Retail
This guideline applies to the food and retail sector (both formal and informal) E.g. supermarket, catering companies, food processing plants, food/ groceries pick-up and delivery services, takeaways and restaurants, meat and poultry processing, staff canteens and rest areas, open food markets, etc.

Volume 6: Clinical Occupational Health
The promotion and maintenance of the safety and health of workers are key and should fully embrace the current COVID 19 pandemic. The safe return to a safe workplace and the continued performance of duties must always be guaranteed. One of the important interventions in this context is ensuring that the health status of workers is comprehensively evaluated and regularly monitored. Occupational Medical Practitioners (OMPs)/and clinicians charged with the responsibility of performing employment evaluations must do so in a comprehensive and evidence-based approach.