Support in ensuring the proper response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The webinars “COVID-19 pandemic: how OSH at workplaces mitigates its consequences” took place in May 2020. Almost 5000 experts (labour inspectors and workers’ and employers’ representatives) got access during the Project’s three webinars to up-to-date information on how OSH can mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ safety and health and ensure business continuity.

Serhiy Bilenky, Federation of Employers of Ukraine

What is COVID-19 for employers? It is a challenge. It was a surprise for us and we did not know where to start: how to protect people, how to protect business? Grateful to the ILO, which responded quickly and developed supporting materials. Project activities were very useful. We have already adapted to the new norms of national legislation, we are trying to study the world experience on our own, but it is very important now to get the best world practices and implement them in Ukraine."

Serhiy Bilenky, Federation of Employers of Ukraine
Tetiana Goryun, Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine

This webinar, organized jointly with and for trade unions, provided an opportunity to take many practical steps: the trade unions have drafted a Memorandum of Understanding to overcome the socio-economic crisis caused by the pandemic, including measures to protect the lives and health of workers, prevent the spread of COVID-19 among them and overcome its consequences. Federation of Trade Unions member organizations received materials developed on the basis of the provided information. We look forward to further cooperation on the harmonization of national legislation with EU legislation on OSH."

Tetiana Goryun, Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine
Olena Nikitenko, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Cherkasy oblast

The EU-ILO Project organised online trainings to train our 1187 labour inspectors on how to mitigate COVID-19 risks at the workplace. In September 2020, an OSH official from one of the Cherkasy hospitals contacted the SLS noting a significant increase in the number of hospital staff who had contracted COVID-19 at work. Our labour inspectors immediately responded and explained to the hospital management how to reorganise the OSH system to reduce the risk of infection and to protect the health workers. Following, we expanded the online trainings. Our labour inspectors organised distance learning sessions for 12 managers and employees of 28 health care facilities in the region. In my opinion, the EU-ILO training did not only allow our labour inspectors to learn the best practices of OSH management, but it also helped to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Olena Nikitenko, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Cherkasy oblast
Julia Ponomaryova, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Mykolaiv oblast

At the onset of the coronavirus infection epidemic in Ukraine, there was a lot of questions from employers. What shall we do? How shall we go on working? Employees get sick - what measures to take? The EU-ILO Project trainings helped us, state labour inspectors, to address such issues. Antonio Santos’ presentation, the analytical note, and the ILO manual for employers “Safe return to work during the COVID pandemic” were helpful for my work. To support employers, I sent them e-mails with links to the webinar delivered by Antonio Santos. They were able to apply the advises to identify the risks and prevent COVID-19 at work. Moreover, during inspection visits, I identified possible gaps in the workspace organization and provided recommendations. Now, I am confident that each enterprise can identify risks, develop and implement measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 among workers.

In general, all seminars and trainings of the ILO and the State Labour Service Territorial Department are highly anticipated and helpful, both methodological assistance in gaining extensive experience and the ability to use this information. Thank you for your work!"

Julia Ponomaryova, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Mykolaiv oblast
Roman Bytsa, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Ternopil oblast

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the labour inspector could not always provide competent answers to the questions asked by the employers and workers as regards work amid the pandemic, mitigation of the risk of getting infected in the workplace, safe working conditions, etc. Thanks to the EU-ILO Project’s trainings, practical recommendations, the labour inspector confidently informs the employer and workers about risk assessment at workplace and simple preventive measures against the coronavirus disease, during inspection visits. Such activities are also valuable, because I have learned effective contagion prevention practices."

Roman Bytsa, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Ternopil oblast
Viktoriia Polenova, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Poltava oblast

At the webinar “COVID-19 pandemic: how occupational safety and health measures mitigate its consequences”, representatives of the Department deepened their knowledge about a risk management system, safety and health measures in the workplace that mitigate consequences of COVID-19. Besides, we received recommendations for protection of workers’ health and other relevant information. Checklists and guides helped elaborate preventive measures, which were later recommended to employers in Poltava oblast. Now, we have a good base for providing advice, making us confident about our professional future. Thank you for being so cooperative."

Viktoriia Polenova, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Poltava oblast
Kateryna Zharska, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Rivne oblast

Thanks tо the webinar and guidelines, tips, the labour inspectors obtained reliable information about COVID-19 and a considerable amount of instructional information on hazard identification, risk assessment and control, and implementation of preventive and protective measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion at work. When carrying out control measures and awareness-raising activities, I will be able to provide, more confidently and clearly, general recommendations on COVID-19 prevention at workplace, with account of the EU and International Labour Organization experience, so that workers and employers could work safely."

Kateryna Zharska, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Rivne oblast
Svitlana Yurevych, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Vinnytsia oblast

The training given by the EU-ILO Project provided answers to many unanswered questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and helped to build a straightforward course of action. When carrying out preventive measures at the oblast enterprises, the specialists of the Department constantly use guidelines, checklists and other recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19, developed by the ILO. Particularly useful in our work was the risk management system. This information gives confidence, helps to carry out the best state supervision and control, comprehensively analyze the causes of accidents and occupational diseases and develop practical recommendations for their prevention." 

Svitlana Yurevych, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Vinnytsia oblast
Viktor Ponomarchuk, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Zhytomyr oblast

At the webinar on “COVID-19 pandemic: how occupational safety and health measures mitigate its consequences”, I especially liked the presentation by António Santos with real-world examples and clear OSH recommendations. Besides, the guides for employers in various activity sectors concerning the prevention of coronavirus infection at work were also helpful. The guides are compact, informative and available for review and download at any time − on the Project website. I can easily use all the information materials prepared by the ILO in my professional activity when I provide advisory and technical assistance to the employers and workers and apply the acquired knowledge in practice. It considerably facilitates my routine work as a labour inspector."

Viktor Ponomarchuk, State Labour Service Territorial Department in Zhytomyr oblast
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