The recent outbreak of the COVID19 at a global scale is affecting all aspects of society.
The shortages of PPEs (personal protective equipment), the shortages of staff and the lack of sufficient work protocols to address such a unique pandemic makes frontline workers to be at high risk due to concerns for their health and safety at work. EU-OSHA European Agency for Health and Safety at Work remains conservative in statements about the occupational risk presented by the Corona virus at work, however some member states such as Belgium declares it as a occupational risk and takes the measures necessary to address it (news here). The categories of workers protected by the Belgian legislation are: health and paramedical professionals, those working in logistics (including the transport sector) and the cleaning sector. CESI believes that the category of critical workers could be extended to others such as: police and firefighters, people working in the food sector, child and elderly care workers. CESI Spanish members who are fighting the Covid-19 outbreak from the front lines as health professions claim that their fundamental right to life is being denied because they are asked to do their job while not having PPEs and being at risk of being contaminated.
CESI always recognized the importance of public services as the backbone of our societies. Proper investment in the health staff should be the norm and the governments need to address the shortages of PPEs for the workforce and the under-staffing in the public sector accordingly.
Please find below some references to the campaigns conducted by CESI member organisations in their countries to fight the precariousness due to health and safety at work:
- The National President of CSIF, Miguel Borra analyzes on TVE the crisis of COVID19 and explains the complaint before the Supreme Court against Minister Salvador Illa for the lack of protection for the health professionals
- The Spanish Government makes recommendations on returning to work without providing sufficient health guarantees for citizens or its public employees
- SATSE demands clarity from the Spanish Government of ‘La Rioja’ and the immediate withdrawal of unapproved masks