Health And Safety Management Summit And Awards 2022: What Is Ground Reality At Workplace

Talking about the condition of workers, Mukesh Kejriwal - senior journalist and Head National Integrated Bureau, Rajasthan Patrika group - said that figures show that proper care is being taken about the health and safety of workforces but the reality is different.

Most of the time government agencies which are responsible to ensure these norms focus only on organised sectors.
Most of the time government agencies which are responsible to ensure these norms focus only on organised sectors.

According to a UN labour agency ILO, nearly 2.8 million workers die every year because of stress, excessively-long working hours and disease. Also, additional 374 million people get injured or fall ill because of their jobs. To discuss challenges at the workplace and initiatives that can be taken for the upliftment of society, HealthWire organised a webinar – HEALTH AND SAFETY MANAGEMENT SUMMIT AND AWARDS 2022. The aim of the webinar was also to recognise the achievement of those organisations and individuals who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the field of Workplace Health & Safety even during these testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among those who joined the panel discussion on ‘Initiatives under CSR for the upliftment of marginalised society’ were some well-known personalities like Dr Chandrakant Lahariya, senior journalist Mukesh Kejriwal and Dr Uma Kumar.

The eminent speakers said that corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been limited to a major setup and these initiatives must reach common workers. They also said that it is important to find out whether we are working toward achieving the goal of sustainable development or not.

Dr Chandrakant Lahariya – an epidemiologist, vaccinologist, public health, and policy expert and writer – said that several things have changed after the pandemic and now people are more aware of health and safety measures that need to be taken but a lot still needs to be done.

“During COVID-19, either front line workers got infected with the coronavirus or they died. I will not say that those deaths were entirely because of lapses at the workplace but at the same time, we need to remember that it is very important that all safety guidelines are adhered to,” Lahariya added.

Talking about the condition of workers, Mukesh Kejriwal – senior journalist and Head National Integrated Bureau, Rajasthan Patrika group – said that figures show that proper care is being taken about the health and safety of workforces but the reality is different.

“Let us start it like this. We all want our pizzas to be delivered within 10 mins. But do we ever think about the safety or well-being of those delivery boys? At the same, people are now more about the importance of the workforce and they understand that it is important for a country like India which is in its transition phase,” Kejriwal added.

When asked to comment on how organised and unorganised sectors rank when it comes to the safety and health of workers, Kejriwal said most of the time government agencies which are responsible to ensure these norms focus only on organised sectors. “Neither there are resources nor such agencies are very concerned about whether norms are being followed in unorganised sectors. In nutshell, I would like to say that ground reality is far from being satisfactory,” he said.

Dr Uma Kumar – HoD Rheumatology, AIIMS – New Delhia nd National Award For Science & Technology Communication 2020 awardee – complemented HealthWire for picking such a relevant topic for the event.

When Dr. Yash Gulati’s asked Dr Kumar about her experience with regard to the kind of treatment received by people working in organised and unorganised sectors, she said that workers of unorganised sectors are not getting proper treatment from their employees.

“There are various factors responsible for that. It is also important to understand that we talk about health, it should not be just physical health. Mental health should also be given importance. Social wellbeing should also be taken into consideration. Apart from these three important components, the fourth one is the emotional component,” she said.

Dr Kumar stressed that there are rules in place that are not being followed. According to her, carrying out risk assessment at regular intervals is very important.

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