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Goal zero for work place fatalities in health and social care due to COVID-19

Goal zero for work place fatalities in health and social care due to COVID-19

The need to protect our workers has never been greater. Our Press/Media statement is here.

In addition to our campaign, we have launched a petition: 'No more workplace coronavirus deaths'. Please show your support and sign here.

Useful videos:

The campaign is supported by BMAROSPAFOHN, BOHS, IOH, IOMCIEHF, The Doctors' Association, BDA, British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy and the Rt Hon Gordon Brown.

With proper application of safe systems of work and PPE, no worker should die of work-acquired COVID-19. SOM is campaigning alongside many other organisations to raise awareness of the risks facing healthcare and other workers in the UK and globally – to help protect employees and demonstrate good practice. Protecting the workforce is at the core role of occupational health (OH).

We call for:
- PPE to be supplied and used effectively, supported with training, fit testing and management of compliance
- Risk assessments to be carried out and the hierarchy of controls applied
- Minimising exposure, where possible
- Use of ventilation and barriers to reduce exposure and limit time of exposure
- All work caused fatalities to be investigated to allow for correction and dissemination of learning
- Robust and increasing access to occupational health. The need for advice from OH doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, hygienists, and ergonomists amongst other professional groups is required

Dr Rinesh Parmar, Chair of the Doctors’ Association UK said: 

“Staff working in health and social care looking after the most unwell or vulnerable in our society should not be put at risk every day that they go to work. They should not have to choose between their lives and the job they love. Steps should be taken to guarantee that adequate PPE which conforms to World Health Organization standards is available and that exposure is minimised. All staff should have access to robust occupational health services who provide consistent nationally agreed advice where possible. Our colleagues are sadly dying, it’s imperative that we collectively take the steps necessary to safeguard health and social care workers like doctors, nurses, allied professionals and carers.”

Julie Deverick, President of The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy said: 

"It’s clear that the Zero Work Caused Fatality has not been undertaken so far during this pandemic. To protect those serving the public during this time it is essential that they are all provided with adequate PPE as soon as possible."