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JAKARTA (Joint Press Release) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) together with the Ministry of Manpower, and the Embassy of Japan today (28/9) launched a risk assessment service to help businesses identify, assess and manage the distinctive COVID-19 risks within their workplaces. The risk assessment tools were developed based on the national guideline on COVID-19 prevention and control at the workplace to support safer and more sustainable businesses during the pandemic. The launch of the COVID-19 risk assessment service by Ida Fauziyah, Minister of Manpower, Masami Tamura, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Indonesia and Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO for Indonesia The service is provided for free to benefit up to 1,500 workplaces by strengthening their preventive measures as guided by professional occupational safety and health (OSH) doctors. The risk assessment service also allows enterprises to register up to five workplaces and review risk factors in the workplaces. It also conducts employee surveys to assess workers’ risk awareness and behaviors. Preventive actions will help companies and offices to develop a strategy to suppress the spread of the virus in the workplace clusters and beyond. By doing so, it will promote protection of workers’ safety and health as well as ensure business continuity.” Ida Fauziyah, Minister of Manpower Participating enterprises will receive recommendations based on risk assessment results. OSH doctors under the Indonesian Medical Association for Occupational Health (IDKI), as the implementing partner, will provide suggestions on short and long-term infection control measures for each workplace as well as keep the enterprises abreast of public health advice to ensure their preparedness to respond to localized outbreaks. Ida Fauziyah, Minister of Manpower, praised the establishment of the free service as it will reinforce the tripartite collaboration to continue strengthening the OSH regulatory and management system at the national and workplace levels. The service will also help to overcome the intertwined health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic.“Preventive actions will help companies and offices to develop a strategy to suppress the spread of the virus in the workplace clusters and beyond. By doing so, it will promote protection of workers’ safety and health as well as ensure business continuity,” said Minister Fauziyah when officially launching the service. Taking together employers and workers to implement additional safety measures will help create a safe and healthy workplace and workforce which is the foundation of sustainable development.” Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO for Indonesia and Timor-Leste The ILO has long recognized that protection of workers is essential to ensuring access to decent work. OSH has been a core element of decent work and in the context of COVID-19 pandemic this has become ever more important. “Investing in the OSH management system will build resilience and improve response and recovery in the face of crisis. Taking together employers and workers to implement additional safety measures will help create a safe and healthy workplace and workforce which is the foundation of sustainable development,” said Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. I believe that the risk assessment service will contribute to Indonesia’s countermeasures against the COVID-19.” Masami Tamura, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Indonesia Masami Tamura, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Indonesia, emphasized that the Government of Japan has been a long-lasting partner of the country. “In order to protect the health and safety of workers, it is important to recognize where the risk of infection lies at each workplace and to implement appropriate countermeasures against that risk. I believe that the risk assessment service will contribute to Indonesia’s countermeasures against the COVID-19.”The service is rolled out under the ILO’s Enhancing COVID-19 Prevention at and through Workplaces project, funded by the Government of Japan. It aims to enhance the protection of workers’ safety and health by harnessing the public and private sector engagement to build a culture of prevention of the COVID-19 occupational risks.Indonesian enterprises with more than 10 workers in each workplace can access and register to the service today by visiting www.ilocovidproject.id For further information please contact: Gita LinggaILO Senior Communications Officer Email: email@example.comAdelin Alexandra Communication Project Officer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs), a joint ILO and WHO activity with the support from the European Commission, is now available in 11 languages in addition to English. The most recent language addition is Korean. The technical translation of the English collection of ICSCs into Korean language is the collaborative work of the South […]
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GENEVA (ILO News) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada will host the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work under the theme of Prevention in the Connected Age: global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) […]
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© Dren Pozhegu GENEVA (ILO News) – Work-related diseases and injuries were responsible for the deaths of 1.9 million people in 2016, according to the first joint estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO). According to the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury, 2000-2016: Global Monitoring Report, the majority of work-related deaths were due to respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Non-communicable diseases accounted for 81 per cent of the deaths. The greatest causes of deaths were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (450,000 deaths); stroke (400,000 deaths) and ischaemic heart disease (350,000 deaths). Occupational injuries caused 19 per cent of deaths (360,000 deaths). The study considers 19 occupational risk factors, including exposure to long working hours and workplace exposure to air pollution, asthmagens, carcinogens, ergonomic risk factors, and noise. The key risk was exposure to long working hours – linked to approximately 750,000 deaths. Workplace exposure to air pollution (particulate matter, gases and fumes) was responsible for 450,000 deaths. “It’s shocking to see so many people literally being killed by their jobs,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Our report is a wake-up call to countries and businesses to improve and protect the health and safety of workers by honouring their commitments to provide universal coverage of occupational health and safety services.” Work-related diseases and injuries strain health systems, reduce productivity and can have a catastrophic impact on household incomes, the report warns. Globally, work-related deaths per population fell by 14 per cent between 2000 and 2016. This may reflect improvements in workplace health and safety, the report says. However, deaths from heart disease and stroke associated with exposure to long working hours rose by 41 and 19 per cent respectively. This reflects an increasing trend in this relatively new and psychosocial occupational risk factor. This first WHO/ILO joint global monitoring report will enable policy makers to track work-related health loss at country, regional and global levels. This allows for more focused scoping, planning, costing, implementation and evaluation of appropriate interventions to improve workers’ population health and health equity. The report shows that more action is needed to ensure healthier, safer, more resilient and more socially just workplaces, with a central role played by workplace health promotion and occupational health services. Each risk factor has a unique set of preventive actions, which are outlined in the monitoring report to guide governments, in consultation with employers and workers. For example, the prevention of exposure to long working hours requires agreement on healthy maximum limits on working time. To reduce workplace exposure to air pollution, dust control, ventilation, and personal protective equipment is recommended. “These estimates provide important information on the work-related burden of disease, and this information can help to shape policies and practices to create healthier and safer workplaces,” said Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General. “Governments, employers and workers can all take actions to reduce exposure to risk factors at the workplace. Risk factors can also be reduced or eliminated through changes in work patterns and systems. As a last resort personal protective equipment can also help to protect workers whose jobs mean they cannot avoid exposure.” “These almost 2 million premature deaths are preventable. Action needs to be taken based on the research available to target the evolving nature of work-related health threats,” said Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO. “Ensuring health and safety among workers is a shared responsibility of the health and labour sector, as is leaving no workers behind in this regard. In the spirit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, health and labour must work together, hand in hand, to ensure that this large disease burden is eliminated.” “International labour standards and WHO/ILO tools and guidelines give a solid basis to implement strong, effective and sustainable occupational safety and health systems at different levels. Following them should help to significantly reduce these deaths and disabilities,” said Vera Paquete-Perdigao, Director of the Governance and Tripartism Department at ILO. A disproportionately large number of work-related deaths occur in workers in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific, and males and people aged over 54 years. The report notes that total work-related burden of disease is likely substantially larger, as health loss from several other occupational risk factors must still be quantified in the future. Moreover, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will add another dimension to this burden to be captured in future estimates. These estimates are published ahead of the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health, which meets virtually 20 – 23 September, 2021.Note for editors: In May 2021, WHO and ILO released the first ever study that quantified the burdens of heart disease and stroke attributable to exposure to long working hours (i.e., 750,000 deaths). This study established long working hours as the risk factor with the largest work-related disease burden. Today, with the publication of the global monitoring report, WHO and ILO launch their global comparative risk assessment of the work-related burden of disease. This covers 19 occupational risk factors. It is WHO’s most comprehensive study of work-related burden of disease, and the first ever joint assessment of its kind with ILO. A visualization of country-level disease burden, with gender and age breakdowns, is available online.For more information please contact:ILO Contacts:
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Mental health has become the concern of the ILO long before the COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic in March last year. Grace Monica Halim, Technical Officer of the ILO Geneva, highlighted that mental health problems at work cost the global economy up to US$ 1 trillion each year in lost productivity. In Switzerland, for example, the cost of work-related stress during the pandemic increased by 600 million Swiss Francs each month from 7.6 billion pre-pandemic. Teleworking has brought new stresses, as workers find themselves isolated or juggling family and professional responsibilities She explained that work-related stress includes a variety of conditions, such as overwork, job insecurity and blurred work-life balance. Thus, she emphasized the importance of managing work stress to help reduce the risk of work injury that may result in lost days on the job and negative effects on productivity.
The employers have a key role to ensure workers’ welfare by addressing mental health issues through occupational safety and health (OSH) management.”
Grace Monica Halim, Technical Officer of the ILO Geneva
“The employers have a key role to ensure workers’ welfare by addressing mental health issues through occupational safety and health (OSH) management,” she stated before more than 2,200 viewers of the interactive webinar, “Pandemic Taking Toll on Mental Health of Workers: How ‘Smart Working’ Works?” on 9 September. The webinar was jointly organized by ILO and Tempo, a leading media in Indonesia. The webinar also marked the first webinar series of the ILO’s Enhancing COVID-19 Prevention at and through Workplaces Project. Funded by Government of Japan, it aims to share best practices and key inputs to the recovery of COVID-19 that can leave economies, enterprises and workers on a stronger footing during and after the pandemic.The increasing problem of mental health was also showed by Tempo’s quick survey conducted for the webinar. The survey revealed that 72.4 percent from 2,700 readers admitted that COVID-19 has affected their mental health with financial insecurity and lack of work-life balance as the main causes. Grace M. Halim Responding to the survey, Grace underscored the crucial role of workplaces as a venue to break stigma against mental health. Negative stigma against mental health has discouraged workers reluctant to be opened with their real mental conditions. “Health issues are not only physical, but also mental. Stress can cause other effects, including work accidents, decreased work quality,” she stated.The role of managers are therefore, according to Grace, more crucial to support their team to understand and speak up their mental health. “The pandemic has pushed us to acknowledge mental health issues as part of the workplace issues. When we think of OSH, mental health should also be at the forefront of our minds,” she added. Three ILO Conventions Nos. 155, 161 and 187 cover mental health issues under the principles of OSH policies. Thus, what could be done at the workplace to help address and promote workers’ well-being? According to Grace, the answer was clear: social dialogue. “As encourage by the ILO, social dialogue has been recognized as a means to improve labour condition through constructive cooperation between employers and workers.”
Indonesia can adopt global best practices in time of crisis to better address workers’ mental health. Malaysia, Chile, European countries and USA are few countries that have developed practical guidelines and policies on workers’ mental health and wellbeing.”
Through social dialogues, both employers and workers can play active roles in creating a working environment that is psychologically safe. Apart from it, employers can create a supportive work culture through risk assessments and generate strategy with cross-functional approach by integrating human resources, risk managements and OSH management—a strategy that will intertwine workplace good practices as well as the elimination and prevention of risks.“Indonesia can adopt global best practices in time of crisis to better address workers’ mental health. Malaysia, Chile, European countries and USA are few countries that have developed practical guidelines and policies on workers’ mental health and wellbeing. A website, as a resource hub to navigate mental health information and guide people to necessary support needed, is also one of the ways,” told Grace. ILO has developed Stress Prevention at Work Checkpoints to improve workplace conditions and preventing stress at work that is also available online and in mobile application. This is essential for national authorities, companies, trade unions, OSH practitioners and other relevant parties to manage workplace stress prevention. It is in line with the ILO’s effort to build a strong and resilient OSH management, promote decent work, and social dialogue.The livestreaming of the interactive webinar can be viewed on ILO TV Indonesia.
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To scale up the access on HIV prevention, testing and treatment in Indonesia, the ILO is going to collaborate with two state-owned companies on HIV self-screening (HIVSS) programme. PT Pertamina (Persero), an oil and gas company and PT Waskita Karya (Persero), a construction company. These two companies are known for their non-discriminatory policy and their commitment to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS at the workplace.The implementation of the HIV self-screening is based on the ILO-WHO Joint Guideline on HIVST at workplace. The guideline, developed in 2018 aims to increase HIV awareness and scale up the strategy at workplace that makes HIV testing services more accessible and appealing to those in need. To date, 59 countries have adopted HIVST policies and many others are developing them.Early D. Nuriana, ILO’s programme officer for HIV/AIDS, stated that the ILO at the global level has collaborated with WHO and Unitaid-PSI under the STAR III initiative to implement HIVST in Africa, such as Kenya and Zambia. “We hope to extend our programme to Indonesia, following the strong collaboration between the Ministry of Health and STAR III Project which has developed a Technical Guideline on HIVSS,” she explained said during the Executive Brief Meeting with the two companies on 8 September.The pilot HIVSS programme at these two companies is being conducted for four months from September to December 2021 under the assistance of the ILO’s partner, Kusuma Buana Foundation, a non-governmental organization deals with HIV prevention in the world of work. For this programme, the ILO provides 5,000 HIVSS tools for the two companies. The ILO also provides technical assistances for the companies to adapt the Guidelines from the Ministry of Health as well as the ILO/WHO into companies’ policies and programmes as well as supports the implementation of HIVSS and assists in the coordination with Ministry of Health for referral services.Meanwhile, the companies are obliged to formulate relevant policies and integrate the HIVSS into existing companies’ occupational safety and health (OSH) mechanisms, raise the employees’ awareness about HIVSS and provide relevant trainings.“The ILO’s HIVSS uses an Oral Fluid Test method. This a practical, simple method that can easily be done by the workers themselves,” added Early. She also hoped the HIVSS would inspire more companies to implement HIV prevention at workplaces and increase the uptake of HIV testing as it offers workers greater confidentiality and autonomy. The Senior Vice President QHSE & System of PT Waskita Karya (Persero) Tbk, Subhan, positively welcome the collaboration on HIVST programme. He believed that this programme could effectively prevent HIV transmission at workplace. “The HIVSS is an effective programme for HIV prevention, especially in time of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added. A similar support was also given by the Senior Vice President HSSE of PT Pertamina (Persero) Tbk, Sahadi. “The HIVSS programme can contribute to HIV prevention at workplace. This is a good step towards the efforts to end AIDS by 2030. Indonesia is categorized as low concentrated epidemic level among key population with the estimation of 543.000 people living with HIV. However, the 2020 data of the Ministry of Health showed that 68 percent of people living with HIV were from non- key population with the high prevalence among productive ages.
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Declared as a pandemic in March 2020, the COVID-19 has negatively impacted more than 29 million Indonesian workers. In addition to various economic problems causing business closures, reduction of workforce, the pandemic has increased the cases of domestic violence and disrupted workers’ mental health.
A woman worker working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic
A quick survey by Tempo.co found that 72.4 percent of 2,700 readers participated in the survey admitted to having mental health problems. The is in line with the findings of Ipsos and the World Economic Forum which recorded 13,000 workers in 28 countries experienced mental disorders due to precarious employment and changes in routine.Mental health problems among workers have negatively affected the global economy to US$ 1 trillion in lost productivity. In Switzerland, for example, the cost of work-related stress during the pandemic has increased 600 million Swiss Francs per month from 7.6 billion Swiss Francs before the outbreak. The trend of increased cases of mental health problems during the pandemic was discussed in the virtual discussion Ngobrol@Tempo entitled “Pandemic Taking Toll on Workers’ Mental Health: How ‘Smart Working’ Works” on Thursday, 9 September. The Director of Mental Health and Drugs at the Ministry of Health, Celestinus Eigya Munthe, confirmed the increasing cases of 6.8% anxiety and 8.5% depression. “The Ministry of Health noted that in 2020, 18,000 people experienced mental disorders, 23,000 suffered from depression and 1,163 attempted suicides. Therefore, the government has provided telemedicine services through an application named Sehat Jiwa, where workers can do free consultation and counselling to cope with workplace stress,” he said.The mental health problems experienced by workers, if not addressed immediately, may lead to lower business productivity. This would pose a potential threat to the government’s attempts to recover the conditions of economy and health.For this reason, Nuri Purwito Adi, University of Indonesia’s Head of Specialist on Occupational Medicine Study Programme, emphasized the importance of recognizing mental disorders mainly caused by psychological and emotional factors. The observed signs range from psychosomatic symptoms and nausea to significant behaviour changes and use of drugs. He suggested that workers who desire to maintain a good work-life balance need to have good communications with their family and company. “We need to know when we act as worker and as a household member. Time commitment should be agreed within the work team,” said Nuri.
Interactive talkshow on workers’ mental health in time of the pandemic
Hence, how do companies anticipate the threat of mental health problems for their employees? The representative of PT Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Indonesia, Rakhmat Aji Pratomo, said that the company has developed a mitigation mechanism by forming a special team for COVID-19 prevention. In addition to ensuring health protocols and conditions in the workplace, this team focuses on mental health of workers. The team implements and monitors the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set by the company on, among others, working hours, health service supports, work assignments and employees’ mobility, especially when working from home. “The company also closely works with the trade union. To realize decent work, the involvement of workers in decision-making is significantly important. The activities can be simple, for example, by delivering food gift to worker’s home,’’ shared Aji.Meanwhile, Grace Monica Halim, Technical Staff of ILO Geneva, underscored that mental health has become the concern of the ILO long before the COVID-19 was declared as a global pandemic. “Health issues are not only physical, but also mental. Stress can cause other effects, including work accidents, decreased work quality,” she stated. Three ILO’s Conventions Nos. 155, 161 and 187 cover mental health issues under the principles of occupational safety and health (OSH). In relations to smart working, Grace said that it is part of decent work. “Because smart working is human-centered. The point is that workers must know their rights,” she stressed. Negative stigma against workers with mental health disorders remains a big challenge for workers to ask for help. “They do not have courage to seek help as they are afraid of being stigmatized,” explained Grace, stressing that this kind of perception need to be eliminated immediately for the benefits of workers and the company. “For this reason, the ILO always encourages dialogue between workers and employers to eliminate stigmas like this.”Furthermore, to ensure business continuity and job security during the pandemic, including workers’ mental health, the ILO is currently initiating a COVID-19 risk assessment service in the workplace targeting 1,500 workplaces in Indonesia. Through this service, companies will be provided with technical assistance to be able to safely continue and expand business operations during the pandemic. For registration and further information, please visit ilocovidproject.id.
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The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower, with support from the ILO, recently issued and launched a Guideline for Labor Inspection in Time of Pandemic on 2 September, as a response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the world of work. The Guideline aims to optimize the performance of labour inspectors in dealing with new ways of working such as working from home, digitalization, e-commerce and flexible working hours.
The launch of Labour Inspection Guideline in the Time of the Pandemic
Haiyani Rumondang, Director General on Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), stated that the Guideline is aspired to improve the quality and effectiveness of labour inspection mechanisms to be more integrated and credible. “It is part of the Ministerial labour inspection reform under our nine key strategy programmes that also include, among others, transformations in learning centers, job link and match, industrial relations, digitalization and youth employment,” she said before more than 2,100 viewers and participants.“The Guideline can help labour inspectors dealing with inspection challenges faced during the pandemic and safeguarding the application of labour compliance and international labour standards,” Michiko stated, adding that it could also enhance the contribution of labour inspectors to the prevention of COVID-19 at workplaces.Referring to the Manpower Ministerial Decree No. 33 of 2016 on Labour Inspection Procedures, the Guideline provides instructions for labour inspectors on inspection procedures during a pandemic, starting with planning, implementation and reporting. The Guideline also introduces the use of technology, such as drones, in conducting highly effective surveillance activities in time of pandemic.Good practices on online labour inspection mechanisms
Welcoming the use of technology for labour inspection, Angga Suanggana, a labour inspector from the Provincial Manpower Office of Yogyakarta, shared his online labour inspection programme through video inspections, zoom meetings and online inspection forms. “Out of 57 companies, 40 companies have taken part in our online inspections. More socialization to companies are needed as not all companies are familiar with this new, online approach,” Angga told.Similarly, Bukti Rantau, a labour inspector from the Provincial Manpower Office of Riau Islands, has made the best use of smartphone and smart application to conduct online labour inspection. “Due to the geographic nature of Riau Islands and the travel restriction, we need to apply the online mechanism. However, we do not only focus on labour compliance issues, but also cover issues on industrial relations and protection of workers,” he said.At the enterprise level, Sri Melga Rahmawati, Compliance Manager & Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Expert of PT Shinwon Indonesia, and Achmad A. Miftakhurrohman, General Manager of PT Pertamina Hulu Energi Offshore North West (PHE ONWJ, also focused on the online inspection mechanisms to protect both workers and the companies. Both companies focused on daily inspections by conducting online health assessments, health protocols and vaccinations as well as by strengthening the roles of the company’s OSH Committee. Independent and self-audit mechanism was also promoted by the Better Work Indonesia (BWI) programme, a partnership between the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), member of World Bank Group, to its hundreds of participating factories in garment sector. Nenden Aminah, Team Leader and Head of Compliance Assessment Tools (CAT) Focal Point BWI, explained that the BWI has developed various online mechanisms, including virtual company’s tour, virtual services through the OSH Committee and the Bipartite Cooperation as well as virtual compliance check. Maintaining balance between online and offline inspections
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Commenting on the usage of technology and the application of online inspection mechanism, Rene Robert, ILO’s Specialist on Labour Administration and Labour Inspecton, reminded the participants the importance of on-site inspections. “Self-assessments are not a substitute for labour inspectors as the important roles of the inspectors include to directly speak and interview workers in a confidential way and to get the full insights about the real condition,” he said.In addition, he also explained that in time of the pandemic, labour inspectors crucially need to focus on occupational illnesses and diseases, particularly the infectious disease management. “This is also the highlight of the ASEAN Labour Inspection Conference 2021. Therefore, labour inspections should maintain well-coordination with public health authorities,” he concluded.The ILO’s support to the Guideline was given through its Occupational Safety and Health and Income Support in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Project. Funded by the Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Project aims to strengthening OSH measures to facilitate return to work in acceptable conditions of safety and health after COVID 19 lockdown, particularly in garment sector.
Around the world, over 1 million workers lose their lives annually due to exposure to toxic chemicals, with countless other workers suffering from debilitating disease and chronic illness. Major industrial accidents continue to pose a grave threat to workers, as evidenced by recent events, such as the 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut which […]
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