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Look after healthcare workers, says IOSH

15 September 2020

IOSH PRESIDENT Dr Andrew Sharman today encourages IOSH members to get behind World Patient Safety Day.

The awareness day, being held on Thursday 17 September, is run by the World Health Organization and this year’s theme is ‘safe health workers, safe patients’ – and IOSH is backing the drive.

Dr Sharman said: “Ahead of World Patient Safety Day, I’d like to encourage ALL OSH professionals – not just those working in healthcare – to get behind this initiative. Please help us to raise awareness by sharing information across your social media channels. You can get materials like posters for social posts on the campaign webpage.

“As the campaign slogan says, safe healthcare workers mean safe patients. So, let’s get behind this campaign, promote the importance of protecting healthcare workers and make a difference to not just their lives but those of the patients they look after.”

Healthcare workers face many risks in their work, including that posed by transmission of the Covid-19 virus. Other risks include the threat of violence and stress, which can make them more prone to errors which could harm patients.

Dr Andrew Sharman added: “People working in healthcare are responsible for patient safety. But they cannot guarantee patient safety if they aren’t safe and healthy themselves.

“Those who work in healthcare face risk on a daily basis. This has only been enhanced by the Covid-19 pandemic, during which time they have continued to provide a vital service for us despite these risks, which include but are not limited to transmission of the virus, fatigue caused by the long hours worked and psychological and emotional distress.

“But no person should have their safety or health negatively impacted by the work they do, regardless of what they do or where they do it. Everyone has the right to expect they will return home after they have finished their shift without being put at risk of a work-related injury or illness. As with other sectors, good safety and health management is crucial in this.”