Activities of employers and OHS services during the developing COVID-19 epidemic in Poland

Saf Sci. 2020 Nov;131:104935. doi: 10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104935. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Abstract

Background: The epidemic is affecting the global economy, plunging many industries. The global extent of the epidemic and government controls, restrictions and constraints have led to imbalances in world trade and have put many companies under pressure. The epidemic is a test of individual companies' ability to operate effectively in the new environment. It is up to managers to mitigate its impact on business. The aim of the article is to identify the activities of employers in Poland related to the protection of workers with the developing epidemic COVID-19.

Methods: A survey was carried out among the employees of OHS services employed in enterprises in Poland. The research was conducted in three stages at two-week intervals. The obtained results were subjected to statistical analyses.

Results: In the analysed three periods a total of 588 answers were obtained, which allowed to formulate conclusions. The research showed that in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic, about 30% of the plants updated their occupational risk assessment, about 40% updated their safety instructions, about 90% of the plants equipped their employees with additional personal protective equipment.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 outbreak in Poland resulted in taking additional actions by employers to protect workers. Systematicity (methodicality) of these activities depended mainly on the seniority of the OHS service. As a border internship indicating a different approach to an emergency situation related to the epidemic, 7 years were set.

Keywords: COVID-19 epidemic; Enterprises; Health and safety at work; Health and safety service; Occupational risk.