From 24 July, face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets joining earlier policy interventions on public transport (and in retail in Scotland)
By Dr Rob Aitken, CEO, IOM 23 July 2020
At the beginning of the second half of the year, it feels like the right time to take stock, and consider this extraordinary year so far. As IOM’s 50th celebrations came to a climax at the end of 2019 I could scarcely have believed where we are now.
When New Year rolled around so too did news from China of a highly transmittable airborne virus. We waited, knowing that it would be arriving but not fully grasping the severity of changes which would be imposed on us all and our everyday lives.
At the beginning of March, Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) had spread to 76 countries with over 93,000 cases. The fatality rate was being recorded as high as 3.4% and although most cases people had experienced, mild systems it was becoming clear that it would cause global disruption.
Amidst the disruption, as we considered the implications for our own business, our teams of occupational hygienists, ventilation engineers, ergonomists, analysts and research scientists took action to join the fight against the virus. They began to deliver a programme of work to understand and manage the risks posed to workers, our customers and the wider public. In addition, we have engaged with a wide number of organisations to ensure that proper scientific argument is used to develop guidance and policy in this critical task.
In this blog, I will share some of this work with you and encourage you to make use of the materials we have developed to support you. Truly, managing occupational health risks has never been more vital than it is now.