During this global pandemic, while surveying the risk exposure of the coronavirus disease to Washington employees, a report found that women perform two-thirds of the most difficult jobs in the city.
David West, who was the report’s co-author and an analyst for the ‘Washington Labor and Research Center’ highlighted that women were encountering safety risks because of the hazardous conditions they were working in.
After identifying the risks many people working in Washington were exposed to due to the COVID situation, they were asked to stay at their homes and to close down their businesses.
However, when work from office resumed in the state, most of the employees returned to their workstations, exposed to the threats that the virus posed.
At last, researchers found that out of 694 occupations, 55 had higher chances of being directly exposed to the virus. Employees in certain occupations were facing health concerns and a lack of protection from COVID-19.
Marissa Baker, who was an assistant professor and a labor report coauthor, underlined that workers still go to work despite being at risk from coronavirus. They claimed that the threat came from the absence of proper protection or poor quality protection gears being provided at their workstation. A lot of these workers were women of color.
So, to determine which professions were at the highest risk because of the pandemic and how they could cope with the situation, the researchers looked into the key responsibilities of the jobs and gave recommendations accordingly.
Some important recommendations were; testing and tracking in workplaces to ensure that employees do not catch the virus from any colleagues. In case anyone had contracted the virus, the management must inform authorities and ask the employee to not come to work.
Many people in Washington are working in high-risk environments and should be given affordable and easy access to healthcare. In case they were asked to quarantine because of the virus, they should be provided paid leave with childcare facilities at reasonable prices to reduce their stress. As a result, their economic security would be ensured.
One must not only count on the voluntary guidance but should follow the ATD standards set by California.
Further recommendations said that employees are to use specialized safety equipment like masks and gloves at all times, especially in workplaces.
According to Baker, this pandemic was a disastrous time for the American workforce, but it can be controlled by taking appropriate measures. These measures will lead to an improved relationship between health and work for the employees.