Time for OSH culture to be part in the Indonesian business world

Business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic require new habits, especially in the application of occupational safety and health (OSH) principles in the workplace.

News | Jakarta, Indonesia | 15 March 2022
It is intended to build the character of a work environment that is safe from the risk of COVID-19 transmission and becomes an asset towards resilience in a changing world.

Physical distancing as a mean to promote safe and healthy workplaces. (c) ILO/F. Latief
At the talk show 'The Role of Industry in Promoting Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) organized by the ILO together with the Indonesia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), companies are considered to have a vital role in instilling awareness regarding the promotion and application of OSH in the work environment.

ILO Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, Michiko Miyamoto, said employers need to develop a plan for a safe work environment by improving OSH management and its mechanisms that can help businesses proactively reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This OSH system should not just be a certificate. Companies must have passion so that this system can be pursued consistently."

Adi Mahfuz Wuhaji, Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Manpower
The talk show was attended by Adi Mahfuz Wuhaji, Deputy Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Manpower, said that companies need to make health a culture in the work environment. However, implementing a health culture requires a time to adjust that also regulated according to the situation in each business organization.

“The business climate requires one to three years of adjustment. On the other hand, we also have to look at the business classification,” said Adi.

Adi added that the issue of building new OSH habits cannot be done in a haste. This is because it connects with the human resources mindset of the company.

“Everything requires a process. It cannot be done overnight, but it is necessary to inculcate new habits related to OSH. However, we are facing a problem with the HR paradigm, most of which have different educational classifications,” he said.

In addition, Adi said that new habits regarding OSH need to be carried out with continuous cooperation. The collaboration between the ILO and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to reach more employers and expand critical awareness of OSH will later make the human resources a pillar of driving a new OSH culture in the work environment.

" This OSH system should not just be a certificate. Companies must have passion so that this system can be pursued consistently."

ILO-Kadin talkshow to strengthen OSH culture in workplaces
Wendri Wildiartoni, an OSH doctor who joined the ILO's program on COVID-19 risk assessment services, said that the implementation of health protocols in the workplace currently faces various challenges. Seeing as every business organization has many significant differences such as work processes, units, and the number of workers.

However, these differences are not an obstacle to adapting the Infectious Disease Outbreaks Act No. 4 of 1984. "The most important thing is that companies must be flexible and adapt the implementation of health protocols with an understanding of the National Epidemic Act," said Wendri.

Companies must have a policy when to relax or tighten the procedure. Then we can carry out strategy such as early detection, tracking, tracing, then isolation."

Wendri Wildiartoni, an OSH doctor who joined the ILO's program on COVID-19 risk assessment services
Wendri added that the latest developments of the positive cases of COVID-19 requires understanding in reading the situation. An accurate reading of the COVID-19 development will help to work on the challenges in implementing health protocols during the pandemic and beyond.

“Companies must have a policy when to relax or tighten the procedure. Then we can carry out strategy such as early detection, tracking, tracing, then isolation," he said.

Regarding the implementation of health protocols in the work environment, Wendri said the company could make updates while observing the development of the situation. This update will determine how health protocols can be an important factor in boosting company productivity. "Strategy renewal can be done every two months or every six months," he said.

The power is in the workers. Kadin and the ILO will assist according to the main tasks and functions. Then this service will touch to the grassroots."

Abdul Hakim, ILO project manager on the prevention of COVID-19 at workplace
Apart from renewal, another important factor in implementing the new OSH habits lies in the consistency of promotion and education. This also needs to be supported by maintaining good habits or habitus of each company. "The challenge I and my colleagues have met so far is that OSH is still seen as non-investment."

According to Abdul Hakim, ILO project manager on the prevention of COVID-19 at workplace, the current OSH challenge in companies lies in having the courage to implement comprehensive health protocols. This can be the first process towards a safe and healthy workplace. "If the companies are courageous and consistent, all work processes can develop," he said.

Abdul Hakim also added that the strength of the new habit in the future lies with the workers. Improving knowledge, and paradigms among workers can create a new culture and habit of implementing effective and responsive health protocols.

“The power is in the workers. Kadin and the ILO will assist according to the main tasks and functions. Then this service will touch to the grassroots.” he added.

The COVID-19 risk assessment service is a service provided by ILO with funding support by the Government of Japan to enhance protection for business and workers from COVID-19 based on advice from the OSH doctors. The service is available for workplaces of legally established companies in Indonesia with at least 10 workers in each workplace.

For more information visit: www.ilocovidproject.id

The live streaming of the talks how can be viewed on ILO TV Indonesia.