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World Day for Safety and Health at Work: How to Prepare for Life after Lockdown

Here are some ways India Inc - and you - can prepare for the new normal From the global healthcare revolution to India Inc's workplace evolution, the coronavirus has cast a much-needed spotlight on the conventional ways of the world. As organisations across the country prepare to regroup after the lockdown, there are many questions in contemplation. Is working from home the new norm? Can paper-based protocols be digitised? Are alternate shift systems sustainable? Life after lockdown: The new normal The extended lockdown, hopefully, to be lifted in a few days, the disruption caused has changed the course of life forever. The situation has pushed organisations to overhaul traditional operations by embracing mechanisms seeded in social distancing, working from home and even and especially, short-term succession planning. The latter is a clear emblem that for business, no one is indispensable; and for the virus, everyone, fair game. Masks, sanitisers and a slew of other precautionary measures will become mainstays in workplaces, with team leaders taking the onus of following their teams through. Organisations will have to impose stringent guidelines to propel business while keeping employee health at the forefront of the agenda, according to Sangita Reddy, president of industry association at Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). "Employees, too, have to be proactive and compliance issues should be followed strictly. No casual attitude (in terms of social distancing) should be tolerated," she avers. India Inc: The show must go on For the first time in recent history, companies are witnessing a scenario where multiple organisational layers could be simultaneously and indiscriminately affected. In order to maintain seamless operations and avoid trickle-down tumbles, FICCI has outlined a number of scenarios for the COVID-19 business landscape, with guidelines for appropriate actions for each. Safety measures and mechanisms Industries are rallying to institute safety measures to minimise contact spread. Sanitiser stations, sections and zones in factories and offices, satellite cafeterias, distanced workstations, isolated lunches, compulsory masks and remote working for most teams are some measures being included in company stratagems in preparation of the lockdown lift. Work-related travel will also see a slowdown with many companies consciously choosing to adopt policies of remote communication and collaboration. Healthcare workers: India's saving grace One thing is clear—over the past few weeks, healthcare workers have emerged as India's true heroes. By the same token, the government has accelerated the procurement of safety kits to meet the needs of medical personnel across the country. With 1,70,000 coveralls freshly imported from China, 20,000 in domestic production and 3,87,473 in existing inventory, both the private and government healthcare sectors are working to safeguard the medical community. Personal protective equipment in the way of gloves, masks and goggles have also been made mandatory for healthcare workers across the country. Health and safety at Rainbow Hospitals At Rainbow Children's Hospital and BirthRight by Rainbow, the safety of our obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, specialists and medical staff remains our first and foremost priority. In this vein, and in line with our COVID-19 containment paradigm, all our healthcare workers have been assigned personal protective equipment to be worn mandatorily while on duty. In addition, our alternate shift systems, sanitisation measures and hygiene guidelines serve to minimise the risk of infection to our staff. What you can do in the new normal As the country primes for life after lockdown, it's worth checking the measures at your workplace to see how you can prepare for your return. If you're required to be physically present, invest in a good-quality mask and consider shifting your workstation to an isolated area. If you manage a team, scale down on sit-down meetings, arranging spaced-out brainstorming sessions from your respective bays instead. By striving to keep the coronavirus at arm's length, you can do your bit for yourself, your family, the country and the world.

Dr. Faisal B Nahdi


Rainbow Children's Hospital, Banjara Hills