The Minister for Equalities today provided the first quarterly report on progress to understand and tackle COVID-19 disparities experienced by individuals from an ethnic minority background.
In June 2020, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine was invited to join a multi-disciplinary cross sector group to consider strategies to mitigate the occupational workplace risks of COVID-19 for ethnic minority groups. This followed the publication of the PHE report, Beyond the Data: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups .
The consensus from this group, reflected in the Minister’s statement today, is summarised below:
“The consensus from PHE, HSE and FOM on workplace risks recommends that mitigation is best addressed through consistent and effective implementation of existing Health and Safety Executive (HSE), HMG and other guidance for employers, including recent guidance on SARS-CoV-2 infection.
This should apply to all workplaces, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which may have higher proportions of BAME staff in employment. Workplace Guidance should ensure that control measures address the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, should be applied to all workers, and should take account of all relevant factors and not just a person’s ethnicity.”
Further background and commentary from the Faculty can be accessed here .
Dr Anne de Bono
Faculty of Occupational Medicine