Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Workers’ Memorial Day is held on 28 April annually and is a global call to workers in every profession and industry to “remember the dead, but fight for the living”. This occasion is reminder for PDA members to consider their health and safety at work.
Sadly, a recent incident at a pharmacy in Belfast in the previous weeks has also highlighted one of the ways that PDA Union members can be at risk at work. Thankfully this did not end with any fatalities and the two Pharmacists who were stabbed have survived the incident. We wish them both a full and speedy recovery.
We know that pharmacists are in the front line of healthcare delivery and for anyone dealing with the public in locations open to the wider public there will always be some element of risk, however like all risks they can and should be managed. The PDA Union acts to protect the interests of pharmacists but also want to see the safety of the pharmacist’s co-workers and patients.
This is a timely reminder for everyone in pharmacy and especially those working in the community pharmacy setting that this issue has not gone away. We are encouraging our members to be aware of what steps have been taken by their employer to ensure their personal safety while at work and what they can do themselves to keep safe.
Potential assault from the public is by no means the only risk to the health and safety of pharmacists and the PDA Union is also concerned about other threats to the safety of our members, including unacceptable workplace stress due to under staffing or management pressure.
Members of the PDA Union who have concerns about the health and safety in their workplace can contact our helpline for advice. They should also ensure any physical or verbal assault is recorded in the incident register at their workplace, along with any other accidents or near-miss incidents which could have resulted in injury to somebody.
There are a number of events run by trade unions to mark IWMD 2017 and anybody interested in participating in an International Workers Memorial Day event near them can find details here.