BPO workers’ group calls for end to sharing of headsets amid COVID-19 outbreak

Published March 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

To prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) Industry Employees Network (BIEN) said there should be no sharing of headsets in call center companies.

BIEN President Mylene Cabalona (TWITTER)
BIEN President Mylene Cabalona (TWITTER)

BIEN President Mylene Cabalona said with the COVID-19 it is high time that this unhygienic practice be ended.

“Up to now, we still get reports of sharing of headsets in a number of call center companies,” she said in a statement.

According to BIEN, three out of ten occupational diseases experienced by workers in the BPO industry are respiratory in nature, as the absence of night sleep is commonly linked to a weaker immune system.

“Thus, BPO workers are a highly vulnerable population once the COVID-19 begins to spread. Proactive measures should be put in place to protect workers’ health and safety,” Cabalona said.

She added:”No worker deserves to be exposed to the increased health risk of COVID-19 because of negligence, incompetence, and the drive for profit.”

Companies, Cabalona said, should put workers’ health first.

The group also called on the government to strictly enforce occupational safety and health standards to stop the spread of the disease.

As for BIEN, the group said it will continue monitoring the situation on the ground.

“On our part, we will continue to help in disseminating information and building [the] capacity [of] our members and fellow BPO workers on how to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare for the worst scenario. We BPO workers are also challenged to exercise and assert our right to have health and safety committees as part of ensuring [the] right to [a] safe workplace,” Cabalona said.