Only businesses fully respecting preventive measures against COVID-19 would earn the label.
Rabat – The General Confederation of Enterprises in Morocco (CGEM) suggested on Tuesday the creation of a “health label” to support businesses in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The professional label would ensure that Moroccan companies and their employees comply with the necessary safety measures.
Jalal Charaf, the delegate director-general at CGEM, made the recommendation during a webinar organized by the Moroccan Society of Medical Sciences (SMSM) on August 11. The video conference aimed to discuss the response of Moroccan companies to COVID-19.
Charaf highlighted two main actions that can improve the response of businesses to the pandemic. The first is the recruitment of occupational physicians to monitor the safety of Moroccan companies and quickly react to potential COVID-19 cases.
The second measure, according to Charaf, is the generalization of the “Wiqaytna” COVID-19 tracking application among all employees. The application allows for quick tracking of people who made contact with COVID-19 patients.
The use of the application on a large scale would allow health authorities and businesses to orient COVID-19 testing towards the patients’ contacts instead of mass testing, Charaf said.
Moroccan companies between safety and productivity
According to the CGEM representative, Moroccan companies are currently “between the hammer and the anvil.”
“On the one hand, they need to ensure the health of workers and citizens. On the other hand, they need to maintain a level of activity allowing the economy to resume and preserve as many jobs as possible,” Charaf explained.
The business expert considers Morocco’s efforts in managing the pandemic as “exemplary” from an epidemiological standpoint. However, the strict lockdown measures have hurt economic operators “very badly,” he lamented.
Despite the gradual recovery of the economy in recent weeks, “corporate morale is still at its lowest,” Charaf said.
“We have measured the impact of COVID-19 on companies. We can confirm that employers are really afraid of what will happen in the rest of the year,” he continued.
The webinar, organized in collaboration with the ministries of health and labor, saw the participation of several economic actors.
Promoting a culture of safety in Moroccan companies
Mohamed Fikrat, the president of the Inter-Professional Prevention and Safety Group (GIPSI), highlighted the importance of training employees and business leaders and raising their awareness about safety measures.
The economist, who is also a member of Morocco’s Special Development Model Committee (CSMD), presented GIPSI’s work during the COVID-19 crisis. The group worked on several projects to improve safety conditions in companies and promote a culture of safety.
GIPSI worked specifically with micro-sized and small businesses, as they usually do not have the means to develop safety policies, the expert said.
One of the group’s most important projects was the creation of a joint Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) service in the industrial zone of Ain Sebaa, Casablanca, Fikrat added.
GIPSI also developed a safety guide setting the requirements that Moroccan companies should follow to protect their workers, he concluded.