Every year more than 1.1 million people die from occupational accidents or work-related diseases in Asia and the Pacific. The poorest, least protected, least informed and least trained are the most affected. Women, children, disabled workers, migrant workers, and ethnic minorities are often involved.
Occupational accidents and diseases have an impact not only on the lives of individual workers but also on the productivity and profitability of their enterprises and ultimately on the welfare of their entire societies. Governments, workers and employers in Asia and the Pacific are increasing their efforts to prevent accidents and diseases at the workplace. The ILO works with them to strengthen national occupational safety and health (OSH) systems, including labour inspections, occupational injury reporting, training and information, and national OSH campaigns.
The ILO’s health and safety mandate includes helping workers, employers and governments respond to the challenges created by HIV (the Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, caused by HIV). Helping them to do this, and to eradicate related stigmas and discrimination in the workplace is a fundamental part of the ILO’s Decent Work agenda in Asia.
The ILO also assists countries with developing and implementing their strategic National OSH Programmes, to create a preventative safety and health culture and reach more workers, including migrants, those with HIV/AIDS and those in the informal economy.
If work is to be decent, it must be safe. Improving safety and health at work continues to be a key element in realizing the goals of the Asian Decent Work Decade.