Governments are responsible for setting national policy for occupational safety and health and establishing an effective system of inspection and enforcement of relevant legislation. "There is clear evidence that healthy workforces both enhance business productivity and benefit enterprises. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Working conditions of drivers: Delays are often linked to inadequate border facilities, including the lack of secure parking, accommodation, welfare and sanitation, food and beverage services and communication tools. In addition, the stress and fatigue that delays create can lead to traffic accidents and fatalities. These less than desirable living and working conditions of international drivers also have a negative effect on society as a whole. The vulnerability of the workers in international road transport to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS has an impact on many more people throughout the areas where drivers live and work. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Coverage for occupational safety and health varies widely in different parts of the world with, for example, workers in Nordic countries enjoying nearly universal coverage while only 10 per cent or less of the workforce in many developing countries is likely to enjoy any sort of coverage. Even in many developed countries, coverage against occupational injury and illness may extend to only half the workforce. All workplace risks, whether physical, chemical or biological in origin, should be properly managed. Photo:ILO/Cassidy K.
The impacts of poor health and safety on a company's bottom line may include higher absenteeism and more downtime - leading to loss of productivity, underutilization of expensive production plants and a possible decrease in economies of scale. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Investment on occupational safety and health provides improved working conditions, higher labour productivity and healthier labour relations. Workplaces, equipment and substances should be safe and without risks to health, such as in the handling of asbestos in old buildings and in activities such as shipbreaking. A ship that is being dismantled contains in average six tons of asbestos. Almost everything on such a ship will get recycled, including the asbestos. There is no harm in recycling safe products, but scrapping and repackaging asbestos from the ships without any protection devices is unacceptable. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Substantial amounts of chemicals are produced in large companies and supplied to all sorts of workplaces, including small workplaces where the workers are not well protected. Industry has a need for ever more sophisticated skills and new materials in order to be competitive. Thus many new chemicals are introduced in the production of new, competitive goods such as medicines, dyes, agricultural chemicals, clothes and others. Photo:ILO/Maillard J.
Accidents and diseases at work often have several contributory causes; organizational, physical and human factors can all play a part. All managers and workers need to think about how to control and reduce risks in their own workplaces, to prevent injury and protect their own safety and health. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
While some industries like construction are inherently more hazardous than others, groups such as migrant or other marginalized workers are often more at risk of experiencing work-related accidents. An occupational injury to one worker can seriously reduce the income of a household. In the USA, for example, workers who receive a partial disability due to a workplace injury lose about 40 per cent of their income over five years. In many cases, other family members may have to give up jobs in order to care for an injured worker, thus further reducing household income. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Occupational safety and health is vital to the dignity of work. Still, every day, on average, some 5,000 or more women and men around the world lose their lives because of work-related accidents and illness. Decent Work must be safe work. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Industrialized countries have seen a clear decrease of serious injuries as a result of structural changes in the nature of work and real improvements in making the workplace healthier and safer, including improved first aid and emergency care which saves lives in the event of accidents. However the evolving nature of work is generating new occupational hazards, including musculo-skeletal problems, stress and mental problems, asthmatic and allergic reactions and problems caused by exposure to hazardous and carcinogenic agents, such as asbestos, radiation and chemicals. Photo:ILO/Merchez P.
Historically, underground coalmining is one of the highest risk activities for workers' safety and health. Significant, sustained improvements in coalmining occupational safety and health have been achieved as a result of new technologies, capital investment, continuous training and changes in attitudes to safety and health among the competent authorities, employers, workers and their representatives. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
All workplace risks, whether physical, chemical or biological in origin, should be properly managed. All workers should be given the information and training they need and motivation to keep safety records at a high. Here, at a construction site in Bangalore, India, the clear announcing of security measures and a record of accidents is clearly visible for all, as is the prohibition of child labour on the site. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
As the health services sector is a major employer of women, special emphasis should be placed on the particular challenges faced by them in the health care working environment. Programmes, education, and training initiatives should ensure both men and women understand their rights within the workplace and outside it. Nurses can advance positive practice environments, for example by lobbying for professional recognition and remuneration and developing a position statement on the importance of a safe work environment. Photo:ILO/Deloche P.
New standards designed to improve the conditions of millions of men and women working in the fishing sector contain provisions designed to ensure that workers in the fishing sector have improved occupational safety and health and medical care at sea; that sick or injured fishers receive care ashore; receive sufficient rest for their health and safety; have the protection of a work agreement; and have the same social security protection as other workers. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
To guarantee sustainable agricultural growth, the productivity of the workforce should be raised by supplying it with the means to meet its basic needs, providing agricultural workers and their families with adequate working and living conditions, protecting their health and welfare, as well as the environment. Working conditions in agriculture can be significantly improved in a viable and cost-effective way through safety and health measures. Photo:ILO/Chunxiu L.