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Health and life at work: A basic human right


The ILO estimates that each year about 2.3 million men and women die from work-related accidents and diseases including close to 360,000 fatal accidents and an estimated 1.95 million fatal work-related diseases. The protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment - is not only a labour right but a fundamental human right and is one of the main objectives of the ILO as stated in its Constitution. Therefore, the ILO contribution to the recognition of human rights in the world of work is clearly reflected in the fundamental principles of its labour standards.


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Health and life at work: A basic human right
The ILO has always addressed safety and health at work. Some of the first international labour standards, even dating from 1919, responded to concerns in this field. Today, around 70 international labour standards deal with safety and health at work. ILO standards are promoted worldwide to ensure safe and healthy working environments. Photo:ILO/
Health and life at work: A basic human right
The ILO has always addressed safety and health at work. Some of the first international labour standards, even dating from 1919, responded to concerns in this field. Today, around 70 international labour standards deal with safety and health at work. Numerous male dominated sectors of industry have specific OSH considerations. For example, forestry, the iron, steel and non-ferrous metals industries, the transport sector (road, maritime and aviation), each have their own sets of hazards and OSH specificities. Photo:ILO/
Health and life at work: A basic human right
The ILO has always addressed safety and health at work. Some of the first international labour standards, even dating from 1919, responded to concerns in this field. Today, around 70 international labour standards deal with safety and health at work. Work can only be decent if it is safe and healthy. Work that is well paid but unsafe is not decent. Photo:ILO/
Health and life at work: A basic human right
The ILO has always addressed safety and health at work. Some of the first international labour standards, even dating from 1919, responded to concerns in this field. Today, around 70 international labour standards deal with safety and health at work. Construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations, and yet the causes of accidents are well known and the vast majortiy are preventable. Photo:ILO/
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Occupational safety and health improvements can be made at little or no cost and productivity is often increased as a result. In manufacturing, women factory workers in export-processing zones (where they are the majority) endure long hours at non-ergonomic work-stations and may often work with machinery without basic protection. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Every 15 seconds, one worker dies from a work-related accident or disease somewhere in the world. But occupational accidents and work-related diseases mainly go unnoticed. Available data suggests that in developing countries the risk of accidents is three to six times greater than in developed countries where many precautionary measures are mandatory and enterprise liabiity in case of accidents is higher. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
The costs of occupational accidents and diseases far outweigh the costs of investments in good safety and health measures. Today's financial crisis can result in negative working conditions, poor safety and health and an increase in accidents, diseases and fatalities for millions of women and men. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
During the financial crisis, voices calling for the right to safe and healthy workplaces should be loud, not muted. As safety and health at work is an essential part of labour relations, it is affected by the same forces of change that prevail in the national and global socioeconomic context. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Governments are responsible to provide the laws and services which promote safe and healthy workplaces. Work should be adapted to the capabilities of workers - men and women alike - in light of their state of physical and mental health...for example, reducing workloads through appropriate technology. Photo:ILO/Maillard J.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Health and Safety at work today is a basic human right more than ever. Beyond the economic issues we have a moral obligation: The human costs are far beyond unacceptable. Economies lose out as well; the cost of accidents and ill health amounts to an estimated 4 per cent of the World's GDP. In the current global financial and economic crisis, this situation may even worsen. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Women represent over 40 per cent of the global workforce, or 1.2 billion out of the global total of 3 billion workers. Most women in low-income countries still bear extremely heavy physical loads in and outside of the household, carrying weights of more than 35 kg on their heads and backs over considerable distances. On average, women spend three hours a day carrying water and fuel for home use. Photo:ILO/Maillard J.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Employers are responsible to ensure that workplaces are safe and without risk to workers' health. Does the current financial crisis affect safety and health at work? As safety and health at work is an essential part of labour relations, it is affected by the same forces of change that prevail in the national and global socioeconomic context. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Workers are responsible to work safely, protect themselves, and participate in implementing preventive measures. A safe and healthy workforce can only be more productive. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Even in a changing world, we tolerate no compromise on the right to safe and health work. In agriculture, the share of women is globally 35.4 per cent of the workforce. Women in agriculture, whether in subsistence farming, self-employed, working as unpaid family members or as wage earners, have a high incidence of injuries and diseases. Photo:ILO/Maillard J.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
In times of crisis and restructuring, health promotion in the workplace can help workers cope with psychosocial stress factors. In services and office jobs, different psychological and physical stressors and ergonomic hazards can lead to occupational health problems and add to the workload, cause job dissatisfaction and affect health and productivity. Photo:ILO/Marquet B.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
According to ILO estimates, some 170,000 agricultural workers are killed every year. While agriculture employs both women and men, machines tractors and harvesters account for the highest rates of injury and death, usually involving more men. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
By the end of this day, nearly 1 million workers will suffer a workplace accident around the world. Mining is a dangerous sector and despite considerable efforts in many countries, the toll of death, injury and disease among the world's mineworkers shows that this sector remains extremely hazardous. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Even in a changing world, we tolerate no compromise on the right to safe and healthy work. The evidence from financial crises shows that a crisis puts working conditions and quality at risk: an increase in workplace accidents, diseases and fatalities and an increase in ill-health from unemployment. Photo:ILO/Mirza A.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Workplace violence toward health care workers is a serious and growing occupational hazard. Studies have repeatedly shown that workers in this occupational group are subject to higher rates of verbal and physical assault than almost any other occupational group, with workers being subject to abuse from patients, their family members, peers and employers. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Everyone should be involved in promoting a preventive safety and health culture. No matter where we work, there may be a risk. We cannot change the past but we can prevent it from being repeated. We all have a chance to join the prevention efforts. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.
Health and life at work: A basic human right
Occupational accidents can be prevented and it is everyone's responsibility to help prevent them. Many ILO constituents recognize that safety at work is not only an ethical imperative, but that it makes "dollars and sense". The promotion of OSH for the prevention of accidents and diseases is a core element of the ILO's founding mission and of the Decent Work Agenda. Photo:ILO/Crozet M.

  
  
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Last update: Thursday - 18 July 2019