GENEVA (ILO News) ─ The world of work is to mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work this year on 28 April, amid a new call by the International Labour Office (ILO) for managing risks in the work environment to reduce both the human and the economic burdens of work-related accidents and ill health.
In a new report published on the occasion of the World Day entitled “My life, my work, my safe work: Managing risk in the work environment” (Note 1), the ILO listed risk management techniques which identify, anticipate and assess hazards and risks and take positive action to control and reduce them.
ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said, “Millions of work related accidents, injury and disease annually take their toll on human lives, businesses, the economy and the environment. We know that by assessing risks and hazards, combating them at source and promoting a culture of prevention we can significantly reduce workplace illness and injuries.”
This year, as in previous years, numerous field events and activities are planned around the world to mark the day. Among others, a street campaign is to be held in Moscow on occupational safety and health (OSH) along with the first congress of OSH Specialists, while in Asia, an OSH training workshop is organized in Indonesia, a conference is to be held in the Philippines to push for the ratification of ILO Convention 187 on a Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health, and a photo exhibition “Celebrating Working Lives: Decent Work, Better Tomorrow” will be presented in Bangkok.
In Latin America, the ILO will take part in the international book fair in Buenos Aires to promote the importance of health and safety in the world of work, and in Mexico the ILO will participate in the country’s premier Health and Occupational safety exhibition. In Africa, tripartite events will take place including in Ethiopia where renowned local artists will perform in Addis-Ababa to illustrate work safety issues.
The ILO says globally 2.2 million people die annually from work-related accidents and diseases and work-related deaths appear to be on the rise. Moreover, each year an estimated 270 million people suffer non-fatal, work-related accidents resulting in at least three days absence from work and an additional 160 million new people suffer from some work-related illness.
“There is clear evidence that healthy workforces both enhance business productivity and benefit enterprises and national economies by reducing the number of accidents and diseases and lowering the number of insurance and compensation claims”, says Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, Director of the ILO’s Safework Department.
In 2003, the ILO began to observe the World Day for Safety and Health, bringing its tripartite strength and social dialogue to the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers organized worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996 and coordinated by the International Trade Union Federation (ITUC).
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Note 1 – My life, my work, my safe work – Managing risk in the work environment, 2008, International Labour Office, Geneva, 2008. ISBN 978-92-2-121138-9.