GENEVA (ILO News) – Events will be held around the world to mark the annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work this year, amid a renewed effort by the International Labour Office (ILO) to emphasize the value of occupational safety and health management systems for continually improving prevention and control of risks at work.
In a new report issued for the 28 April World Day entitled “OSH Management System: A tool for Continual Improvement”1, the ILO outlines a step-by-step approach to be taken in applying OSH Management Systems (OSHMS) and, more concretely, how this system can be used at the national and enterprise levels. The report also highlights how to apply OSH Management Systems in particularly high risk sectors.
Implementation of OSH management systems is critical in helping to reduce occupational accidents, diseases and deaths. According to ILO data, an estimated 337 million workplace accidents and 2.3 million deaths occur every year, with some 6,300 deaths per day.
“The management systems approach to occupational safety and health has become popular and has been introduced in many workplaces during the last decade,” said Seiji Machida, Director of the ILO’s Safework Programme. “This popularity is a reflection of its usefulness for facilitating continual improvement of safety and health at work. With the active participation of all workers and management, well functioning OSH management systems will find practical solutions for improving safety and health conditions [on a continual basis]”.
This year, numerous field events and activities are planned around the world to celebrate the world day for safety and health at work. Among others, in Europe and Central Asia, conferences will be organized focussing on OSH Management Systems in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, in Russia, and in Skopje, Macedonia. The first Kazakh International Conference and exhibition on occupational safety and health will take place in Astana from 28-29 April.
Also on 28 April, a Conference entitled “World Day for a good working environment – for those who are concerned about how you feel on the job” will take place in Oslo, Norway, where the country’s tripartite social partners will be represented by the National Institute of Occupational Health, the Petroleum Safety Authority, the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority. Research institutions will also be present.
In Latin America, the Argentine government will celebrate the 8th Week for Safety and Health at Work with a number of conferences, workshops and awareness-raising campaigns in the capital Buenos Aires. The government of the province of Santa Fe will also organize workshops and seminars to mark this special week. The Argentine government has designated 2011 as the Year of Decent Work and the Health and Safety of Workers.
The Better Work programme of the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) plan a range of events in a number of their project countries. In Viet Nam, a safety run will be held, while in Haiti, Better Work will organize an OSH fair for garment workers featuring awareness-raising activities, health checks and quizzes.
In Asia, the ILO Beijing Office and the State Administration of Work Safety will host a workshop in Tangshan, China, which will focus on promoting a safety culture at the enterprise level on 28 April.
In Africa, a symposium on OSH will be held in Songea, Southern Tanzania along with exhibitions by several enterprises and a best practice competition in the run up to World Day. On the day itself, an event will be held, also in Songea, convened by OSHA Tanzania in collaboration with the workers’ and employers’ organizations in the country, TUCTA and ATE, respectively. The Minister for Labour and Employment of Tanzania, Hon. Gaudensia Kabaka, will hold a press conference to mark the World Day, on April 28. In Algeria, workplace training sessions to sensitize enterprises on OSH will be organized from 25-28 April, in Algiers, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen and Annaba, and on 28 April an event will be hosted by the Ministry of Work, Employment and Social Security in Algiers.
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The International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization.
1 OSH Management System: A tool for continual improvement, International Labour Office, Geneva, 2011. ISBN 978-92-2-124739-5.