World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Indonesian young worker safety on the job

Young workers should be more aware of the risks and hazards associated with their industry sector, their rights at work when it comes to occupational safety and health (OSH), and should be directly involved in solutions together with employers and the Government, in line with a vision of zero work-related injuries, diseases and deaths.

News | Jakarta, Indonesia | 02 May 2017
OSH interactive talkshow on how to build a culture of prevention at the workplace, particularly for young workers
Young workers should be more aware of the risks and hazards associated with their industry sector, their rights at work when it comes to occupational safety and health (OSH), and should be directly involved in solutions together with employers and the Government, in line with a vision of zero work-related injuries, diseases and deaths.

Those were some of the key messages that emerged from an interactive discussion “Occupational Safety and Health and Youth in Indonesia” organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The event was conducted on 28 April 2017, in conjunction with the commemoration of World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2017 and the launch of two new ILO technical cooperation projects in Indonesia: The Youth4OSH project and the Indonesia country component of the SafeYouth@Work project.

During 2017 and 2018, these projects will support government authorities, employers and workers to reduce workplace injuries, fatalities and occupational diseases for young workers in Indonesia, as well as other countries in the region including Viet Nam, the Philippines, and Myanmar, and other countries around the world.

Young workers are particularly at risk of occupational injury due to their lack of awareness and exposure on effective ways to protect themselves in their workplaces. Thus, we need to continuously raise workplace awareness so that a culture of prevention becomes an integral part of the everyday work routine."

Herman Prakoso Hidaya, OSH Director, Ministry of Manpower of Indonesia
The panel discussion was attended by an in-room audience of more than 75 participants, including representatives of trade unions and workers’ organizations, private sector companies, and university students, amongst others, and the event was broadcast as special talkshow feature on Motion Radio, a leading radio network for youth in Jakarta.

Issues discussed by the panel included the factors that make young workers so vulnerable to getting sick or injured at work; the business case for employers to take action to protect young workers on the job; examples of concrete actions that employers can take to protect young workers in their workforce, such as offering good-quality OSH training to all newly-hired young workers; steps and initiatives that young workers themselves can take in order to be part of the solution, such as participating in enterprise-level OSH committees, and promote a culture of prevention.

Herman Prakoso Hidaya, OSH Director, Ministry of Manpower of Indonesia, stated that the construction and transportation sectors are the two industry sectors in Indonesia with the highest rates of reported workplace injuries. “Young workers are particularly at risk of occupational injury due to their lack of awareness and exposure on effective ways to protect themselves in their workplaces. Thus, we need to continuously raise workplace awareness so that a culture of prevention becomes an integral part of the everyday work routine,” he stated in his remarks.

We recognize the importance of OSH knowledge and awareness for young workers. For example, we provide one week of training for all new employees that includes a focus on OSH, and we promote involvement of young workers in our enterprise-level OSH committee. In our business, employees, including young workers regularly gather for briefings on important topics, including OSH."

Meilany Astining Asih, Head of Human Resources Department, PT Mubarokfood Cipta Delicia in Kudus, Central Java
Demonstrating examples of measures that can be taken at the enterprise level to protect young workers on the job in the manufacturing sector, Meilany Astining Asih, Head of Human Resources Department, PT Mubarokfood Cipta Delicia in Kudus, a food manufacturing company based in Central Java, explained that her company has witnessed increased productivity because of the investments it has made in OSH.

“We recognize the importance of OSH knowledge and awareness for young workers. For example, we provide one week of training for all new employees that includes a focus on OSH, and we promote involvement of young workers in our enterprise-level OSH committee. In our business, employees, including young workers regularly gather for briefings on important topics, including OSH,” said Meilany.

The basic theory of OSH is to eliminate workplace hazards and risks, in order to guarantee the safety of work for all workers, including young workers."

Lusiani Julia, ILO’s Senior Programme Officer on OSH
Syarifah Ratnawati, Head of Research and Development, Trade Union Rights Centre (TURC) stated that, in order to increase the level of awareness of rights at work in relation to OSH, TURC encourages young workers to make themselves aware of the relevant employment regulations. “By understanding their rights and obligations, young workers have more courage to ask questions about tasks or procedures at the workplace that are unclear, or that might involve OSH risks or hazards,” said Syarifah.

Lusiani Julia, ILO’s Senior Programme Officer on OSH, reflected that OSH was not only about the use of appropriate safety gear (also known as Personal Protective Equipment or PPE), but about the safety of the working environment as a whole. “The basic theory of OSH is to eliminate workplace hazards and risks, in order to guarantee the safety of work for all workers, including young workers,” said Lusi.

The event was the first in a series of other discussions leading up to the 21st World Congress on Safety and Health at Work taking place in September 2017 in Singapore. The World Congress has invited participation of 200 youth champions for OSH aged 18 – 24 from many countries including Indonesia in a Safe Youth Congress, where they will work together to collaboratively develop and propose their own ideas about how we can build safer workplaces for young workers.

Meanwhile a SafeYouth@Work Media Competition has invited young artists, writers, and designers to submit their creative responses to the issue to be showcased to an audience of thousands of OSH specialists from around the world. For further information about the SafeYouth Congress, please refer to /safeyouth