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World Day for Safety and Health at Work in 2012: Promoting safety and health in a green economy

The 2012 World Day for Safety and Health at Work focuses on the promotion of occupational safety and health (OSH) in a green economy. There is a shift in the world to a greener and more sustainable economy. However, even if certain jobs are considered to be “green”, the technologies used may protect the environment but not be safe at all.

Type: Campaign
When: 28 April 2012
Where: Geneva
Contact(s): safeday@ilo.org

As the green economy develops, it is essential that safety and health at work are integrated into green jobs policies. This implies integrating risk assessment and management measures in the life cycle analysis of all green jobs. A true green job must integrate safety and health into design, procurement, operations, maintenance, sourcing and recycling policies, certification systems and occupational safety and health quality standards. This is especially relevant for sectors such as construction, waste recycling, solar energy production and biomass processing.

Promoting safety and health in a green economy

A new report by the ILO launched for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work says the greening of the economy should be accompanied by the proper integration of workplace safety and health measures:

Report on "Promoting safety and health in a green economy"

The report looks at different “green industries” from an occupational safety and health perspective, and shows that while green jobs improve the environment, revitalize the economy and create new employment opportunities, they may also present a number of known and unknown risks for workers.

“Moving towards a green economy implies setting higher standards for environmental protection while, at the same time, incorporating workers' safety and health as an integral part of the strategy. The greening of the economy serves as an ideal platform for comprehensive methods to protect the workers, the general environment and the surrounding communities. Only then will we be contributing to an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive outcome, only then, will we achieve safe, healthy and decent work in a green economy”
, Mr Seiji Machida, Director of the ILO Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork).
Find out more: Jobs in the green economy should be safe and healthy, ILO says

Questions and answers

with Ms Manuela Tomei, Director of the Labour Protection Department

Read the interview: Zooming in on the safety and health dimension of greening the economy

Marking the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2012

The ILO celebrates the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on the 28 April to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on emerging trends in the field of occupational safety and health and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide. This year the campaign focuses on the safety and health dimension of greening the economy.
See also: Message by Juan Somavia, Director-General of the ILO

Promotional material

Tags: green jobs, hazardous work, occupational safety and health, environment

Regions and countries covered: Global

Unit responsible: Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health

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