ILO supports Occupational Safety and Health across cooperatives in Jordan

A week-long training workshop focused on ILO’s “Practical Occupational Safety and Health Training for Cooperatives in Agriculture,” a training tool for partners providing advisory and training services for cooperatives in Jordan.

News | 01 April 2022
Amman, Jordan (ILO News) – A new ILO training tool made its global debut in Jordan this week, aiming to boost practical Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) across agricultural cooperatives, enhance their productivity, and create decent jobs for Jordanians and for Syrian refugees living and working in Jordanian host communities.

Twenty-four participants from different institutions spanning governmental, international and local organizations, the Jordan Cooperatives Corporation, and worker’s and employer’s groups attended the week-long Training of Trainers (ToT). The brand-new ILO tool is part of the organization’s focus on building the capacities of cooperatives in Jordan, aiming to improve their productivity, ways of organization and decent work practices.

It is being implemented within the framework of the PROSPECTS programme, a global partnership supported by the Government of the Netherlands.

The “Practical Occupational Safety and Health Training Tool for Cooperatives in Agriculture” aims to strengthen internal OSH competency among cooperatives in the use of agricultural machinery and enhance their capacity to promote and facilitate the creation of safe, healthy, and productive workplaces for their workers, members, and, eventually, the whole community.

“This is a topic very dear to the ILO and we are very pleased to be hosting this training for the first time under the umbrella of PROSPECTS in Jordan,” said Shaza Al Jondi, ILO’s Chief Technical Advisor for PROSPECTS in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. “This builds upon the efforts we have carried out to strengthen the role of cooperatives in Jordan over the years, and at the global level as ILO. This training is one of the elements of this successful, ongoing journey.”

The Jordan Cooperative Corporation (JCC), with the support of the ILO, launched a national strategy for the cooperative movement in Jordan last year, seeking to strengthen the role of cooperatives in enhancing decent work and productivity in different economic sectors in the country.

“This training is a continuation and a part of the national strategy we launched in 2021, and of the efforts that brought it to life,” said Abdulfattah Al Shalabi, General Manager of the JCC. “We are working on the implementation of the strategy, while also ensuring that all the standards we are discussing fall within the framework we helped establish a year ago, and trying to even expand their outreach.”

Following the ILO workshop, the new trainers will be able to better support agricultural cooperatives in the implementation of the ILO Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Agriculture. Through the provision of practical examples from Jordanian cooperatives, participants gained a better understanding of what can be done to address and promote OSH practices across the sector.

“It is crucial for agricultural business owners and local cooperatives to gain a better grasp of the inclusion of OSH principles within the labour law, since this also has a direct impact on the consumers and the society as a whole,” says Khalid Al Rahman Al Kharabshe, Head of the Ministry of Labour OSH department in Jordan’s Balqa Governorate and one of the training participants.

Agricultural cooperatives in Jordan have played a pivotal intermediary role in facilitating Syrian workers’ access to work permits, and in supporting members of host communities. Since 2017, they have taken on new roles and responsibilities to provide Syrian workers not only with flexible work permits, but also with information on legislative policies and procedures, safety and health measures and career guidance.

“We are working intensively on tomato production and the preparation of new greenhouses across the country,” said Eyadeh Alshorofat, Head of the Ayadi Albadiah Cooperative. “Through the training, I’ve gathered new knowledge concerning OSH, how to better avoid hazards and how to prioritize steps of production to benefit production and the safety of all our Jordanian and Syrian workers and employees. I feel now confident to train other colleagues in these areas of expertise across the country.”

PROSPECTS is a strategic four-year global partnership that supports host communities and displaced populations in eight countries across East and North Africa and the Arab States. It brings together the Government of the Netherlands, ILO, the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank, UNHCR and UNICEF and focuses on three key pillars: education, employment and protection.