Approaches to Build a Preventative Safety and Health Culture in the BRICS Countries

Paper prepared for the 1st Employment Working Group meeting under the 2020 Russian presidency of the BRICS

Occupational Safety and Health is an important component to ensure sustainable and inclusive economic growth in BRICS countries. In view of the transformative economic and demographic changes that these countries are experiencing, the development of OSH national systems and programmes that ensure the implementation of a preventative safety and health culture for all workers should be a top priority within their decent work agendas. Improving OSH governance, implementing measures responding to the specific needs of SMEs and the informal economy, improving the availability of data, and addressing emerging and persistent risks are key policy areas in that regard.
BRICS countries share common challenges in the process of building a preventative OSH culture. Considering the existing practices, policy makers may take the following policy recommendations in consideration:
• Extend legal OSH protection to all workers independently of their specific employment status.
• Promote OSH compliance by adopting an evidence-based strategic compliance approach to better use available resources, maintain and sustain compliance.
• Exchange information on the various innovative approaches that BRICS countries have implemented to improve compliance with OSH, such as new technologies, digitalisation and automation.
• Strengthen national capacity to systematically collect data, harmonised according to international standards and recommendations.
• Anticipate emerging risks while addressing traditional persistent challenges by the use of data and technology, such as safety applications and big data;
• Build OSH competencies by including OSH education and training in lifelong learning curricula;
• Engage a wider range of stakeholders in promoting OSH and foster cooperation with research institutions and OSH professional bodies.
• Reinforce the role of the government and social partners by strengthening the role of social dialogue on OSH policies, planning and improvement.