Dear colleagues and friends,
Today, 28 April is the World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebrated by the ILO and by many countries world-wide. I am pleased that many governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations as well as enterprises are organizing various events on the occasion of World Day. Many of these events are organized to discuss the matters closely related to the World Day theme of OSH management systems.
The management systems approach to occupational safety and health – or OSH – has become popular and has been introduced in many workplaces during the last decade. This popularity is a reflection of its usefulness for facilitating continual improvement of safety and health at work.
The ILO-OSH 2001 Guidelines provide an internationally agreed framework for the implementation of occupational safety and health management systems at national and enterprise levels. Many countries have established national frameworks for the promotion of an OSH management system based on the ILO Guidelines, as part of their national strategies for occupational safety and health. National approaches taken include compulsory implementation, certification with incentives and voluntary application.
For an effective OSH management system, it is critical to have the strong commitment of top management to OSH and assurance of worker participation in all aspects of the system including policy formulation. In order to ensure continual improvement of safety and health performance, the reinforcement of the system through continuous OSH training of all personnel is essential. With the active participation of all workers and management, a well functioning OSH management system will find practical solutions for improving safety and health conditions on a continual basis.
Another important issue is the integration of OSH management into overall business management as a basic component. I do hope that deliberations on the occasion of World Day will facilitate finding better ways for this integration reflecting local needs and practices.
I wish you every success in your deliberations on the occasion of the World Day on Safety and Health at Work.