Independent evaluation of the ILO's strategy on occupational safety and health: Workers and enterprises benefit from improved safety and health conditions at work - Volume I

Although the focus of this evaluation is on the strategy, it also analyses the effectiveness and efficiency of the organizational structure established by the Office to support the implementation of the global occupational safety and health (OSH) strategy while supporting national constituents’ capacities to develop, implement and enforce their own OSH systems. To this end, the evaluation takes a close look at the Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork) to assess how effectively it has carried out its mandated workplan in implementing the global strategy.

The Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health (GOSHS) was adopted during the 91st Session of the International Labour Conference (2003). The fundamental pillars of the global strategy include the building and maintenance of a national preventative safety and health culture, and the introduction of a systemic approach to occupational safety and health (OSH) management at national and enterprise levels. The strategy foresees an ILO action plan for its implementation covering five main areas: (i) promotion, awareness raising and advocacy; (ii) ILO instruments; (iii) technical assistance and cooperation; (iv) knowledge development, management and dissemination; and (v) international collaboration.

Since its adoption, the Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork) was assigned the responsibility of implementing GOSHS. To this end, the five major goals of SafeWork are: (1) to develop national preventive policies and programmes to protect workers in hazardous occupations and sectors; (2) to extend effective protection to vulnerable groups of workers falling outside the scope of traditional protective measures; (3) to better equip governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations to address workers’ well-being, OSH and the quality of working life; (4) to increase recognition of the social and economic impact of improving workers’ protection through OSH measures; and (5). to maintain and expand a network of internationally active institutions and organizations, streamline OSH knowledge base and promote ILO policies.

The evaluation took place during a period of organizational transition and reform, which placed SafeWork within the ILO’s Governance and Tripartism Department. The findings and recommendations of this evaluation aim to contribute to the Office’s ongoing efforts to improve its organizational structure and strategy to carry out its OSH global mandate and achieve its objectives.