ILO indicators of progress in implementing SAICM

At ICCM4, the IOMC proposed a concise set of quantitative indicators from verifiable sources and for which global data are available, to track the future progress of SAICM Beyond 2020. The ILO indicators of progress focus on sound chemicals management in the world of work, and include:

1. Number of member States with national Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) profiles

The national profile summarizes the existing national situation on occupational safety and health (OSH). It identifies, amongst other matters, relevant legislation, infrastructure, resources and the current national situation with regard to occupational accidents and diseases, including those related to chemical hazards. Analyzing this information identifies strengths and weaknesses that can be addressed by well-designed national programmes on OSH, thereby progressively and continually improving health and safety at the workplace. The OSH profile is an essential step in the process of building effective risk management policies that encompasses safe chemicals management at the national and workplace level.

For further reference, the ILO Global Database on Occupational Safety and Health Legislation (LEGOSH) provides a summary of the regulatory OSH framework, including relevant policies on chemical hazards and links to this legislation (Section 9.2). For each country, Section 9.2 on chemical hazards provides:

• General summary of OSH laws, regulations, policies etc. related to chemical hazards
• Specific subtopics including:
  - Handling, storage, labelling and use of chemicals
  - Duty of manufacturers, suppliers and importers of chemicals in relation to the safety and health of users
  - Pesticides

In addition, LEGOSH contains information related to the status of a country’s occupational disease list, with relevant links to the legislation, under Section 2.6: Definition of occupational disease. The ILO List of Occupational Diseases (revised 2010) includes a section dedicated to diseases caused by chemical agents and encourages countries to reflect these diseases in their national occupational disease list.

2. Number of member States with national recording and notification systems that allow regular reporting against SDG indicator 8.8.1 (frequency rates of fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries)

This indicator provides valuable information to formulate policies and programmes for the prevention of occupational injuries, diseases and deaths. It could also be used to monitor the implementation of these programmes and to signal particular areas of increasing risk such as those related to chemical hazards.

Although the principal objective of this indicator is to provide information for prevention purposes, it may be used for a number of other purposes, such as to identify the occupations and economic activities with the highest risk of occupational injuries; to detect changes in the occurrence of occupational injuries, so as to monitor improvements in safety and reveal any new areas of risk (including chemical); to inform employers, employers’ organizations, workers and workers’ organizations of the risks associated with their work and workplaces, so that they can take an active part in their own safety; to estimate the consequences of occupational injuries, particularly in terms of days lost or costs; and to provide a basis for policy-making aimed at encouraging employers, employers’ organizations, workers and workers’ organizations to introduce accident prevention measures.

3. Number of ratifications of up-to-date ILO Conventions related to chemical risks

The two main ILO Conventions that provide the basis for the sound management of all types of chemicals in the world of work are:
• Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170)
• Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No. 174)

Other related and equally important Conventions

Risk specific standards

• Occupational Cancer Convention, 1974 (No. 139). This Convention protects workers against carcinogenic substances used at workplaces.
• Working Environment Convention, 1977 (No. 148). This Convention focuses on chemicals polluting the air and ambient environment of workplaces.
• Asbestos Convention, 1986 (No. 162). This Convention protects workers against exposure to asbestos.

Sector specific instruments

• Safety and Health in Construction Convention, 1988 (No. 167). This Convention deals with the use of hazardous substances, including chemicals in construction.
• Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176). This Convention deals with hazardous substances, including chemicals used in mining.
• Safety and Health in Agriculture Convention, 2001 (No. 184). This Convention prescribes standards on the safe use of chemicals used in agriculture, including pesticides.