Safety and health at work in Pakistan

Evacuating the victims of the earthquake © ILO

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ILO reports indicate that while 2.2 million people die every year due to work-related accidents or illnesses, more than 270 million workers are injured and an estimated 160 million suffer work-related illnesses. The report says this grim toll also costs the global economy an estimated 4 per cent in lost GDP, equivalent to 20 times all official development aid put together.

The ILO adopted a systematic approach to safety and health at work with a Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention adopted in 2006. The new Convention establishes a framework within which occupational safety and health can be promoted. At the same time, it can foster political commitments to develop national strategies to promote continuous improvement of occupational safety and health to prevent occupational injuries, diseases and deaths; to take active steps towards achieving progressively a safe and healthy working environment; and to periodically consider what measures could be taken to ratify relevant occupational safety and health Conventions of the ILO.

Together with the ILO Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health, adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2003, the Framework Convention is a key tool in reducing work-related accidents and ill-health and thus contributing to the realization of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda. The ILO has been providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Labour and social partners in the following areas:
  • Technical assistance to develop the Occupational Safety and Health Law;
  • Development of a counselling manual on occupational safety and health produced for working children and their employers;
  • Information gathering leading to a national profile on occupational safety and health;
  • International Chemical Safety Cards which have been translated into Urdu.