Occupational Safety and Health

Enhancing occupational safety and health (OSH) at enterprise level

The International Labour Organization under its project “International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan’s SMEs (ILES)” organized a series of the trainings on occupational safety and health for enterprises in the textile and leather sectors in Sindh, Karachi.

Press release | Karachi, Pakistan | 08 September 2018

KARACHI (ILO News): The ILES project convened eight back to back training sessions on occupational safety and health in Sindh Karachi from 3 to 7 September, 2018 at which a total of 229 participants (12 female and 217 male) from 45 enterprises were trained. The training drew on ILO’s participatory action-oriented learning methodology and included: presentations, checklist exercises, group work, plenary discussions and other activities. The trainings were delivered by Dr Tsuyoshi Kawakami, Senior Specialist in OSH, ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia and facilitated by the ILES team.

The main purpose of the training was to guide employers and workers at enterprise level in the creation of safe, healthy and productive workplaces, share practical ideas for improving key aspects of production such as materials handling, workstations and work tools, machine safety, working environment, the control of hazardous agents, provision of welfare facilities, and improvements in work organization. The training also highlighted easy-to-apply and low-cost solutions using locally available materials and in so doing, showcased collaborative action between employers and workers in implementing low-cost measures at the workplace.

The trainings provided under the ILES project, provided practical tools which are equally usable by the managers and workers to make an assessment of their workplaces and develop improvement plan. Training also shared real examples where enterprises benefited a lot by workers involvement in identification of the hazards/risks and improvement activities.

Enterprises interested to organize self-assessment on OSH at their workplace can get the required material on the ILES project page

About the Textiles and Leather Sector

The textile and leather sectors are significant to Pakistan’s economy, together both sectors employ about 50 percent of Pakistan’s industrial workforce. However, the OSH situation is an issue of concern in these sectors, as both sectors use various hazardous chemicals and heavy machinery which can negatively affect the operating environment. In some cases, workers face long working hours without basic facilities such as clean water and toilets. Other detrimental effects of not adhering to OSH standards include the risk of musculoskeletal disorders due to long hours standing or sitting posture, heavy load lifting, lowering, carrying, pulling, and pushing.

This, enterprises need to understand that spending on OSH is a long term investment, which may result in improved productivity and quality. Compliance with OSH is also imperative for better competitiveness and access into export markets.