Opening address at the workshop on Participatory Action Oriented Training (PAOT) approaches to improving occupational safety and health in the rural sectors of agriculture mining

By Ms Cerilyn Pastolero, Project Manager of the ILO Project on Improving Workers' Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on Women at the workshop on Participatory Action Oriented Training (PAOT) approaches to improving occupational safety and health in the rural sectors of mining, 27 May 2022, Manila, Philippines

Statement | Manila, Philippines | 27 May 2022
  • DOLE and its bureaus and attached agencies
  • DENR and its bureaus
  • Regional Safety and Health Practitioners
  • Tripartite partners in the Regional Industry Tripartite Councils for mining
  • Officials from the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP)
  • Brothers and sisters representing workers’ organizations;
  • Colleagues, facilitators, ladies and gentlemen, magandang umaga (good morning)!
Warm greetings! ILO Director Khalid Hassan would like to be with you today but he is on official mission and duty travel, so let me read this message on his behalf.

The ILO is glad to welcome you in today’s workshop that aims to improve Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in the rural sectors of mining, by explaining the ILO’s Participatory Action-Oriented Training (PAOT) methodology, and discussing sector-specific strategies and materials for PAOT application in the rural sectors such as mining

This activity is organized by the ILO Project on Improving Workers’ Rights in the Rural Sectors of the Indo-Pacific with a focus on Women, with support from the United States Department of Labor (US DOL).

According to this year’s ILO World Day for Safety and Health Report, nearly three million workers die annually due to occupational accidents and diseases, including those working in the mining sector.

Mining is one of the most hazardous occupations due to its precarious nature, operational environment, equipment, and products.

Mineworkers are exposed to explosions, getting trapped underground or acquiring lung diseases induced by mineral dust exposure, as well as to psychological risks that can lead to alcohol or drug abuse, violence, or harassment.

Long hours increase risks of accidents, injuries, and other health issues among mine workers.1 Remote mining locations may also limit access to health and emergency facilities.

Employment in small-scale mining is often informal, with conditions far from international standards and national laws. Child labour is prevalent, especially during this pandemic.

The ILO has always been deeply concerned with improving the life and working conditions of those in the mining sector.

It is evident in the adoption of the ILO Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176), which was ratified by the Philippines in 1998, which is a demonstration of the country’s commitment to protect and uphold mineworkers’ rights to occupational safety and health.

Codes of Practice have also been developed to guide safe underground and surface mining operations.

Government, employers, and workers must work together to improve safety and health in mining.

And we can contribute Through this workshop, we can collectively design safety and health strategies and make sector-specific methods and tools.

A concerted action to enhance safety and health in mining contributes to achieve the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), and the ILO’s Global Call to Action for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient human-centred recovery from COVID-19.

We appreciate your commitment and involvement in this workshop.

I wish you a successful workshop as we continue our efforts to make decent work a reality for all!

Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much)!

______________

1 Women in mining: Towards gender equality. ILO, 2021