SOCHI, RUSSIAN FEDERATION (ILO News) – The ILO seeks to create worldwide awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related injuries and diseases, to ensure that the health and safety of all workers is firmly embedded in the sustainable development agenda, and to support sustainable action on OSH at all levels, said Nancy Leppink, Chief of the ILO’s Labour Administration, Labour Inspection, and Occupational Safety and Health Branch. She spoke today at the plenary session of the annual All-Russian OSH Week that brought together more than 11.5 thousand occupational safety and health practitioners, experts, scientists and private sector representatives from Russia and abroad.
Nancy Leppink referred to the ILO estimate of 2.3 million work-related deaths each year and its estimate of economic cost, 4% of global GDP, and called for preventive measures that ensure safety and health of all at work. The preventive measures “must go hand and hand with globalization and the future of work. Strong leadership and commitment by governments, employers, workers and civil society is essential to this effort,” she said.
Nancy Leppink pointed to a growing body of evidence that the very workplace systems that improve OSH also improve the overall productivity of enterprises in addition to protecting the health and safety of their workers.
This year for World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April), the ILO takes aim at the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and use reliable occupational safety and health data. The collection of OSH data that provides the capacity for both setting priorities and measuring progress is foundational to strong OSH systems at the national and enterprise level. It is indispensable for the detection of new hazards and emerging risks, measuring worker exposures to hazards, the development of preventive measures, as well as the implementation of policies, systems and programmes.
Finally, accurate data is indispensable for countries to fulfil their commitment to implement and report on the Sustainable Development Goal # 8, “inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”
“The safety and health of workers must be at the forefront on the road to economic prosperity and must be integrated into every step along the way. We are on this road together, and the ILO is committed to taking each step with you, as we strive to achieve social justice and decent work for all working women and men,” Nancy Leppink concluded.