Address at the National Tripartite Workshop for Promoting the Ratifications of ILO Conventions on Occupational Safety and Health

By Ms Panudda Boonpala, Director, ILO DWT for South Asia and Country Office for India at the National Tripartite Workshop for Promoting the Ratifications of ILO Conventions on Occupational Safety and Health, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 18 - 20 November 2015

Statement | Mumbai, Maharashtra, India | 18 November 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning! It is a pleasure to be here to welcome the representatives of Government, the trade unions, employer’s organizations, and ILO colleagues for this national tripartite workshop. I appreciate MOLE support for this workshop and our collaboration with DGFASLI with whom ILO has been working for long on issues related to Occupational Safety and Health.

This tripartite workshop is to enhance the understanding of the ILO conventions on OSH and to promote the ratification. The Tripartite Committee on Convention discussed possibility of ratification of these Conventions 2 years ago. In Asia, seven countries have ratified Convention No 155: Australia, China, Fiji, Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand and Vietnam. Six countries have ratified Convention 187: Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Viet Nam.

Safe work is in the centre of the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda and ILO has been promoting OSH standards at the global level. The ILO constitution sets forth the principles that workers should be protected from sickness, diseases and injury resulting from employment. It is estimated that every year 337 million workplace accidents take place, out of which about 350,000 are fatal, 2.3 million workers die (roughly 6300 death every day) from work-related accidents and diseases and 160 million people suffer from work-related diseases. The poorest, least protected, least informed and least trained workers face the highest risks in terms of work related accidents and illness with women, children, people with disabilities, migrant workers and ethnic minorities being the most vulnerable. All this factors increase the burden on the workers, enterprises and society as a whole and as a result, workers and their families suffer both physically and psychologically.

The ILO firmly believes that work-related accidents are preventable and must be prevented through adherence to international standards. Action is needed at international, regional, national and enterprises levels which is a joint responsibility of all of us. We need to:
  1. adopt national policies and enact legislation on Occupational Safety and Health in line with the ILO Conventions 155 and 187; and
  2. to promote better education and training on OSH and to strengthen the labour inspection services for effectiveness to meet the present risks and challenges and prevent future ones.
“Preventive Safety and Health Culture” needs to be brought in and this can be possible by the involvement of the tripartite partners through social dialogue process in improving the working conditions. In Brazil, the tripartite committee on OSH approved the national policy in 2010 and the policy was adopted by the government, the next year. The tripartite committee is responsible for periodic review of the national policy, national plan on OSH, dissemination and the coordination of the OSH network in the country. The tripartite committee is also engaged in formulating a national OSH programme, chalking out strategies and action plan for implementation, monitoring, evaluation and periodic revision in collaboration with the Ministries of Labour, Health and Social Security.

In India, a tripartite task force has been set up by the Ministry of Labour and Employment based on the National Policy of OSH, 2009. This tripartite task force met twice, developed a draft report and submitted it to the Ministry of Labour and Employment. We hope that this workshop will further enhance tripartite collaboration and move forward the ratification of the ILO Conventions on OSH.
Let me conclude by quoting the words of ILO’s Director–General, Mr. Guy Ryder “The right to a safe and healthy workplace is a basic human right – a right to be respected at every level of development and in difficult economic conditions. Respecting this human right is an obligation as well as a condition for sustainable economic development”. Let us work together to achieve this.

I wish you all a successful workshop and welcome you all once again for this important initiative.

Thank you