Theme: Act together to build a positive safety and health culture
Today April 28, is the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. It is marked annually to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2022 focuses on enhancing social dialogue towards a culture of safety and health.
In 2003, the International Labour Organization (ILO), began to observe World Day in order to stress the prevention of accidents and diseases at work, capitalizing on the ILO’s traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue.
This celebration is an integral part of the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health of the ILO, as documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference in June 2003. One of the main pillars of the Global Strategy is advocacy, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a significant tool to raise awareness of how to make work safe and healthy and of the need to raise the political profile of occupational safety and health.
28 April is also the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers organized worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996.
Emerging risks at work
New and emerging occupational risks may be caused by technical innovation or by social or organizational change, such as:
- New technologies and production processes, e.g. nanotechnology, biotechnology
- New working conditions, e.g. higher workloads, work intensification from downsizing, poor conditions associated with migration for work, jobs in the informal economy
- Emerging forms of employment, e.g. self-employment, outsourcing, temporary contracts
They may be more widely recognized through better scientific understanding, e.g. the effects of ergonomic risks on musculoskeletal disorders.
They may be influenced by changes in perceptions about the importance of certain risk factors, e.g. the effects of psychosocial factors on work-related stress.
We have learned from past crisis that workplaces can be of vital importance to prevent and control outbreaks. Adequate safety and health measures at work can play a crucial role in containing the spread of the disease, while protecting workers and society at large. At the workplace, the following are very important:
- Compliance with OSH regulations
- Integration of OSH management systems into the business’s general management structure
- Culture change to achieve a positive OSH culture.
The key role of social dialogue during the COVID-19 crisis
At the national level, governments who prioritized the active participation of employers’ and workers’ organizations in OSH governance have been able to collectively develop and implement emergency laws, policies and interventions.
We have learned from past crisis that workplaces can be of vital importance to prevent and control outbreaks. Adequate safety and health measures at work can play a crucial role in containing the spread of the disease, while protecting workers and society at large. Governments, employers and workers all have a role to play in tackling COVID-19 crisis, and their collaboration is key.