World Day for Safety and Health at work is held on the 28th April every year.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) began to observe this day in 2003. This was so they could stress the prevention of accidents and diseases at work. It’s an integral part of the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health of the ILO. Their advocacy of this day means we can raise awareness and take the first step into making the workplace safe and healthy. The ILO devote their time to ‘advancing opportunities for people to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. It aims to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, boost social protection, and strengthen dialogue in work-related issues’.
Joining forces with ‘World Day against Child Labour’
‘Every Day 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related illnesses’. ‘The 541 million young workers (15-24 years old) which include 37 million children in hazardous child labour accounts for more than 15 percent of the Worlds Labour Force,’ These staggering statistics are why this year, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (safeDay) are joining forces with the World Day against Child Labour (WDACL) in order to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour globally. By focusing our attention on the magnitude of these problems we can promote and create a safety and health culture. We can reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
Young workers and children face significant risks at work. Therefore, to achieve a safe and healthy workplace, we need to recognise what factors can increase vulnerability to workplace risks. This can include;
- Physical and psychological stage of development
- Lack of work experience and a lack of training
- Limited awareness of work-related hazards so unable to assess risks
- Not being able to speak up in the face of danger at work which can lead workers to accept dangerous tasks or jobs with poor working conditions.
What are the goals of the day?
There are two main goals of this campaign. One is to achieve ‘Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030’. The second goal is to achieve an ‘SDG target of 8.7 of ending all forms of Child Labour by 2025’. Achieving these means we will be able to put an end to forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking. Additionally, we’ll be protecting labour rights and promoting safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrants and women.
How can we help in achieving these goals?
Everyone in your workplace is responsible for preventing deaths and injuries by participating in the implementation of preventive measures. Employers are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the work environment is safe and healthy. Employees are responsible for ensuring they work safely, protect themselves and don’t endanger others.
In your workplace, whether you’re an employer or employee, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards. The typical hazards could include unguarded machinery, electrical hazards and anything that can cause falls, trips and slips. However, the cause of some risks can be technical innovation or social and organisational change. For example, new technologies, different forms of employment, ergonomic risks and changes in perceptions about the importance of certain risk factors e.g. the effects of psychological factors on work-related stress.
If everyone comes together to speak about this campaign, the message will be spread far and wide. If national authorities, trade unions, employers, employees, organisations, communities, UN, ILO, government and safety and health practitioners unite, we can make a real difference. On the 28th of April, there are various relevant events and activities you can attend to show your support. Also, media outlets promote the campaign through news articles and broadcast programmes. It’s symbolic that the 28th of April also coincides with the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers. This allows us to remember them and push for healthier and safer workplaces for them and the generations to come.
If a situation arises where you need advice on Health and Safety in the workplace please contact us.