On World Safety Day, UN agency calls for workplace culture of health and safety
“A strong safety and health culture in all enterprises is a key step towards both preventing occupational deaths and diseases and tackling related effects of globalization,” the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a statement in Geneva.
It added that globalization was affecting occupational safety and health in a variety of ways, some positive, and some negative.
“The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help to reduce the number of work-related deaths each year,” ILO said. “Because decent work is safe work.”
Each year, two million lives and $1.25 trillion of the global economy are lost to work-related accidents and illnesses, according to a report released by ILO to mark the Day. The report, entitled “Safety in numbers,” also says that on average, working lives are cut by about five years due to work hazards or early retirements caused by disability.
“Injury and disease are not ‘all in a day’s work.’ Fatalities, accidents and illness at work can be prevented,” ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said in a statement in the lead up to the Day. “We must promote a new ‘safety culture’ in the workplace – wherever work is done – backed by appropriate national policies and programmes to make workplaces safer and healthier for us all.”
To mark the Day, thousands of workers and employers around the world were expected to participate in activities to draw attention to workplace hazards.