World Day for Safety and Health at Work – April 28


World safety and health Day 2023

Safety and Health at Work – A Fundamental Right

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work environment. It is held on April 28 and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003. The ILO’s campaign for 2023 recognizes that, “A safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and right at work.”

The aim for World Day for Safety and Health at Work is to stimulate dialog and raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces and the role of occupational safety and health services.  The latest global estimates available indicate that more than 2.78 million workers die each year as a result of occupational accident or diseases, and 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries occur.  (In the U.S. there were 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2020. – Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The economic cost of poor occupational safety and health practices to workers, societies, businesses is vast. It also impacts the quality of employment, economic performance, productivity, consumption and expenditure.

The critical role of Occupational Safety and Health

Situations like the global pandemic further highlighted the critical role of occupational health and safety in the work place.  The overall costs of occupational accidents and diseases expand into human, social, and economic costs that are borne by employers, workers and societies. Employer costs include not just compensation of workers who have suffered from an injury or disease, but costs for decreased production or productivity. The human cost can include loss of income due to injury or illness, cost of medical treatment and possibly fewer economic prospects. Investing in occupational health and safety reduces risks and costs while improving performance, productivity and worker morale.

What can employers do to manage Occupational Health and Safety risks?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a standard for Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management Systems .  ISO 45001 provides a framework for managing OH&S risks and opportunities to eliminate hazards and minimize OH&S risks by taking effective preventive and protective measures. This standard aligns with the high-level structure of the ISO 9001 management system standard. (SimpleQuE’s experts can help companies that want to implement ISO 45001 into their system.)  The United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration also provides guidelines for businesses.

SimpleQuE commends these organizations and all the employers who are addressing the safety and needs of the workers to promote a stronger and healthier environment for all. 

For further information, the ILO has published a booklet on The Fundamental Conventions on Occupational Safety and Health and a Brochure: A safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and right at work

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