The World Day for Safety and Health at Work aims to stimulate national tripartite dialogue on safety and health at work. The ILO is using this day to raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces and the role that occupational safety and health services play. This day promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and on how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
At RCMRD, the day was marked with many of the staff working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To combat the COVID-19 pandemic whole world governments, employers, workers and whole societies are facing a great challenge to protect safety and health at work. Concerns are growing as COVID-19 infections are rising in some parts of the world and the ability to sustain declining rates in others. Therefore the day was celebrated to promote safety and health in the workplace and those who have died from work-related injury or illness at the workplace, Worker's Memorial Day honors them. The main objective is to focus international attention on the magnitude of the problem and to promote healthy work culture so that several work-related deaths and injuries can be reduced. Do you know that 28 April is also an International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers which was organised in the whole world by the trade union movement since 1996? Every year, the ILO publishes a booklet and disseminates information on this issue.
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted on September 25, 2015 encompasses a global plan of action with specific targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. With its adoption, the capacity to collect and utilize reliable OSH data has also become indispensable for countries to fulfil their commitment to implement and report on some of the agenda’s 17 sustainable development goals and their targets. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is held on 28 April and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003. A national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention.
The most common workplace illnesses are cancers from exposure to hazardous substances, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory diseases, hearing loss, circulatory diseases and communicable diseases caused by exposure to pathogens. In many industrialized countries, where the number of deaths from work-related accidents has been falling, deaths from occupational disease, notably asbestosis, is on the rise. Globally, asbestos alone is responsible for 100,000 occupational deaths per year. Meanwhile, in the agricultural sector, which employs half the world’s workforce and is predominant in most underdeveloped countries, the use of pesticides causes some 70,000 poisoning deaths each year, and at least seven million cases of acute and long-term non-fatal illnesses, as stated in the assessment. Improving the health of workers has led the ILO and WHO to cooperate closely on occupational safety and health issues. WHO helps countries to implement preventive strategies with a network of 70 Collaborating Centres, based on its Global Strategy on Occupational Health for All. This the focus was on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, mainly on the COVID-19 pandemic.