The ad hoc Committee of Experts of the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently published a study on the application of Conventions and Recommendations relating to occupational safety and health (OSH).
The instruments examined in the study entitled “Working together to promote a safe and healthy working environment” are Conventions No. 167, 176, 184 and 187, and Recommendations No. 175, 183, 192 and 197. The report examines first their content and their objectives, and then the policy and legal framework. Chapter 3 is devoted to cooperation, responsibilities, duties and rights of employers and workers. The last three chapters discuss the development of a national safety and health culture, occupational risk assessment and specific preventive and protective measures, measures taken to ensure compliance with national laws and regulations on OSH and, finally, how to achieve the potential of the instruments.
“According to ILO estimates, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease every 15 seconds. That represents 6,300 deaths every day, and 2.3 million each year. Furthermore, over 313 million workers suffer non-fatal occupational injuries each year, or in other words 860,000 people are injured on the job every day. In addition to the tremendous human cost, estimates have identified the significant economic impact of inadequate occupational safety and health: 4% of total global GDP (equivalent to US$2.8 trillion) is lost annually by costs related to lost working time, interruptions in production, treatment of occupational injuries and diseases, rehabilitation and compensation. In this respect, the situation in the construction, mining and agricultural sectors appears particularly critical.”