The International Labour Organisation (ILO) World Day for Safety and Health at Work took place for this year last Friday (28th April). Generally, it is a day to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases through raising awareness of these various issues and following emerging trends in the field, each year a new theme is targeted as their aim to improve globally.
In many parts of the world, national authorities, trade unions, employers’ organizations and safety and health practitioners organize activities to celebrate this date. In the UK we do not pay as much attention to this day, perhaps it is because living in a developed country has made us less aware of the hazards many face in the workplace around the world. Despite our privileged position it still makes sense for us to acknowledge how we can keep improving and how the world as a whole must do. This year the campaign is targeting to ‘optimise the collection of occupational safety (OSH) and health data’.
Every day around the globe, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic effect of poor safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year meaning millions are lost due to this. It is an issue in both developing and developed countries, despite the fact that we in the UK are for the most part safe in our workplaces. Illness will affect many of us even in the UK, it is a growing trend that workers here are having to take time off because of conditions caused by their job, employers need to wake up to the fact that it is costing them money.
The United Nations states the perfect national occupational safety and health culture that we must aspire to as being ‘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.’
Although we live in an economically developed country were many health and safety issues are covered to provide us safe with practices, adequate healthcare and government laws cantered around the use of statistics, it is still an ongoing battle both here and abroad to make sure these standards are met.
For more health & safety information and tips from HPC please follow this link to our past blog post on Health & Safety at the office. It provides you with a guide of some of the considerations employers should take to help their employees be as productive and healthy as possible, including both physical and mental health.
Here’s a taster of our previous blog post ‘HR has a responsibility to play an important role in Health and Safety in the work place, which helps maintain a safe and comfortable working environment for employees. Ensuring safety is of course paramount, it could be a life and death situation, but also on a daily basis staff need to feel secure while working to be as productive as possible when performing their duties’
For advice and guidance from a UK leading specialist in Employment law, HR and Health and Safety Services, please contact HPC on the form below or call us on 0843 509 4543.