The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is observed annually on April 28th. The International Labour Organization (ILO) initiated this day in 2003 to raise awareness about the importance of creating safe and healthy workplaces and to stress the prevention of accidents and diseases at work.
Covid-19 changed the workplace culture; even better health and safety measures at work are needed to prevent the spread of viruses and diseases.
New occupational risks are emerging and may be caused by technical innovation or by social or organizational change, such as:
- New technologies and production processes, e.g. nanotechnology, biotechnology
- New working conditions, e.g. higher workloads, work intensification from downsizing, poor conditions associated with migration for work, jobs in the informal economy
- Emerging forms of employment, e.g. self-employment, outsourcing, temporary contracts
The theme for World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2023 is ‘A safe and healthy working environment is a fundamental principle and right at work’. It is chosen to reflect current issues and concerns related to workplace safety and health.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work aims to promote a culture of safety and health in the workplace, and to encourage employers, workers, and governments to take action to protect workers and prevent workplace accidents and illnesses.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management systems related to workplace safety and health.
ISO 45001 is an international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. It provides a framework for organizations to manage and improve their occupational health and safety performance, reduce workplace accidents and illnesses, and create a safe and healthy work environment for employees and other stakeholders.
It is applicable to all types of organizations, regardless of their size, industry, or location.
The standard sets out requirements for an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS), including policies, procedures, and controls for identifying and managing occupational health and safety risks, promoting worker participation and consultation, and continually improving the OHSMS. It also emphasizes the importance of leadership, employee involvement, and communication in achieving a strong safety culture.
Implementing ISO 45001 can bring several benefits to an organization, including:
- Improved health and safety culture: By implementing ISO 45001, organizations can establish a culture that promotes continuous improvement and engagement from all employees. This can lead to a reduction in accidents and injuries in the workplace.
- Reduced costs: Implementing ISO 45001 can help organizations reduce costs associated with accidents and injuries, such as medical expenses, workers’ compensation claims, and lost productivity.
- Demonstrated compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements: ISO 45001 can help organizations comply with legal requirements related to occupational health and safety, which can help them avoid fines and legal penalties.
- Enhanced reputation: Organizations that implement ISO 45001 demonstrate a commitment to the safety and well-being of their employees, which can improve their reputation among customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
- Improved employee morale and motivation: Employees who feel safe and secure at work are more likely to be satisfied with their job, which can lead to increased retention rates, leading to increased productivity and improved performance.
- Improved risk management: By identifying and addressing potential hazards in the workplace, organizations can improve their risk management practices and prevent accidents and injuries from occurring.
- Increased productivity: By reducing accidents and incidents, organizations can improve productivity by reducing downtime, absenteeism, and staff turnover. This can result in cost savings and increased profitability.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work reminds us to implement safe work practices. This day doesn’t just highlight the importance of a safe workplace but reinforces the need to apply safety measures in our day-to-day activities.
For more information on ISO 45001: https://gicgrp.com/certifications/iso-45001-occupational-health-safety-management-system/
This World Day for Safety and Health at Work, let’s honor the workers who have lost their lives or been injured on the job, and recommit ourselves to creating safer, healthier workplaces for everyone.
United Nations: https://www.un.org/en/observances/work-safety-day
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