World Health and Safety at Work Day
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated annually on 28 April to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. 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.
28 April is also the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers organized worldwide by the trade union movement since 1996.
With the UK being a founding member of the ILO, the HSE is fully supports the ILO's promotion of this important day, which will be recognised by a number of events taking place around the world.
The ILO estimates that:
2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths every single day.
Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually.
The estimated fatal occupational accidents is over 11,000 cases, compared to the 5,850 reported cases. The gross underreporting of occupational accidents and diseases, including fatal accidents, is giving a false picture of the scope of the problem.
Some of the major findings in the ILO’s latest statistical data on occupational accidents and diseases, and work-related deaths on a world-wide level include the following:
- Diseases related to work cause the most deaths among workers. Hazardous substances alone are estimated to cause 651,279 deaths a year.
- The construction industry has a disproportionately high rate of recorded accidents.
- Younger and older workers are particularly vulnerable. The ageing population in developed countries means that an increasing number of older persons are working and need special consideration.
What can we all do to support?
- By communicating out this campaign and others released to raise awareness.
- Continue discussions around health, safety and wellbeing with our employees and others.
- Provide information, instruction, training and supervision to our employees
- Ensure all incidents are reported promptly.
- Reviewing our work activities.
It is incredibly important we are reporting all our incidents as soon as possible and regularly analyse our reported information. Understanding the root causes of our incidents means we can implement more control measures and ensure they do not happen again.
There are many systems and software available to assist with reporting of incidents, but we must ensure we have a positive, open, and honest safety culture so where our employees can report any incidents that have happened quickly.
Benefits of ISO 45001
ISO 45001 is an International Standard that specifies requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, with guidance for its use, to enable an organisation to proactively improve its OH&S performance in preventing injury and ill-health.
ISO 45001 is intended to be applicable to any business regardless of its size, type and nature. All of its requirements are intended to be integrated into an organisation’s own management processes.
ISO 45001 enables a business, through its OH&S management system, to integrate other aspects of health and safety, such as worker wellness/wellbeing; however, it should be noted that an organization can be required by applicable legal requirements to also address such issues.
An ISO 45001 based OH&S management system will enable an organization to improve its OH&S performance by:
- developing and implementing an OH&S policy and OH&S objectives
- establishing systematic processes which consider its “context” and which take into account its risks and opportunities, and its legal and other requirements
- determining the hazards and OH&S risks associated with its activities; seeking to eliminate them, or putting in controls to minimize their potential effects
- establishing operational controls to manage its OH&S risks and its legal and other requirements
- increasing awareness of its OH&S risks
- evaluating its OH&S performance and seeking to improve it, through taking appropriate actions
- ensuring workers take an active role in OH&S matters
In combination these measures will ensure that an organization’s reputation as a safe place to work will be promoted, and can have more direct benefits, such as:
- improving its ability to respond to regulatory compliance issues
- reducing the overall costs of incidents
- reducing downtime and the costs of disruption to operations
- reducing the cost of insurance premiums
- reducing absenteeism and employee turnover rates
- recognition for having achieved an international benchmark (which may in turn influence customers who are concerned about their social responsibilities)
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