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Canada will host the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health, virtually connecting delegates from more than 125 countries

Canada will host the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health, virtually connecting delegates from more than 125 countries

GENEVA (ILO News) – Toronto, Ontario, Canada will host the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work under the theme of Prevention in the Connected Age: global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) […]

WHO/ILO: Almost 2 million people die from work-related causes each year

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WHO/ILO: Almost 2 million people die from work-related causes each year

© Dren Pozhegu GENEVA (ILO News) – Work-related diseases and injuries were responsible for the deaths of 1.9 million people in 2016, according to the first joint estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Labour Organization (ILO). According to the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury, 2000-2016: Global Monitoring Report, the majority of work-related deaths were due to respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Non-communicable diseases accounted for 81 per cent of the deaths. The greatest causes of deaths were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (450,000 deaths); stroke (400,000 deaths) and ischaemic heart disease (350,000 deaths). Occupational injuries caused 19 per cent of deaths (360,000 deaths). The study considers 19 occupational risk factors, including exposure to long working hours and workplace exposure to air pollution, asthmagens, carcinogens, ergonomic risk factors, and noise. The key risk was exposure to long working hours – linked to approximately 750,000 deaths. Workplace exposure to air pollution (particulate matter, gases and fumes) was responsible for 450,000 deaths. “It’s shocking to see so many people literally being killed by their jobs,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Our report is a wake-up call to countries and businesses to improve and protect the health and safety of workers by honouring their commitments to provide universal coverage of occupational health and safety services.” Work-related diseases and injuries strain health systems, reduce productivity and can have a catastrophic impact on household incomes, the report warns. Globally, work-related deaths per population fell by 14 per cent between 2000 and 2016. This may reflect improvements in workplace health and safety, the report says. However, deaths from heart disease and stroke associated with exposure to long working hours rose by 41 and 19 per cent respectively. This reflects an increasing trend in this relatively new and psychosocial occupational risk factor. This first WHO/ILO joint global monitoring report will enable policy makers to track work-related health loss at country, regional and global levels. This allows for more focused scoping, planning, costing, implementation and evaluation of appropriate interventions to improve workers’ population health and health equity. The report shows that more action is needed to ensure healthier, safer, more resilient and more socially just workplaces, with a central role played by workplace health promotion and occupational health services. Each risk factor has a unique set of preventive actions, which are outlined in the monitoring report to guide governments, in consultation with employers and workers. For example, the prevention of exposure to long working hours requires agreement on healthy maximum limits on working time. To reduce workplace exposure to air pollution, dust control, ventilation, and personal protective equipment is recommended. “These estimates provide important information on the work-related burden of disease, and this information can help to shape policies and practices to create healthier and safer workplaces,” said Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General. “Governments, employers and workers can all take actions to reduce exposure to risk factors at the workplace. Risk factors can also be reduced or eliminated through changes in work patterns and systems. As a last resort personal protective equipment can also help to protect workers whose jobs mean they cannot avoid exposure.” “These almost 2 million premature deaths are preventable. Action needs to be taken based on the research available to target the evolving nature of work-related health threats,” said Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO. “Ensuring health and safety among workers is a shared responsibility of the health and labour sector, as is leaving no workers behind in this regard. In the spirit of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, health and labour must work together, hand in hand, to ensure that this large disease burden is eliminated.” “International labour standards and WHO/ILO tools and guidelines give a solid basis to implement strong, effective and sustainable occupational safety and health systems at different levels. Following them should help to significantly reduce these deaths and disabilities,” said Vera Paquete-Perdigao, Director of the Governance and Tripartism Department at ILO. A disproportionately large number of work-related deaths occur in workers in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific, and males and people aged over 54 years. The report notes that total work-related burden of disease is likely substantially larger, as health loss from several other occupational risk factors must still be quantified in the future. Moreover, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will add another dimension to this burden to be captured in future estimates. These estimates are published ahead of the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health, which meets virtually 20 – 23 September, 2021.Note for editors: In May 2021, WHO and ILO released the first ever study that quantified the burdens of heart disease and stroke attributable to exposure to long working hours (i.e., 750,000 deaths). This study established long working hours as the risk factor with the largest work-related disease burden. Today, with the publication of the global monitoring report, WHO and ILO launch their global comparative risk assessment of the work-related burden of disease. This covers 19 occupational risk factors. It is WHO’s most comprehensive study of work-related burden of disease, and the first ever joint assessment of its kind with ILO. A visualization of country-level disease burden, with gender and age breakdowns, is available online.For more information please contact:ILO Contacts:

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Indonesia and Japan work hand in hand enhancing COVID-19 prevention at workplaces

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A worker is sanitizing the company’s equipment as OSH measurements during the pandemic

JAKARTA (Joint Press Release) – The International Labour Organization (ILO), together with the Ministry of Manpower and the Government of Japan, is launching a new project today (6/7). The Project, “Enhancing COVID-19 Prevention at and through Workplaces”, aims to promote job creation by enhancing COVID-19 prevention and improving safety and health for workers, which is an indispensable precondition for business re-opening, continuation and expansion. The project will be implemented by full participation of employers and workers.
Through this collaborative project, we guide companies to give utmost priority to protect workers that, in turn, will sustain businesses.”
Haiyani Rumondang, Director General of the Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health of the Ministry of Manpower
The pandemic have affected around 29 million workers in Indonesia by August 2020, adding to the existing pool of about seven million jobseekers. 2.6 million workers lost their jobs and 24 million workers suffered from cuts in hours of work and wages due to the pandemic. Despite the on-going vaccination campaign that gives a hope of economic recovery, jobs recovery lags behind an economic upswing by a few years. The spread of new variants of COVID-19 have also threatened the scenario of quick recovery. A recent surge in new infection cases implies the corona virus pandemic is far from over. Helping Indonesian businesses to strengthen their workplace safety will prevent business closures and further job loss. Employers and workers need to act jointly and swiftly. Haiyani Rumondang, Director General of the Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health of the Ministry of Manpower, stated that ensuring the safe workplaces for business and workers have become a critical priority throughout the pandemic. “Through this collaborative project, we guide companies to give utmost priority to protect workers that, in turn, will sustain businesses. We also encourage both employer and workers to go beyond COVID-19 responses by building more resilient Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) mechanisms in all aspects of works,” she said.

The Launch of the Enhancing the Prevention of COVID-19 at and through Workplaces Project

Running until March 2022, the Project engages Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo) and trade union confederations. The project will strengthen the capacity of labour inspectors, OSH professionals as well as representatives of enterprises and workers to effectively deal with today’s pandemic and other OSH challenges. Increased health and hygiene culture at workplaces may help sustain business operations and accelerate an economic recovery— resuming the country’s march towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
I believe this project will assist Indonesia to emerge stronger and more productive after the crisis by joint efforts by the stakeholders.”
Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO for Indonesia and Timor-Leste
The new project will be reaching out to at least 1,500 workplaces in partnership with the Indonesian Medical Association for Occupational Health (IDKI). Based on risk assessment, occupational doctors of IDKI will help companies generating action plans to improve measures against the spread of the virus. “In time of crisis like this, we are ready to devote our expertise to help both workers and companies. With the right measures, we can mitigate risks of the pandemic and ensure safety of workplaces,” stated Dr. Eddy, Chairperson of IDKI. OSH is the core element of decent work and the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda. The ILO has accumulated not only global but also regional and national knowledge on OSH and has adopted more than 40 international standards and Codes of Practices on OSH. Therefore, Michiko Miyamoto, Country Director of the ILO for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, appraised the commitment shown by Indonesia to continue strengthening its OSH responses against the pandemic.
We are pleased to work with the ILO through this project to support Indonesia in strengthening its pandemic response capacity and building resilience to future crises.”
H.E. Kenji Kanasugi, Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia
“We all share the common goal that is to safeguard both workers and businesses throughout the pandemic. The project will bring the government, workers, employers and OSH specialists to work together. I believe this project will assist Indonesia to emerge stronger and more productive after the crisis by joint efforts by the stakeholders,” Michiko said.H.E. Kenji Kanasugi, Ambassador of Japan to Indonesia, emphasized that the Government of Japan has been a long-lasting partner of the country. “Safety of workers and sustainability of businesses are key to the economic recovery and job security in the midst of pandemic. We are pleased to work with the ILO through this project to support Indonesia in strengthening its pandemic response capacity and building resilience to future crises.”For further information please contact:
Gita LinggaILO Communications OfficerEmail: gita@ilo.org

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Workers’ organizations are essential to promote and put into practice ILO standards on Violence and Harassment

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GENEVA (ACTRAV INFO)-Workers’ organizations have an important role to play in promoting awareness about the process for the ratification and application of the Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190) and the application of Recommendation No. 206, according to a new policy brief prepared by the ILO’s Bureau for Workers’ Activities. The policy brief calls […]

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Responses to COVID-19: International Labour Standards and tripartite cooperation needed, says the ILO

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(ACTRAV INFO)-International Labour Standards and policy responses developed by the International Labour Organization over the last 100 years   are vital tools which will help mitigate the effects of the social and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,  says a new ILO study. According to a new book, “An ILO for All Seasons”, international cooperation […]

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Protect workers both now and after lockdowns ease, says ILO

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© U.S. Pacific Fleet GENEVA (ILO News) – As the pressure mounts on countries to ease their lockdown restrictions, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has urged Governments to take action to prevent and control COVID-19 in the workplace, with active involvement and dialogue with employers’ and workers’ organizations. All employers need to carry out risk assessments and ensure their workplaces meet strict occupational safety and health criteria beforehand, to minimize the risk to workers of exposure to COVID-19, says the ILO. Without such controls, countries face the very real risk of a resurgence of the virus. Putting in place the necessary measures will minimize the risk of a second wave of contagion contracted at the workplace. In the face of an infectious disease outbreak, how we protect our workers now clearly dictates how safe our communities are, and how resilient our businesses will be, as this pandemic evolves.” Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General “The safety and health of our entire workforce is paramount today. In the face of an infectious disease outbreak, how we protect our workers now clearly dictates how safe our communities are, and how resilient our businesses will be, as this pandemic evolves,” said the Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder. “It is only by implementing occupational safety and health measures that we can protect the lives of workers, their families and the larger communities, ensure work continuity and economic survival,” Ryder added. In particular, risk control measures should be specifically adapted to the needs of workers at the frontline of the pandemic. These include health workers, nurses, doctors and emergency workers, as well as those in food retail and cleaning services. The ILO also highlighted the needs of the most vulnerable workers and businesses, in particular those in the informal economy, migrant and domestic workers. Measures to protect these workers should include – among others – education and training on safe and healthy work practices, free provision of PPE as needed, access to public health services and livelihood alternatives. On World Day for Safety and Health at Work, I call on all countries to assure well-defined, decent and safe working conditions for all health workers.” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for strong national programmes to protect the health and safety of health workers, medical professionals, emergency responders, and the many other workers risking their lives on our behalf,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “On World Day for Safety and Health at Work, I call on all countries to assure well-defined, decent and safe working conditions for all health workers.” To ensure a safe return to work and to avoid further work disruptions, the ILO recommends: Mapping hazards and assessing risks of contagion in relation to all work operations, and continuing to assess them following a return to work. Adopting risk control measures adapted to each sector and the specifics of each workplace and workforce. These may include: – Reducing physical interactions between workers, contractors, customers and visitors and respecting physical distancing when any interactions occur.- Improving ventilation in the workplace.- Regularly cleaning surfaces, ensuring workplaces are clean and hygienic, and providing adequate facilities for handwashing and sanitization. Providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers where necessary and at no cost. Providing arrangements for isolating suspected cases and tracing every contact. Providing mental health support for staff. Providing training, education and informational material about health and safety at work, including proper hygiene practices and the use of any workplace controls (including PPE).

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ILO to launch new report on work-related heat stress

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GENEVA (ILO News) – A new report on heat stress resulting from global warming, which predicts significant productivity, job and economic losses, will be launched on Monday 1st July by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The new report, Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity and decent work, draws […]

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