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World Day for Safety and Health at Work

World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual event organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on 28th April, to raise awareness for safety and health at the workplace, since 2003. Every year a central theme is assigned for the events and the campaigns are based around the theme.

The main objective of the day is to develop a safe and healthy work environment for all the workers employed in various government and non government sectors across the world.

The governments, employers and workers strive to achieve a safe and healthy work environment by following a defined set of rules, principles and guidelines for workplace. However, the foremost priority is given to taking preventive measures to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for all.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2019

World Day for Safety and Health at work was observed on Sunday, April 28th, 2019.

This year the observance coincided with the centenary of International Labour Organization, which was formed on 29th October 1919.

World Day for Safety and Health at Work theme 2019 was “Safety and Health and the Future of Work”.

This year events were inspired by the centenary of ILO and attempts to review the efforts made in past 100 years to ensure safety and health at workplace and analyze the future prospects of continuing these efforts, integrating them with issues like technology, climate change, global warming etc.

The official 28th April 2019 launch of “World Day for Safety and Health at Work” was followed by a series of events, continuing throughout the year. The events were centered on the central theme “Safety and Health and the Future of Work”.

The day also marked the release of a global report by the ILO in this regard. The report put light on the efforts made to ensure a safe and healthy work environment in the past 100 years, also specifying the progress and achievements made. The report also mentioned the major turning points in the 100 years journey which have positively influenced the ILO’s contribution in ensuring safety and health at work.

Industries across the globe carried out special events and seminars on how to be safe at workplace and fight work related issues. It also helped the employees to understand the work related hazards so that injuries and accidents could be avoided.

History – World Day for Safety and Health at Work

The “World Day for Safety and Health at Work” has its origin in the “Worker’s Memorial Day” as declared by the American Federation of Labour and the Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO) and observed on 28th April since 1970.

The day was instituted to commemorate the thousands of workers killed and injured while on job. The announcement of the “Worker’s Memorial Day” was followed by the passage of an Occupational Safety and Health Act by the US Congress on December 29, 1970.

Similarly, in 1985, the Canadian Congress adopted April 28th as a remembrance day of the workers who have lost their lives due to the absence of necessary safety measures at workplace. Thus, in the due course of time, worker’s Memorial Day spread to other parts of the world. Trade unions in Africa, North America, Asia and Europe have been observing it since 1989. United Kingdom started observing the day in 1992.

 

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) recognized April 28th as the Worker’s Memorial Day” in 1996 and started assigning a central theme to the event.  Finally, the Worker’s Memorial Day was recognized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2001. ILO which is a part of the United Nations declared the day as “World Day for Safety and Health at Work”, and declared 28th April as the UN’s official date for its annual observance.

How is “World Day for Safety and Health at Work” Celebrated / World Day for Safety and Health at Work Activities

The global events of “Day for Safety and Health at Work” are coordinated by the ILO through governments and other stake holders. Every year the ILO assigns a theme for the event and the campaigns are based on the theme.

All around the world, governments, trade unions, labour unions, employers and employees, health and safety professionals, come together to promote global working standards conducive to the health and safety of workers.

Progress of the previous years is assessed and a future plan is devised to ensure safe and healthy work environment for the workers employed in various sectors throughout the globe.

The day witnesses interactions between health and safety professional and workers. Safety audits are conducted at factories and other similar places, and employees are told about how to safeguard their safety and health, which should be their first priority.

Significance of “World Day for Safety and Health at Work”

Couples of decades back, thousands of workers employed in various sectors across the world, were losing their lives to poor state of health and safety measures at the workplace. Since its beginning in 2003, the world Day for Safety and Health has consistently provided a platform to workers and interested parties, to raise global awareness for workplace health and safety standards.

Persistent efforts in this regard, by the International Labour Organization have significantly reduced the global number of workplace accidents and health hazards. The day is also significant from the point of view of commemorating workers who have lost their lives at workplace.

 

Furthermore, to achieve the sustainable development goals of 2030 and to minimize the loss of valuable workforce, due to the lack of basic health and safety measures; “World Day for Health and Safety” holds its significance.

Themes of World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Categories: Events