IOSH advocates for widespread adoption of safe and healthy working conditions


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The Institution urges stakeholders to commit to leaving no one behind

In an appeal to delegates at a global conference, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) insists that the provision of safe and healthy working conditions “must not become a privilege for the few,” in line with International Labour Organization (ILO) principles. This call to action comes as the first anniversary of the ILO’s adoption of safe and healthy working environments as a fundamental right approaches.

IOSH calls for focus on occupational safety and health

During her address at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Ruth Wilkinson, Head of Policy at IOSH, drew attention to the fact that over half of the global workforce, particularly those in the informal economy, lack regulatory health and safety protection. She urged that the principle of occupational safety and health “must become the lifeblood of our universal aspiration for social justice.”

The ILO’s adoption of a safe and healthy working environment as a fundamental right at work was recognised by IOSH last year as the “most significant moment for workers’ rights in 25 years.” Despite the ratification of two significant conventions related to occupational safety and health, there remains a significant shortfall in their acceptance. Only 76 out of 187 member states have ratified convention 155, with 59 endorsing convention 187 and only 39 accepting both.

Urgent need for greater resources

Wilkinson further emphasised the necessity to “devote the greatest possible financial, political, technical and human resources” towards the implementation of the forthcoming ILO Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health 2024-30. She assured the audience that IOSH would contribute to the strategy’s guiding principles and formulation.

Commitment to a safer future

As part of their commitment to safer and healthier workplaces, Wilkinson said IOSH: “Pledges to make available the accumulated experience and knowledge of thousands of individual occupational safety and health professionals worldwide.” This commitment is vital to create workplaces that are not only safer but also more sustainable, thereby promoting social justice.

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