Health and safety is at the heart of many of the world’s most successful organizations, according to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), but it’s estimated that more than 2.3 million people still die every year from work-related accidents or illness, and that some 300 million workplace accidents causing injuries occur annually.
These estimates, however, fail to reflect the magnitude of the problem and the impact of work-related illnesses and injuries on the lives of working people, their families, and economies, according IOSH and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
A new global strategy to tackle inequalities in safeguarding the world’s workforce has been launched by IOSH in recognition of today’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work. WORK 2022 lays out how the organization will work with industry to raise standards in worker protection and cut the numbers of people killed, injured, or made ill at work.
Its launch, in Qatar, came ahead of ILO’s annual call to action on workplace health and safety. This year, it focuses on greater transparency and better national data on occupational diseases and accidents.
On World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the ILO is calling for more accurate occupational safety and health data for “a better understanding of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents, injuries and diseases and to underpin effective policies and strategies for safe and healthy workplaces.”
“IOSH encourages corporate transparency in occupational safety and health and we have consistently called for better collection, reporting and use of data as a driver for improvement,” said Shelley Frost, IOSH Executive Director – Policy. “We co-founded the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability in Chicago, which promotes meaningful and comparable reporting metrics in sustainability reports and we believe stronger links between safety and health and sustainability can help ensure that the profession is viewed more positively and that standards are raised worldwide.
“Our new five-year strategy supports the ILO World Day for Safety and Health at Work’s focus on Sustainable Development Goal 8 covering decent work for all, and the collection and use of OSH data to inform prevention,” Frost added.
To protect workers and improve workplaces, IOSH’s WORK 2022 seeks to enhance the occupational safety and health profession, build strategic collaborative partnerships across industry, and strengthen its influence globally through impactful research and development.
IOSH’s WORK 2022 strategy includes:
- Working in partnership with professionals in countries facing local challenges related injury and illness caused by work.
- Rolling out Blueprint™, a comprehensive competency framework for safety and health, so professionals can map their career path and organizations can assess skill sets and training needs.
- A program to boost the image of safety and health as a first career and help ambitious young people become the leaders of the future.
- Introducing an entry-level qualification to develop a clear route into the profession.
One example of how the Institution is already collaborating and influencing to help workers worldwide is IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign. It raises awareness of illness and deaths caused by exposure to carcinogens at work and is supported by almost 200 businesses and organizations.