Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year.
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted on September 25, 2015 encompasses a global plan of action with specific targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. With its adoption, the capacity to collect and utilize reliable OSH data has also become indispensable for countries to fulfill their commitment to implement and report on some of the agenda’s 17 sustainable development goals and their targets.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is held on 28 April and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on emerging trends in the field of occupational safety and health and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide.
A national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention.
The campaign aims to accelerate action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030 and SDG target 8.7 of ending all forms of child labour by 2025. The 541 million young workers (15-24 years old) - which includes 37 million children in hazardous child labour - account for more than 15 per cent of the world’s labour force and suffer up to a 40 per cent higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers older than 25.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), highlights the critical importance of addressing these challenges and improving safety and health for young workers, not only to promote decent youth employment, but also to link these efforts to combat hazardous and all other forms of child labour.
Let us urge young workers to bring energy and fresh ideas to work and allow them to speak up on issues concerning them.