The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign that promotes safe, healthy, and decent work. Held on 28 April, this day focuses on addressing the prevention of accidents and diseases at work, and it stimulates national tripartite dialogue on safety and health at work. It also raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces, and the role that occupational safety and health (OSH) services play.
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of the world of work, from the risk of transmission of the virus in workplaces, to occupational safety and health (OSH) risks that have emerged as a result of measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. Shifts to new forms of working arrangements, such as the widespread reliance on teleworking, have, for example, presented many opportunities for workers but also posed potential OSH risks, including psychosocial risks and violence in particular.
Each of us is responsible for stopping deaths and injuries on the job. Sadly, 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. We have learned from past crisis that workplaces can be of vital importance to prevent and control outbreaks.
Hence, 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.
At the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) as employers, we are responsible for ensuring that the working environment is safe and healthy for all our employees. As workers, we act responsibly towards work safety, protect ourselves, and do not to endanger others. We know our rights and are capable for participating in the implementation of preventive measures. We call upon the governments and other stakeholders to provide the infrastructure that is necessary to ensure that workers remain employable and that enterprises flourish. This includes the development of a national policy and a system of inspection that enforces compliance with the occupational safety, health legislation, and policy.
We also need to highlight the critical importance of addressing these challenges and improving safety and health for young workers and promote decent youth employment. Let us call upon young workers to bring energy and fresh ideas to work and allow them to speak up on issues concerning them. Together, we could prevent deaths and injuries on the job, and remain safe and healthy!