ILO launched a report on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), ahead of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, in light of ILO’s 100 years of achievements. Safety and health at work can be key to sustainable development and investment in OSH can help contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and especially to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages and SDG 8, to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
Recent estimates present that annually 2.78 million workers die from occupational accidents and work-related diseases, of which 2.4 million are disease-related, and an additional 374 million workers suffer from non-fatal occupational accidents.
It is estimated that lost work days globally represent almost 4% of the world’s GDP, and in some countries, this rises to 6% or more.
According to the report, globally 1,000 people are estimated to die every day from occupational accidents and a further 6,500 from work-related diseases. The aggregate figures indicate an overall increase in the number of deaths attributed to work: from 2.33 million deaths in 2014 to 2.78 million deaths in 2017.
In the meantime, the development of industrialization brought with it enormous upheavals in economies and in the organization of the societies. Alongside these changes were growing concerns for the safety, health and well-being of workers.
Exposures to mineral dusts and fibres, toxic metals, biological hazards such as bacilli causing anthrax and other microbial infections, ionizing radiations, as well to the physical hazards of dangerous machinery, alongside major disasters in industries such as mining, merchant shipping, and fires and explosions in cramped overcrowded factories were well-documented by the end of the nineteenth century.
In light of ISO 45001, SAFETY4SEA has provided 5 tips for its effective implementation.
- Identify all the processes and activities at your work place;
- Check if any activity may hide hazards that could cause harm;
- Reduce the risks that may lead to injuries;
- Verify if the measures taken will protect the crew and the rules are being followed; and
- Improve by always looking for ways do things better and more safely.
Moreover, the report highlights four major transformative forces driving changes.
- Technology, such as digitization, robotics, and nanotechology, can also affect psychosocial health and introduce new materials with unmeasured health hazards. Correctly applied it can also help reduce hazardous exposures, facilitate training and labour inspections.
- Demographic shifts are important because young workers have significantly high occupational injury rates, while older workers need adaptive practices and equipment to work safely. Women – who are entering the workforce in increasing numbers – are more likely to have non-standard work arrangements and have a higher risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
- Development and climate change give rise to risks such as air pollution, heat stress, emerging diseases, shifting weather and temperature patterns that can bring job losses. Equally, new jobs will be created through sustainable development and the green economy.
- Changes in the organization of work can bring flexibility that allows more people to enter the labour force, but may also lead to psychosocial issues (for example, insecurity, compromised privacy and rest time, or inadequate OSH and social protections) and excessive work hours. Approximately 36% of the world’s workforce currently works excessive hours.
In the meantime, the report gives an insight to gender gaps in the labour market persist in both developed and developing countries. In 2018, women were still 26.0 percentage points less likely to be employed than men. Over the past 27 years, the gender employment gap has shrunk by less than 2 percentage points.
ILO has already published its ‘A Quantum leap for gender equality: For a better future of work for all‘ report, highlighting the gender gap that still exists, despite the development in the shipping sector.
Additionally, shipping in particular has been a male-dominated industry since its early years. Fear of harassment as well as gender pay gap is the top of the iceberg along other factors keeping women away from shipping careers.
Concluding, for more information, you may click on the PDF herebelow