In the context of the 2023 World Day for Safety and Health at Work celebrating on April 28th the recognition of a “safe and healthy working environment” as a fundamental principle and right at work, a new ILO report provides information on the global implementation status of some of the key provisions contained in the fundamental Conventions Nos 155 and 187.
n particular, in June 2022, the International Labour Conference declared that “a safe and healthy working environment” is a fundamental principle and right at work. This also included designating the Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) as fundamental Conventions. Now, all Member States of the ILO, regardless of their ratification status of these fundamental Conventions, have an obligation arising from the very fact of membership in the ILO to respect, promote and realize, in good faith and in accordance with the ILO Constitution, the principles concerning the fundamental right to a safe and healthy working environment.
- Convention No. 155 introduced a policy approach to OSH, emphasizing the need to consider OSH as a matter of national concern. In addition to defining the objectives and basic principles of a national policy, the Convention also defines the actions required at both national and enterprise levels.
- Convention No. 187 aims to promote a preventive safety and health culture and to progressively achieve a safe and healthy working environment. It emphasizes the need to ensure that higher priority is given to OSH in national agendas and to foster political commitments in a tripartite context for the improvement of OSH. It defines the elements and function of the national policy, the national system and the national programme, and discusses the monitoring, evaluation and improvement of the national OSH system.
As of March 2023, Convention No. 155 has been ratified by 76 countries (41 per cent of ILO Member
States) and Convention No. 187 has been ratified by 59 countries (32 per cent of ILO Member States).
Only 39 countries (21 per cent of ILO Member States) have ratified both Conventions. Figure 1 shows
the geographical distribution of the ratification of Conventions Nos. 155 and 187.
The report analyses some of the key provisions from the fundamental Conventions on occupational safety and health (OSH) including:
- A national authority responsible for OSH and a national tripartite body on OSH;
- The OSH legal framework and the inclusion of key provisions (e.g. workers’ right to remove themselves from a dangerous work situation without undue consequences, the requirement to establish joint OSH committee at the workplace level, a mechanism for ensuring collaboration between management and workers);
- The development of a national policy and a national programme on OSH;
- The establishment of a national recording and notification system for occupational accidents and diseases.