The annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. The international day focuses on enhancing social dialogue towards a culture of safety and health.
This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work highlights the importance of social dialogue in promoting a positive occupational safety and health culture. Workplaces with higher workers’ engagement have reported 64% fewer safety incidents and 58% fewer hospitalizations. This shows that open communication and cooperation between workers and employers is the most effective way of reconciling interests and implementing policies that save lives.
What is social dialogue
Everyone has the right to return home from work safe and sound. Sadly, this is not the case for the nearly 3 million workers who die each year due to occupational accidents and diseases, nor for the hundreds of millions more who fall sick or are injured at work.
For this reason, social dialogue refers to the active participation of representatives of workers, employers, governments and other key actors in all phases of occupational safety and health decision making.
More specifically, social dialogue refers to all types of negotiation, consultation, and exchange of information between representatives of workers, employers and governments and other actors on common issues. This is the most effective way of reconciling competing interests and implementing policies.
According to ILO, when governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations worked together, they pooled their knowledge to develop and implement laws, policies and interventions that helped safeguard workers throughout the crisis. A positive occupational safety and health culture is built on open communication and dialogue between workers and employers.
Workers must feel comfortable airing their concerns about possible risks and hazards in the workplace, and management must actively address those issues
What is more, when workers take part in promoting safe and healthy workplaces it reduces the risk of accidents. ILO has found that workplaces with higher worker engagement report 64% fewer safety incidents and 58% fewer hospitalizations.
Work-related accidents and diseases can and should be prevented! Building a culture of prevention through social dialogue will contribute to healthy workforces, productive enterprises, and sustainable economies
ISO 45001 implementation
ISO 45001:2018, published on 12 March 2018, is the new international standard concerning the management of occupational health and safety, which take a top-down approach to the management of safety risks. The new standard is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, industry or nature of business, it is formed to be integrated into an organization’s existing management processes and follows the same structure as other ISO management system standards (ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 45001 for environmental management).
They worked closely together to create and put into place mitigation plans, including screening processes, contact tracing and other measures to reduce the spread of the virus in the workplace.
Improving safety culture
Organizations adopt an attitude and follow a defined path for their actions and their total approach to business. If their actions do not deviate from the approved plan the results may be acceptable and very close to the scopes and aims of the company.
Regarding shipping, there are many factors that synthesize a safety climate in shipping companies with the safety management being the major. Except for that, it is very important for an organization which aims toward a strong safety climate, to focus on the following:
- Training programs
- Maintenance of its social status
- Assessment of the risks
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