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This report is mainly focusing on International labour organization and safety and health at work and addressing the question 'whether ILO can or cannot make a change'. In order to attend the question the report will be discussing about the background of ILO and how it functions in brief.
The main topic that has been selected for the report is "Safety and Health at Work" which takes a vital part in any organization whether it's large or small. For any organization it is essential to maintain and conduct proper safety and health standards for their employees at work. Moreover the report will be examining the approaches that have been taken by ILO so far related to safety and health at work such as standards and programs. For this ILO has adopted around 40 standards' and 40 codes of practices to ensure the safety and health of workers around the world and been conducting many awareness campaigns and programs like, Safe Work and Green jobs and more.
Further brief reviewing has done on what is happening in the world regarding safety and health at workplace. According to the findings there are around 2.3 million deaths and 137 million injuries are reported per year due to work place accidents. Major reasons for such adversities are identified as lack of awareness and knowledge among people.
When considering the actions that been taken by International Labour Organization at present, the world day for Safety and Health is noteworthy. This campaign takes place in each year since 2003 in many countries on 28th of April with the aim of increasing the awareness among the communities. After analyzing the above topics it is clear that ILO has able to make a change in Safety and health at workplace increasing the awareness among countries and employers and employees about the consequences of such risks and many countries like Sri Lanka have adopted ILO standards and conducting campaigns and training programs to educate and facilitate workers. Finally the recommendations are provided with the intention of supporting the Safety and Health work campaigns and programs to be more effective.
This assignment is focusing on the topic Safety and health at work and addressing whether International Labour Organization (ILO) can or cannot influence to make a change in the current situation.
International Labour Organization was founded in 1919. The International Labour organization is established to assemble and supervise international labour standards. The ILO has instituted 188 conventions that attend work related issues. Those are forced labour, wages, equality, safety and child labour. Moreover other than establishing standards ILO empowers employees via varied programs such like training, campaigns and research. It is the Only 'Tripartite' United Nations agency that unifies delegates of governments, employers and employees to collectively form policies and programs promoting Decent Work for all.
As mentioned above majorly ILO establishes international standards and conventions and poses recommendations. The foremost objective is to be responsible for basic rights such as exclusion of forced labour, equality at the workplace related to gender and race, privilege of collective bargain and the right to organize. Moreover offers technical backing to member states by vocational training facilities and ILO directs experts to its member counties to deliver consultation on technical materials.
In addition the international labour office assembles three meetings once a year in March, June and November. This leading body of the ILO standardizes the effectiveness of the organizations policy, approves budget and draft programs to be proposed to the conference, decide on the Director-General and selects the agenda of the international labour conference.
Safety and health at work
The area of safety and health at work is involved with preserving and protecting human and facility resources in the place of work and put a stop to unnecessary deaths and injuries to employees. These exercises comprise more than first aid procedures and are in-depth in both scope and practice. Safety and health at work involves emergent of policies and procedures that facilitate employees by averting them from being injured or ill owing to exposure in the workplace.
Health and safety plays an important part in work environment. In order to carry out operations efficiently, organizations needs to make sure the safety and health of their employees. Hence the workplace ought to increase the welfare of employees and should be risk free.
Further clarifying, health refers to general state of well being including physical, emotional and mental well being. When considering safety, is where shielding the physical welfare of the worker from risks such as accidents which may occur from machinery, fire, diseases and other injuries while they are working.
ILO's approach on safety and health at work
In accordance to the International Labour Organization, safety and health at work is mainly designed to encourage and uphold the utmost degree of physical, mental and social welfare of workers in all occupations. Moreover by creating comprehensive awareness of the work related accidents, diseases and injuries.
ILO has come up with set of principles that benefits workers to be protective from accidents and injuries that may occur in their workplace. ILO standards scheduled on occupational safety and health that endow with necessary utensils for the main three parties: governments, employers, and workers to establish practices and to recommend for highest safety at work. ILO has implemented more than 40 standards that are specially attended to occupational safety and health. In addition they have adapted to over 40 Codes of Practice. These standards are categorized under three parts and few of these conventions can be mentioned as follow,
Fundamental principles of occupational safety and health,
Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155) - [ratifications] and its Protocol of 2002 - [ratifications] -The convention arrange for for the adoption of a sound national occupational safety and health policy and action to be taken by governments and contained by enterprises to endorse occupational safety and health and to mend working conditions.
Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985 (No. 161) - [ratifications] - This convention arrange for the formation of enterprise-level occupational health services which are commended with essentially preventive functions and which are responsible for guiding the employer, the workers and their delegates in the enterprise on upholding a safe and healthy working environment.
Health and safety in particular branches of economic activity
Occupational Safety and Health (Dock Work) Convention, 1979 (No. 152) - [ratifications]
Safety and Health in Mines Convention, 1995 (No. 176) - [ratifications] - This instrument standardizes the several aspects of safety and health aspects for work in mines, comprising inspection, special working devices, and distinct protective equipment of employees.
Protection against specific risks
Radiation Protection Convention, 1960 (No. 115) - [ratifications] - The intention of the Convention is to set off elementary requirements with a sight to protect workers counter to the risks associated with acquaintance to ionizing radiations.
Program on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (Safe Work)
This program is established on the principle that decent work must be safe work. Safe Work program's main intention is to create awareness among the world about the proportions of work related injuries, accidents and diseases and there consequences. Not only that they aim to position occupational health and safety on international as well as national level. Moreover they support national attempts to improve their OSH programs and systems that are coherent with relatable international labour standards. There are four main goals of Safe Work. Those are,
Preventive policies and programs are established to protect workers in perilous professions and sectors
Effective protection is stretched to susceptible groups of employees who fall outside the range of usual protective processes
Governments and employers' and workers' organizations are well-resourced to attend problems of employees' welfare, occupational health promotion and the quality of working life
The social and economic influence of improving employees' protection is documented and acknowledged by policy- and decision-makers
Not only Safe Work there are many other programs that are being conducted by ILO to increase the awareness and importance of safety and health at workplace around the world few can be mentioned as Green Jobs programs and world day for safety and health at work campaigns.
When considering practices taken by other countries, Singapore can be identified as a good example where many effective measures have been taken regarding the occupational safety and health of workers. Mostly via occupational safety and health division (OSHD) and also by foreign manpower management division (FMMD) since 35% of labour force in Singapore are migrant workers. In Singapore it's a must for migrant workers in marine sector and construction sector to attend shipyard safety instruction course and construction safety orientation course. Likewise there are many government and NGO's in Singapore that are concerned with employee safety and health at workplace.
What actually is Happening in the real world and why and Achievements of ILO up to now
According to ILO 6,300 people die each day due to occupational accidents and diseases around the world. It is recorded that there are above 2.3 million deaths per year and around 317 million accidents come to pass annually causing long-drawn-out nonappearances for work. The costs associated with day today accidents are extensive and the economic weight of inadequate occupational health and safety practices projected at 4% of global GDP per annum.
The safety and health settings at work vary according to diverse countries, economic segments and social groups. Deaths and injuries take a predominantly considerable obligation in developing countries, where a hefty part of the population is employed in hazardous undertakings, such as agriculture, fishing and mining. All through the world, the underprivileged and least protected are identified as women, children and migrants who are amongst the distressed.
For an example Pakistan's garment factory fire that occurred in 11th September 2012 resulted in 315 deaths and 250 injuries to its workers, this can be seen as a aftermaths of having inadequate working and safety conditions in Pakistan's industrial sector.
When considering Sri Lanka it is reported 4,000 accidents per year and lost around 600,000 working days due to work related accidents. Since year 1896 till 1950 in Sri-Lanka significance on Occupational Safety and Health was limited to mines and to the related machinery and only to some of the factories under factories regulations. Hence it is very much important to consider the deficiencies in relation to Occupational Safety and Health exposure in the formal sector, as only about 30% of the labour force is shield by the focal statutory provision on Occupational Safety and Health.
What ILO is doing at present
ILO's the world day for safety and health at work is established to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. This is a campaign that aims to increase awareness and interests around the world regarding workplace safety and health. In 2012 ILO engaged in 'Promoting safety and health in a green economy' at the world day for safety and health at work campaign which was conducted in many countries including Sri Lanka. It is held on 28th of April each year since 2003 by ILO. 2012's theme is mainly concerned with advancement of green jobs and a greener economy to accomplish an economic and social development that is environmentally sustainable and integrated with safety and health at work. As ILO has announced their 2013 theme for the world day for safety and health at work is "The Prevention of Occupational Diseases".
With the aim of creating better working and health conditions and improving productivity, ILO has intercede with tripartite partners to execute Green jobs in order to address OSH issues in Sri lanka. Under the Green jobs project many workshops and training programs are carried out covering workers in different fields of work for instance fields of agriculture and construction and making them aware of risks and consequences of work related accidents and diseases and how to prevent them.
Why do I think ILO can or cannot
In my opinion I think that ILO can make a difference in employee safety and health at work. After going through all the articles and findings it is evident that ILO have formulated effective programs and campaigns and those have been adopted by many countries around the world. As mentioned in above topics in countries like Sri Lanka are already conducting safety and health at work campaigns, training programs and workshops. For an instance the Green Jobs project and world day for Safety and health at work and Safety Walk & Safety Demonstrations held at Biyagama Exports Processing Zone in Sri Lanka on 28th April 2012 and Safety Fun Run Campaign held at Viet Nam on 22nd April 2012 can be mentioned as few.
Develop large-scale demonstration programs that target training in small and mid-sized organizations. The programs should persuade the use of new learning expertise for employees. And appraise existing worker training and set up minimum quality standards of efficacy of existing worker training programs and outline minimum training requirements.
Increase concentration on special requirements of older, female, ethnic minority employees. By educating significant instruction on the interface of disabilities and chronic diseases related to workplace strain and communication skills to cooperate with minority employees and workers with low levels of literacy.
Maintain Accident Records. Documentation of any accidents or risks may help discover problem areas in the place of work. That provides a confirmation of when it occurred, with whom and where and how an injury has happened.
Provide safety inductions for new employees and training and first aid gear. Conducting a safety induction for new employees is a great way to commence them to the risks that may be at hand in their new position. Safety inductions including where First Aid kits are to be found, who are the first aiders.
When going through this report it is apparent that there are millions of people are being injured or lose their lives due to work related accidents. The major reason for this can be identified as lack of awareness and safety facilities among employees and this is mainly seen in3rd world countries. Hence International Labour Organization have paid close attention to these issues and been able to make a change in the world ensuring the safety and health at work by spreading awareness of work relates accidents, injuries and diseases and how to be protective of such adversities among communities.