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The importance of OSH: Seoul, Korea "Declaration on Safety and Health at Work - The Safety and Health Summit" 2008 and the ILO Report "Beyond deaths and injuries: The ILO's role in promoting safe and healthy jobs"

Sheila Pantry OBE
August 2008

Various important events took place at the meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 29 June - 2 July 2008 on the occasion of the XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, jointly organized by the International Labour Office, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA), with the participation of senior professionals, employers' and workers' representatives, social security representatives, policy-makers and administrators, but the following should be well noted and digested!

The International Labour Office released a new report "Beyond deaths and injuries: The ILO's role in promoting safe and healthy jobs" that recognizes the serious consequences of work-related accidents and diseases, which the International Labour Office estimates lead to 2.3 million fatalities per year world-wide and an economic loss of 4 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for details link to www.ilo.org/global/publications/WCMS_094524/lang--en/index.htm and for the full-text version link: www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/publication/wcms_094524.pdf

The Summit

On the Sunday before the Meeting there was the momentous World Summit on Safety and Health, attended by 50 top-level decision makers in OSH, from governments, and employers' and workers' organizations. The Summit resulted in a Declaration, which is described in: www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/press-and-media-centre/insight/WCMS_095906/lang--en/index.htm

The full text of the Summit, endorsed by all participants, can be found here: www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/statement/wcms_095910.pdf. Note that all the signatories are listed at the end of the document.

The Declaration recognizes amongst many other things the importance of education, training, consultation and the exchange of information and good practices on prevention and the promotion of preventative measures. It also welcomed progress achieved through international and national efforts to improve safety and health at work. The main points of Declaration are:

  1. Promoting high levels of safety and health at work is the responsibility of society as a whole and all members of society must contribute to achieving this goal by ensuring that priority is given to occupational safety and health in national agendas and by building and maintaining a national preventative safety and health culture.
  2. A national preventative 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 principle of prevention is accorded the highest priority.
  3. The continuous improvement of occupational safety and health should be promoted by a systems approach to the management of occupational safety and health, including the development of a national policy taking into consideration the principles in Part II of the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (No. 155).
  4. Governments should
    • Consider the ratification of the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) as a priority, as well as other relevant ILO Conventions on safety and health at work and ensure the implementation of their provisions, as a means to improve national performance on safety and health at work in a systematic way.
    • Ensure that continued actions are taken to create and enhance a national preventative safety and health culture.
    • Ensure that the occupational safety and health of workers is protected through an adequate and appropriate system of enforcement of safety and health standards, including a strong and effective labour inspection system.
  5. Employers should ensure that
    • Prevention is an integral part of their activities, as high safety and health standards at work go hand and hand with good business performance.
    • Occupational safety and health management systems are established in an effective way to improve workplace safety and health.
    • Workers and their representatives are consulted, trained, informed and involved in all measures related to their safety and health at work.
  6. Affirming the workers' right to a safe and healthy working environment, workers should be consulted on safety and health matters and should:
    • Follow safety and health instructions and procedures, including on the use of personal protective equipment.
    • Participate in safety and health training and awareness-raising activities.
    • Cooperate with their employer in measures related to their safety and health at work.
  7. The World Congress on Safety and Health at Work is an ideal forum to share knowledge and experiences in achieving safe, healthy and productive workplaces.
  8. Progress made on achieving safety and health at work should be reviewed on the occasion of the XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in 2011.
  9. The Summit participants commit to taking the lead in promoting a preventative safety and health culture, placing occupational safety and health high on national agendas.

FIREINF and OSH UPDATE - are you using them? If not, why not?

More information on health and safety at work - not only from Europe but around the World, including advice and guidance, legislation and much more can be found by checking out the OSH UPDATE electronic collection of information sources. Seekers will find a wealth of authoritative and validated advice from around the world. There are over 800,000 records in 18 authoritative databases - with thousand of full text links. Best practices, case studies, journal articles, reports and knowledge of systems are in OSH UPDATE www.oshupdate.com.

Also you may find FIREINF www.fireinf.com that is the world's premier collection of validated, authoritative fire and fire related information and contains two major collections. For those individuals and organisations that do not subscribe to a range of journals/magazines this is one way of ensuring that the latest news, developments and trends are available.

The 5 Full Text Collection databases containing thousands of pages of full text information (about 12,000 pages added in 2007) and The Bibliographic Collection has 7 databases which contain over 267,000 records to journal articles, guidance and advice, circulars, reports, conference proceedings, research reports, statistics and codes of practice from worldwide sources, all of which may be easily accessed. One of the databases - from the British Standards Institution - contains references to over 4000 fire and fire related standards.

This long established collection started in 1997 as Fire Worldwide and then expanded into Fire, Emergency and Preparedness Worldwide. From 2007 the collection continues to expand with the new software and host platform as Fireinf and aims to help all those seeking information on all aspects of fire, emergency and preparedness management principles, fire risk assessment, good practices and research.

Fireinf is continuously enlarged as new information is published.

Why not try OSH UPDATE and FIREINF for yourself? Take a 15 day free trial to these collection!

Contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | Tel: +44 (0) 1909 771024 | Fax: +44 (0) 1909 772829 | email: sp@sheilapantry.com | or fill in the Interest form www.sheilapantry.com/interest.html


OSHWORLD - your portal to some of the best OSH web sites in the world

It is always good to review health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures on a regular basis. It is also important that the practices and systems in the workplace are constantly reviewed and if necessary, improved. This review may also indicate training requirements and updates and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of charge OSHWORLD can help you. Look at the latest additions to the Diary of Events and you will see plans have been made already worldwide up to the end of 2008 and beyond to have training courses, symposiums and conferences in many places in the world on a wide range of subjects.

Remember that even if you cannot attend these many events, speakers and organisers are often willing to share their knowledge. Look at the details - where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information. And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that I can add them to the Diary.

OSHWORLD's FOCUS this month looks at research in occupational safety and health.


Try these Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

In addition to the above we hope that you find the information in OSHWORLD useful in your daily work. Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a number of worldwide sources.

Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites which you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. avian flu and the workplace.

Most information services have a reference shelf where you can quickly check the reference sources - so OSHWORLD brings you a collection of Reference sources and also teaches you how to Search the Internet.

Click onto the various Bookshops to order any new document as they are being published. Many of these Bookshops have a constant stream of new titles available.

Please send any suggestions or comments about OSHWORLD - your portal to validated and authoritative information. Remember also to look at our other really useful sites - www.sheilapantry.com and why not make a free entry about your company's products in www.shebuyersguide.com

Don't work harder - work smarter! Be ahead of the game.

Well did you have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy year in 2007 in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying again in 2008!