Time to prepare for World Day for Safety and Health, 28 April 2011
Sheila Pantry OBE
World Day for Safety and Health at Work is now an annual worldwide event held on 28th April 2011.
It offers organisations, unions and others worldwide the opportunity to raise awareness about raising standards of safety and health in workplaces. It also gives time to remember those who have died in workplaces or have sustained lifelong injuries and ill-health.
It is an integral part of the International Labour Office SafeWork's Global Strategy, as documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference in June 2003. Advocacy, as exemplified by World Day, is one of the main pillars of the Global Strategy, and should raise awareness about safe and unsafe workplace practices and the need to move occupational safety and health up the political agenda. On this day the ICFTU and many countries observes Worker Memorial Day and often the two can be combined.
The theme for the 2011 World Day is: OSH management system: A tool for continual improvement.
A brochure and promotional products are being prepared to commemorate this event. Further information will be available soon at: www.ilo.org/safework/events/safeday/lang--en/index.htm
Last year, events were held in many countries worldwide. They ranged for example, from speeches held by leaders from government, employers' organizations and trade unions to seminars, workshops and worker coffee meetings all focusing on occupational safety and health.
As you to begin preparing activities in your organisation, region or country think of new ways that you can communicate the health and safety message. Your activities will carry the Day and contribute to its success. So it is time to prepare for your commitment to what has become a major annual event.
Everyone from Directors, Managers, Supervisors and Workers should be involved in creating a safe and healthy culture in your workplace. The definition of a safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels. It is one 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.
Building and maintaining a preventative safety and health culture requires making use of all available means to increase general awareness, knowledge and understanding of the concepts of hazards and risks and how they may be prevented or controlled.
Do not let the current economic climate interfere in ensuring that good health and safety in the workplace is maintained and likewise training. The message is "Don't let health and safety slip of the agenda"! Take a look at www.sheilapantry.com/memorial for some ideas for 28 April 2011.
So this is where OSHWORLD and the electronic services OSH UPDATE www.oshupdate.com and FIREINF www.fireinf.com will help you and your organisation to keep up-to-date. These services continue to bring you the latest information on health, safety, environment, fire and other subjects that you will find useful in your daily work.
Look at the latest additions to the Diary of Events and you will see plans have been made already worldwide up to late 2011 to have training courses, symposiums, webinars and conferences in many places in the world on a wide range of subjects. Don't forget to budget for these events - make sure that you and your colleagues are up-to-date with the very latest knowledge - remember that all workplaces and those working in them change, so continue to do your risk assessments.
In these days of tighter budgets perhaps training may be put on the "back-burner" - but think again how you can keep up with the latest techniques and training opportunities.
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.
Your 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.
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 authoritative sources such as the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the UK Health and Safety Executive and US NIOSH. 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. nanotechnology.
This month's FOCUS article is Workplace Violence and Harassment: A European Picture
Remember to look at the Products and Services on this web site and see what is new and updated.
Likewise OSH UPDATE www.oshupdate.com brings together 19 quality databases and over 815,000 records containing both full text and bibliographic information.
Both OSH UPDATE and FIREINF are continuously enlarged as new information is published. These services are used by organisations, universities and companies worldwide.
Don't work harder - work smarter! Be ahead of the game.
Are you hoping to have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy year in 2011 in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying!
And do continue to make plans for your campaigns for 2011 and beyond!