World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021: Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises – Invest Now in Resilient Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Systems
Sheila Pantry OBE
The COVID-19 pandemic has led governments, employers, workers and the general population to face unprecedented challenges in relation to the virus and the many effects it has had on the world of work. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work will focus on strategies to strengthen national occupational safety and health (OSH) systems to build resilience, in order to face crises now and in the future, drawing on lessons learned and experiences from the world of work.
Since emerging as a global crisis in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts everywhere. The pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of the world of work, from the risk of transmission of the virus in workplaces, to occupational safety and health (OSH) risks that have emerged as a result of measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. Shifts to new forms of working arrangements, such as the widespread reliance on teleworking, have, for example, presented many opportunities for workers but also posed potential OSH risks, including psychosocial risks and violence in particular.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021 on 28 April 2021 focuses on leveraging the elements of an OSH system as set out in the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187). The world day report examines how the current crisis demonstrates the importance of strengthening these OSH systems, including occupational health services, at both the national and undertaking level.
The ILO will take this opportunity to raise awareness and stimulate dialogue on the importance of creating and investing in resilient OSH systems, drawing on both regional and country examples in mitigating and preventing the Spread of COVID-19 at the workplace.
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