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UK RoSPA hails ILO’s incorporation of safety and health as a fundamental workers’ right

July 2022

UK based Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has in June 2022 warmly welcomed the landmark decision to add safety and health to the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

This means that all 187 ILO Member States will now commit to respect and promote the fundamental right to a safe and healthy working environment, whether or not they have ratified the relevant Conventions.

RoSPA is proud to work alongside the ILO as part of the international safety and health community and regularly collaborates on key issues affecting workers’ safety and health worldwide.

A recent example is RoSPA’s signing of an open letter calling on the South Korean authorities to ensure Safe Rates system of pay in road transport is made permanent and extended to cover more sectors. This follows the ILO’s Guidelines on Decent Work and Road Safety in the Transport Sector which clearly shows the link between rates of pay and safety and health at work.

Dr Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy Adviser said:

“We warmly welcome the adoption of safety and health as a fundamental workers’ right. Of the 7 billion people on our planet, more than 3 billion are employed. They all have a right to expect that the risks to which they are exposed while they are earning a living for themselves and their families are properly controlled. We want to see these standards being actively accepted and implemented.

“No economic body or employer can begin to put hand on heart and say they can guarantee safety and health as a human right unless they subject themselves to implementing these fundament standards. Governments and industry bodies around the world now need to insist on a clear programme for implementing the standard for all workers throughout their economy and throughout the international supply chain. This needs to happen in all industries: Nobody should be forgotten or overlooked. Trade unions, where they exist, also need to ensure that these standards are fully cognisant of – and open to – workforce involvement in the management of occupational safety and health.”

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