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World Day for Safety at Work 2019

Thousands of people suffer work-related injuries daily. Standards for safety at work have improved significantly all around the world. However, dangers persist. As such, the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched World Day for Safety at Work in 2003. Today, the world celebrates World Day for Safety at Work 2019.

What is Duty of Care

Why is the World Day for Safety at Work Important?

Work-related diseases and occupational accidents cause 2.3 million deaths each year. What’s more, there are 317 million on-the-job accidents annually. These cause absences from work, economic loss, and the loss of livelihood for millions of people.

For decades, the world has been improving safety at work. With the creation of unions and legislation to protect workers, on-the-job accidents have reduced significantly. Also, activism promoting fair employment has helped reduce poor conditions for workers.

Despite these improvements, accidents and deaths at work continue to persist. As such, the World Day for Safety at Work is an important annual milestone to advance the worker protection agenda.

World Day for Safety at Work 2019

This year, the ILO is turning 100 years old. To celebrate its centenary anniversary, the organization is placing limelight on worker safety. Therefore, the World Day of Safety at Work 2019 will not just be a one-day celebration. Instead, it will be the beginning of the 2019 agenda towards better employee conditions all around the world.

The worldwide events will push forward local, national, regional and international agendas for worker safety. This means plenty of advocacy, but also real action to protect workers everywhere.

The Future of Work and its Implications

Traditional issues such as machinery operation and diseases associated with work persist as significant work hazards. However, the world is rapidly changing with new technology, demographics, climate change, and other factors. This means that the agenda for worker safety has to change and adapt to these new challenges.

For example, automation and robotics are rapidly changing the way manufacturing functions. Further, biotechnology and nanotechnology are new processes of production that will require novelty guidelines for safety. Growing self-employment and outsourcing also represent a new challenge in terms of implementing and enforcing safety standards.

At the same time, there are several re-emerging risks and variations of existing worker safety issues. There are new working conditions, but problems including higher workloads, work intensification, and miserable conditions for migrant workers persist. Jobs in the informal economy also continue to be a concern.

Duty of Care in Humanitarian Work

In the humanitarian field, safety at work is a key issue. We often think of manufacturing and production when it comes to workplace safety. But aid workers face several risks, particularly when traveling internationally.

Many aid workers find themselves in conflict or disaster-affected areas, sometimes even putting their lives at risk. Travel can also take its toll on health and psychosocial well-being. Further, long hours and stressful work environments can impact aid workers mental health.

As such, the duty of care in the humanitarian field is an essential topic. It means that organizations have the responsibility of caring for their workers, both in the field and in the office setting. They must do everything that they can to foresee and prevent any potential risks.

Duty of Care Brochure CTA

NGOs Advancing Safety at Work

While public offices are generally responsible for worker safety, NGOs are vital in advocating for policy advancement. Here are just a few fantastic NGOs working on safety at work.

1. Center for Safety

The Center for Safety believes that aid workers deserve work safety. While helping others, humanitarians should have the protection they need to stay safe in the field. The Center assists more than 200 organizations around the world to implement better safety standards for aid workers.

2. International NGO Safety Organization (INSO)

Based in the Hague and Dubai, INSO focuses on aid workers in high-risk contexts. The organization has developed a field-safety model for humanitarian workers. It also works with various NGOs on promoting better conditions for humanitarians.

3. Safety & Rights

A local NGO, Safety & Rights promotes the rights of workers in Bangladesh. The organization does a lot of advocacy work to improve safety for workers. Also, the NGO provides training and information for workers and administrators.

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