Could you be one of the one million people who will have a work accident today?
Maybe - but remember, that accident can be prevented. We cannot change the past but we can prevent it from being repeated.
The fact that we are paid for our work does not mean that we should face hazards that can be avoided. Occupational safety and health is not a bonus or an add-on. Life is precious. A good quality of life is priceless. This good quality of life is more than just the mere absence of death. It can only be achieved with good physical and mental health and social well-being. The majority of people spend most of their precious active life at work. How important, therefore, is it to work in a safe and healthy environment?
No matter where we work, there may be a risk. Accidents, fatalities and ill-health which result from work can be prevented through technology and managerial know-how, by controlling the hazards and risks in the workplace and making workplaces safe and healthy. Let us do so.
We all have a chance to join the prevention efforts, because it is everyone’s responsibility to help prevent work accidents. Knowing our obligations as employers and our rights as workers will involve everyone in the prevention process. In return, a safe and healthy workforce can only be more productive. Everybody wins.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April is an international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. In 2003, the ILO began to observe World Day by stressing the prevention of accidents and illnesses at work, capitalizing on its traditional strengths of tripartism and social dialogue. April 28 is also a day on which the world's trade union movement has long commemorated victims of occupational accidents and disease.
The theme for this year is “Health and life at work: A basic human right”.
The protection of workers against sickness, disease and injury arising out of their employment is not only a labour right but a fundamental human right and is one of the main objectives of the ILO, as stated in its Constitution. The ILO’s contribution to the recognition of human rights in the world of work is clearly reflected in its labour standards.
The Centre has held training activities on this subject in English, French and Spanish for many years. In 2009, around 15 activities will take place, both on campus and in the beneficiary countries. In addition, the Centre, together with the University of Turin, Italy, is offering a postgraduate course on occupational safety and health in the workplace. The twenty-three-week course, held in English, includes an Internet-based distance learning phase and a face-to-face residential period on the ITC-ILO's campus in Turin.