ILO calls for greater investment in workplace safety, health

THE International Labor Organization (ILO) called for greater investment in occupational safety and health (OSH) infrastructure in their national crisis management preparations.

In a statement Wednesday, ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said, “There could be no clearer demonstration of the importance of a strong, resilient, occupational safety and health environment. Recovery and prevention will require better national policies, institutional and regulatory frameworks, properly integrated into crisis response frameworks.”

The ILO detailed the need for economies to prepare workplaces for future health emergencies and pandemics in a report, Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises. Invest now in resilient OSH systems.

The report noted that COVID-19 has touched all aspects of work globally, and that building on OSH initiatives will protect workers and economies from unforeseen large-scale emergencies similar to the pandemic.

“Acknowledging that robust national OSH systems are key to safeguarding lives and livelihoods, it is vital to ensure that they are well-resourced to better absorb the impacts of any challenges head on, and to bolster public and private institutions,” according to the report.

The ILO also said social dialogue is important in improving OSH conditions, adding that all protocols imposed should be acceptable to both management and employees. — Gillian M. Cortez