World Summit on Safety and Health

The International Labour Organization (ILO) welcomed the Seoul Declaration on Safety and Health at Work adopted here today by some 50 high-level decision makers from around the world as a major new blueprint for constructing a global culture of safety and health at work. Meeting prior to the XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, the first high-level Safety and Health Summit gathered international leaders, government ministers, CEOs of major multinational companies, social security leaders and senior safety and health experts, and representatives of employers and workers.

“The Declaration marks a major step in the establishment of a preventative safety and health culture,” said Mr. Assane Diop, Executive Director of the International Labour Office’s (ILO) Social Protection sector. “The ILO, in partnership with the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the Korean Occupational and Safety Health Agency, are determined to continue tangible progress towards reducing the number of occupational accidents and diseases.”

Recognizing that improving safety and health at work has a positive impact on working conditions, productivity and economic and social development, the Declaration also emphasizes that the right to a safe and healthy working environment should be recognized as a fundamental human right.

The Declaration also states that promotion of occupational safety and health and the prevention of accidents and diseases at work is a core element of the ILO’s founding mission and of the Decent Work Agenda.

The Declaration encourages Governments to consider the ratification of the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) as a priority, as well as other relevant ILO Conventions on safety and health at work and ensure the implementation of their provisions – including by a strong and effective labour inspection system – as a means of improving national performance on safety and health at work in a systematic way.

Noting that high safety and health standards at work go hand in hand with good business performance, the Declaration calls on employers to ensure that prevention is an integral part of their activities, to establish effective occupational safety and health management systems to improve workplace safety and health, and to guarantee that workers are consulted, trained, informed and involved in this process.

The Declaration also states that workers should follow safety and health instructions and procedures, including those on the use of personal protective equipment, participate in safety and health training and awareness-raising activities and cooperate with their employer in adhering to measures related to their safety and health at work.

Through the Declaration, the signatories committed to taking the lead in promoting a preventative safety and health culture, placing occupational safety and health high on national agendas, and agreed to review progress at the XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in 2011. (ILO news)


1 Response to “World Summit on Safety and Health”

  1. 1 Bruce Goldstein July 30, 2008 at 2:59 am

    The ILO’s Convention on Safety and Health in Agriculture (2001) should be adopted by the United States to improve the dangerous conditions faced by migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. The Convention calls for equality in treatment but U.S. farmworkers are denied numerous labor protections that are afforded to all other occupations under both state and federal laws. For example, many states discriminate against farmworkers in their workers’ compensation laws, which require employers to provide insurance for wage loss and health care needs due to on-the-job injuries. Farmworkers are denied the same “right to know” about chemicals in the workplace that other workers possess; this discrimination in the law results in chemical poisonings that could be prevented. It’s time for the U.S. to join other nations in recognizing the contributions of the people who harvest our fruits and vegetables.
    Bruce Goldstein, Executive Director, Farmworker Justice, Washington, D.C. and

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