An end to occupational disease is theme of ILO health and safety day


On 28 April, the International Labor Organization (ILO) marks the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (WDSHW). The objective of the event is to publicise globally the importance of preventing occupational accidents and diseases.

World Day for Safety and Health and Work

As an exercise in raising awareness, the ILO campaign's goal is to concentrate international attention on emergent advances in occupational health and safety, and on the unacceptable global prevalence of work-related sickness, injury and mortality.

The organisation has chosen 28 April to coincide with the international trades unions movement's day of commemoration for workers killed or injured at work.

WDSHW is an important component of the ILO's global strategy for occupational health and safety. It looks to encourage all stakeholders, from trades unions and H&S pressure groups to employers and policymakers, to establish an international culture of preventative health and safety.

Occupational disease, the theme of the day for 2013, continues to be the most frequent cause of work-related deaths worldwide.

The ILO has estimated that, of some 2,340,000 yearly occupational deaths, accidents account for a mere 321,000. The balance, which still exceeds 2 million, are caused by a variety of work-related diseases, corresponding to a frightening daily average of over 5,500 deaths.

That occupational disease has become so pervasive has extremely negative implications, both on workers and their families and on broader society. Its associated expense can be immense, due to productivity losses and the degree to which state welfare is forced to bear the costs.

As usual with WDSHW, the ILO plans to support the event's main theme with a comprehensive report. This will encourage cooperation among governments, employers, workers and their respective organisations in developing and implementing national strategies pitched at halting occupational and work-related disease.

Emma Costin, Head of Industrial Disease at Simpson Millar comments: "We at Simpson Millar are proud to support Workers Memorial Day. As a mark of our deep respect for those who have lost their lives because of their work we will be marking 28th April across our network of offices and will stand shoulder to shoulder with our Trades Union colleagues. It is vitally important that we continue to campaign for health and safety issues to remain at the forefront of the employer's agenda, at the end of the day nothing is more important than life and health."

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