Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease

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28 April 2015 – On this day, the UN observes World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This year’s theme focuses on building a national occupational safety and health culture. To this end, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has created the SafeDay campaign, where you can now discover how to be of help.

Today’s celebration is an integral part of ILO’s Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health, as it promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally.

In a statement, Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, says “Over 313 million workers suffer non-fatal occupational injuries each year, equating to 860,000 people injured on the job daily. Every single day, 6,400 people die from an occupational accident or disease, amounting to 2.3 million deaths each year.”

He continues, “work-related accidents or diseases can definitely be placed in the high-burden category of all global health problems.”

However, fatalities, accidents and illness at work are highly preventable and we have an obligation to act.

Join in building a culture of prevention on occupational safety and health

To raise awareness and create change, the ILO emphasizes the development of national occupational safety and health (OSH) culture, especially as OSH is recognized as a fundamental human right.

What does such a culture involve? Mr Ryder asserts the following:

  • “Respecting at all levels the right to a safe and healthy working environment;
  • Active participation of all stakeholders in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties; and
  • According the highest priority to the principle of prevention.”

So what can you do?

A national culture of prevention “must be founded on the engagement of many partners: governments, workers and employers and their organizations, specialists and experts”, the ILO Director-General states.

In this context, every one of us has a contribution to make. To find out what you can do to help establish this culture, join the ILO’s Safe Day Campaign now! Select your role and make use of wide-ranging resources that give you the tools to act.

Did you know?

  • Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease.
  • Every 15 seconds, 160 workers have a work-related accident.