Caribbean countries join in commemoration of World Day for Safety and Health at Work – 28 April
27 April 2012
PORT OF SPAIN (ILO News) - Caribbean countries will join in the commemoration of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, 2012. Several activities, ranging from national seminars and symposia in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Saint Lucia, to a National Safety Week in Trinidad and Tobago and other promotional activities in Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, have been planned. The activities are being supported by the International Labour Organization’s Programme on Occupational Safety and Health and Environment in the Caribbean, implemented by the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean.
The focus of the 2012 World Day for Safety and Health at Work is the promotion of occupational safety and health (OSH) in a green economy.
A new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched for World Day for Safety and Health at Work says the “greening” of the economy should be accompanied by the proper integration of workplace safety and health measures.
The report, entitled “Promoting safety and health in a green economy,” says that while promoting a greener economy “does not make jobs decent, healthy and safe by default” it “provides an opportunity to make all jobs healthier and safer, while benefiting the environment and society, provided occupational risks are identified and managed at the onset”.
The report adds that the concept of green jobs refers to jobs protecting biodiversity and occupations that play a central role in “greening” industries across the economy, from mining and agriculture to industry and services such as transport.
It notes that the “greening” of traditional sectors which will continue to provide the bulk of all employment and harbour most occupational safety and health risks, can provide a major opportunity to make them safer and healthier, as well as energy efficient and environmentally sustainable, provided the right measures are taken.
This would make it possible to reinforce and expand efforts to tackle a range of major health hazards from chemicals and pesticides to phasing out of asbestos and high accident rates in sectors like mining, agriculture, forestry and construction, the ILO says.
According to the ILO report, “a true green job must integrate safety and health into design, procurement, operations, maintenance sourcing, use and recycling”. OSH mechanisms need to integrate the greening process into their policies and programmes of action. Policy changes are necessary to support approaches such as “prevention through design” in creating green jobs. Social dialogue among representatives of government, workers and employers is central to the prevention and management of occupational hazards and risks.
Since February 2011, the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, through the Programme on Occupational Safety and Health and Environment (OSHE) in the Caribbean, has been supporting governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations in their efforts to improve occupational safety and health and to contribute to environmental sustainability. The Programme draws on expertise available in the region and externally in the delivery of its capacity-building training workshops and advisory services.
To date over forty OSHE training initiatives were implemented in 13 Caribbean countries with the aim of fostering a culture of safety and health through advocacy and capacity building, as well as promoting the adoption of new OSHE-related legislation and regulations. By the end of December 2011, approximately 1800 labour inspectors, workers’ and employers’ representatives and OSH committee members were trained in various areas, including the OSH Management System, international labour standards on OSH, industrial hygiene, hazards, data collection and reporting, and HIV and AIDS in the workplace as an OSH issue. A network of OSHE resource persons was also established as well as an OSHE webpage which contains a series of user-friendly OSH briefs and presentations to support OSH training activities and awareness-raising in the Caribbean.
The ILO celebrates the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on the 28 April to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on emerging trends in the field of occupational safety and health and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide.
For further information on the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, please visit:
For information on the ILO Programme on Occupational Safety and Health and Environment in the Caribbean, please visit: