Sep 2, 2014, 9:43 AM
Workers being the lifeblood of any institution or company must be protected from all forms of harm.
It’s against this backdrop that the United Nations annually celebrates in the month of April, World Day for Safety and Health of Workers.
It is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is held on 28 April and has been observed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) since 2003.
At this juncture, we should also remember victims of occupational accidents and diseases.
Worldwide, occupational diseases continue to be the leading cause of work-related deaths.
According to ILO estimates, out of 2.34 million occupational fatalities every year, only 321,000 are due to accidents.
The remaining 2.02 million deaths are caused by various types of work-related diseases, which correspond to a daily average of more than 5,500 deaths. For ILO, this is an unacceptable Decent Work deficit.
The inadequate prevention of occupational diseases has profound negative effects not only on workers and their families but also on society at large due to the tremendous costs it generates, particularly in terms of loss of productivity and burdening of social security systems.
Since prevention is more effective and less costly than treatment and rehabilitation, all efforts are therefore needed to take concrete steps now to improve staff and institutional capacity for preventing occupational diseases.