SEOUL Republic of Korea (ILO News) ─ 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.
Media queries and requests for interviews with ILO and ISSA representatives and occupational safety specialists can be directed to: Ms. Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman, ILO Department of Communication. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Seoul Mobile: +8210/68.84.04.26 or Alexander Belopopsky, ISSA Promotion Unit: E-mail: email@example.com – Seoul Mobile: +8210/68.84.04.90.
The triennial Congress on Safety and Health at Work is jointly organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA). The XVIII World Congress is hosted by the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA).