What is OSH?

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) deals with all aspects of health and safety in the workplace and has a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards. Its goal is to prevent accidents and harm to people from work-related activities.

Why is OSH relevant to business?

Research has shown that safety and well-being at the workplace equals good business and profitability. Employers have primary responsibility for the occupational safety and health of workers. They are responsible for conducting risk assessments and organising business operations with safety as the first priority. Governments set the frameworks to enable employers to provide flexible solutions to manage workplace safety. OSH performance is key to reputation management, particularly where businesses depend on the relationship with global consumers.

What is IOE’s position on OSH?

Occupational safety and health is an important priority of the IOE. IOE supports the development of a basic legal international framework, managed through effective enforcement mechanisms at the national level. IOE strongly supports the replacement of a piecemeal approach to the development of legal instruments by pursuing:

  • A programme to review the relevance of current standards (ILO Standards Review Mechanism);
  • A flexible approach as offered in the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health (C187, 2006);
  • The development of practical guidance and codes of practice which will assist employers.

How does IOE’s work on OSH advance the agenda for business?

IOE represents the interests of employers in the development of standards and other instruments for OSH at the international level. In addition, IOE provides guidance on OSH areas of interest to its members and employers, in particular on topics where other international bodies have not developed authoritative guidance or information. IOE also leads the Global Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) network, comprised of senior safety and health risk management and sustainability professionals from multinational enterprises and employers organisations. GOSH debates current and emerging global OSH issues on a confidential basis.