Occupational Safety & Health
The IOE strongly supports the need for enterprises to have exemplary OSH performance to ensure the protection of all people affected by work activities. Employers should have systems, to assess and control risks, aimed at preventing
- harm to people from work-related activities, so minimising absence from work
- incidents and accidents at the workplace that disrupt processes, services and communities.
OSH performance is key to reputation management, particularly where businesses depend on the relationship with global consumers. It can affect a company’s ability to attract investment capital or even the cost of capital itself, on which job and wealth creation depend.
The efficient management of OSH risks is best achieved by instilling a safety culture within the organisation, adopting a preventive approach, utilising risk management and control principles, aligning OSH management systems with other business operations, involving all at the workplace and respecting minimum legal standards.
Employers have primary responsibility for the occupational safety and health of workers as they have the authority to organise their business activities and conduct. But they cannot do this alone. Governments must set the frameworks to enable employer to provide flexible solutions to manage their activities. Others at the workplace, including workers, must cooperate to ensure their own and their colleagues' safety and health.
ILO Standards for Occupational Safety and Health
The development of standards and other instruments for OSH at international level fits firmly within the remit of the ILO. They are developed by tripartite consensus reflecting the involvement of employers, workers and governments, who are central to helping deliver OSH performance at the workplace. The IOE will continue to represent the interests of employers in this area.
The IOE supports a basic legal framework, supported by effective enforcement and sanction arrangements at national level to ensure that global enterprises adopt minimum OSH standards. However, successful OSH performance requires more than this and there are many other worthy initiatives that deserve consideration. In particular, the IOE supports the replacement of the previous piecemeal approach to the development of ILO legal instruments by establishing:
- a programme to review the relevance of current standards
- campaigns to publicise the more recently adopted strategic approach in the C187 Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 and
- the development of practically useful guidance and codes of practice which will assist employers.
Now that a comprehensive policy programme for OSH has been embedded at international level, the ILO should prioritise use of its expertise and resources towards practical assistance as close as possible to the workplace.
IOE Assistance in Implementing OSH Measures
The IOE provides assistance to members to help them implement OSH measures in an efficient and effective way. It also provides assistance, as required, to help them influence their national programmes and systems. The IOE develops guidance on OSH areas of interest to its members and employers, focusing in particular on topics where other international bodies have not developed authoritative guidance or information.