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IOE Contact

Pierre Vincensini

Direct line: +41 22 929 00 15

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 conducted by companies or employer organisations, that deserve consideration. In particular, the IOE supports the replacement of the previous piecemeal approach to the development of ILO legal instruments by pursuing:

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, in particular focusing on topics where other international bodies have not developed authoritative guidance or information.

The Global Occupational Safety and Health Network (GOSH) is an initiative of the IOE, launched in 2009, which has been providing an exclusive information-sharing platform for senior OSH risk management and sustainability professionals from multinational enterprises.