[Photo courtesy of Kris de Meester]
The XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work took place in Singapore from 3-6 September 2017, with the slogan "a global vision for prevention". IOE hosts a session during the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work
During the World Congress, IOE organised a symposium entitled "The highway to health and safety: A zero harm culture, good and best practices
", which was held on 6 September 2017 as a part of the XXI World Congress. The aim was to advocate for moving forward on the path to zero harm, which is the best approach to set up successful occupational safety and health management, and subsequently successful businesses. Preventing all injuries and ill-health arising from work should be a key part of any future business policy, based on commitment to reaching this goal from all stakeholders across all levels in the workforce. Through expert experiences and good practice examples, moderated by Kris de Meester of IOE's Member in Belgium, the symposium explored ways for implementing a zero-harm culture as an aspirational goal. As OSH prevention is all about people, it was mainly a plea to go beyond process, procedures and systems, encouraging business to keep a holistic approach, and to engage in a genuine and stimulating OSH conversation with the workforce. More than 100 delegates attended the IOE symposium and many of them actively participated in the interactive session which closed the symposium. Useful presentations are available below:
Kris de Meester also represented the IOE on the SafeYouth@Work panel, a session that highlighted the critical need for awareness of safety and health issues for youth in the workplace. Singapore PM makes encouraging remarks concerning OSH for business
The World Congress was honoured by the presence of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, who notably stated that "more rules will not result in more safety but in heavier burdens" and also that "we will help to improve health and safety through technology". This was a perfect message put forward to challenge the previous speech delivered by the President of ISSA who exaggerated the risks of digital transformation and new business models that have derived from this. He opposed some alleged aspects of the UBER platform (impact of bad drivers' rating, violent customer behaviour, employers' accountability, etc.). About the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work
Over 3000 delegates participated in attending the 3 keynote speeches, 6 technical sessions, 32 symposia, and a SafeYouth@Work dialogue with 125 Youth champions at the Congress, as well as 85 exhibitors, 38 OSH films and 10 multimedia products from all over the world. The opening ceremony was addressed by the head of the co-organisers, the ILO, the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore. ISSA launched a campaign called "Vision Zero"
, a global campaign to improve health and safety at work. The IOE also attended a number of symposia, particularly those involving the ILO, as well as side events organised by the Global Center for Healthy Workplace and by IOE partner International SOS. For more information, please contact Pierre Vincensini, IOE Adviser