Each year the International Labour Organisation (ILO) observes World Day for Safety and Health at Work, on 28 April. The day is to recognise those who have lost their lives, been injured or made ill by their work. This date is also the International Commemoration Day of Dead and Injured Workers.
Many of us have never experienced a workplace injury, so we take our safety at work for granted. Much of the time we aren’t harmed because of the controls that have been put in place, with our safety in mind.
Worker safety should be the top priority for all organisations. Without workers, there will be no profits made, no deadlines achieved and no happy customers. Without workers, there will be no business.
This year’s theme is Safe and Healthy Environments, because we all deserve that at the very least.
Why This Event Is Important
The Moral Reason
Each year, around 2.3 million workers around the world lose their lives due to work-related accidents and diseases, according to ILO estimates. That’s over 6,000 deaths every day.
Working conditions and environments around the world are still a far cry from what they need to be. More work needs to be done. World Day is just one way of highlighting this enormous burden. By celebrating, you show that your organisation understands that we still aren’t doing good enough.
Celebrating this day will also come with a variety of benefits for your organisation, such as:
- Raised awareness: Demonstrate to your staff that workplace safety and health is a priority to you. And that it is everyone’s duty to help prevent accidents and injuries.
- Improved Morale: If employees feel that you care about their health and well-being, they will feel better about what they do. This, in turn, will support a more productive environment at an organisation they are pleased to work for.
- Reduced Costs: The knock-on effect of promoting a culture supportive of health and safety is helping to reduce the likelihood of costly accidents.
- Demonstrate Commitment: Employees, customers, clients and stakeholders will see that you’re committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment. This builds trust and enhances your reputation.
Ways to Celebrate World Day for Safety and Health at Work
There’s plenty that you can do to participate in World Day for Safety and Health. Here are some suggestions:
Join In With The Campaign
Take part by running your own campaigns. Start by downloading the official poster from the ILO website. You can even repurpose safety campaigns you have run in the past. The aim is to use this day to shine a spotlight on safety and health.
Lead by Example
Occupational safety and health should be a top priority for all organisations, every day. This means making sure safety is part of key meetings and training is prioritized. Safety should be part of your business as usual and you should carry out toolbox talks. This shows employees that their safety matters. And it builds a positive safety culture.
Get Everyone Involved
Workers should always be involved in safety decision making processes. Just as they should be involved when doing risk assessments and invited to safety meetings. They are the ones who carry out job tasks, so they’re in the best position to inform how safety is delivered.
Recognise Safety Champions
Safety champions volunteer their time and influence their colleagues. How about recognising what they do on this day?
Use Social Media
Why not use your social media platforms to spread the word. Be creative. You never know – one tweet or post could end up going viral. Now that would be something!
World Day for Safety and Health offers a chance to reflect, on the fact that there is still a long way to go to make going to work safe for everyone. Showing support is a win, win. You can increase staff awareness and morale, while also making a statement to customers and stakeholders that safety is high on your agenda.