World Day for Safety and Health
Thursday 28th of April marks the celebration of World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
For more than 50 years the International Social Security Association has served as an international platform to advocate for the prevention of occupational risks in collaboration with the International Labour Organization.
The commemoration of the annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an integral part of the International Social Security Association objective to foster a preventive safety and health culture worldwide, addressing all actors of society. The theme of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work for 2011 is: Occupational Safety and Health Management System: A tool for continual improvement.
According to the International Labour Organization, the essence of occupational safety and health is the management of occupational risks. An occupational safety and health management system is a preventive method to implement safety and health measures which consists of four steps and incorporates the principle of continual improvement.
Its principles are based on the PDCA Cycle: PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT. Its purpose is to establish a comprehensive and structured mechanism for joint action of management and workers in the implementation of safety and health measures. A system’s approach allows for the assessment and improvement of performance in the implementation of preventive and control measures.
The International Labour Organization continues by stating that Occupational Safety and Health Management System can be an effective tool for the management of hazards specific to a given industry, process or organization. Its application can be adapted to a range of situations, from the simple needs of a small scale enterprise to the multiple needs of hazardous and complex industries such as mining, chemical manufacturing or construction.
The management systems approach to occupational safety and health has become popular and has been introduced in many workplaces during the last decade. This popularity is a reflection of its usefulness for facilitating continual improvement of safety and health at work.
For an effective Occupational Safety and Health Management System, it is critical to have the strong commitment of top management to Occupational Safety and Health and assurance of worker participation in all aspects of the system including policy formulation. In order to ensure continual improvement of safety and health performance, the reinforcement of the system through continuous training of all personnel is essential. With the active participation of all workers and management, a well functioning Occupational Safety and Health Management System will find practical solutions for improving safety and health conditions on a continual basis.
Prevention, compensation and rehabilitation are all key components of social security and the International Social Security Association’s efforts to promote a prevention culture target in particular social security institutions that promote the health of workers, that provide benefits for victims of occupational accidents and diseases and that support their return to the labour market.
Social Security of St. Kitts and Nevis applauds all stakeholders who have been instrumental in supporting safety and health at work, showcasing their good practices and successful approaches in reducing the number of work-related deaths and injuries. We also wish the International Social Security Association and the International Labour Organization well as they spearhead observances to mark World Day for Health and Safety at Work.