Tuesday 28 April is World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day – a day to focus and take action on work-related injuries and fatalities.
Every year two million people lose their lives through work-related accident and disease. While the number of Australians injured or killed at work has decreased over the past decade, 185 workers lost their lives in 2014 alone; 47 workers died in New Zealand in the same year.
The day is part of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) international campaign to promote safe, healthy, and decent work environments. The theme for 2016 is “Workplace Stress: a collective challenge”.
Work-related stress is a global issue affecting all countries and professions. The ILO advises that it is important for employers to be “aware of the negative effects of the psychosocial hazards that may affect workers as a result of overwork and lack of control over their tasks”.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work is one way for the ILO to further its goal of fostering an occupational health and safety culture in which the right to be safe at work is respected by governments and employers at all levels. This goal requires the development of systems of defined rights, responsibilities, and duties based on the principle of prevention.