Since 2003, the International Labour Organization has observed World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28th. The annual campaign seeks to promote workplace health and safety, as well as descent work conditions internationally. The day is recognized around the world as a day to focus on not only the health and safety conditions in the workplace, but also serves to recognize and remember those involved in workplace accidents, diseases and fatalities.
Each year a different focus is chosen, with 2016's topic surrounding workplace stress. This year's campaign aims to bring more attention and awareness to the risks of mental stress in today's workforce. As the line that separates work from life becomes harder to distinguish, work-related stresses affect the personal lives of employees now more than ever before.
Over the past few years, the impact of psychosocial risks on employees has received much more attention. It is now recognized that all employees all over the world are affected by work-related stress and that it is an important issue that must be addressed. For more on how to manage work-related stress, check out Stress at Work: Tips to Reduce and Manage Workplace Stress.
Many workplace accidents and diseases are preventable, yet each year more than two million men and women are victims of work-related injury and disease resulting in fatality. Not only do men and women continue to lose their lives on the job, but each year there are 270 million occupational accidents, and 160 million cases of occupational-related disease each year. These cases of accidents and disease incur more than 2.8 trillion US dollars in compensation claims, rehabilitation, treatment and lost working time.
Accident prevention begins with a solid safety culture. The more awareness and knowledge workers have regarding the risks to their health and safety at work, the easier prevention becomes. The International Labour Organization provides infographics, reports and presentations for workers that are available for download. The article 8 Strategies to Promote Workplace Mental Health might also be of interest.
Participation in the World Day for Safety and Heath at Work is as simple as bringing up this years topic of workplace stress during today's toolbox talk. While you're all together, take a moment to remember those that have lost their lives due to work-related accidents or diseases.