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International Labour Organization’s Report on Safer and Healthier Working Environments

Context:

The ILO has unveiled a report titled ‘A Call for Safer and Healthier Working Environments,’ set to be deliberated at the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work (WCSHW) in Sydney, Australia. The WCSHW, a prominent global conference since 1955, serves as a major platform for connecting leaders worldwide in the field of work health and safety, fostering discussions and initiatives to enhance workplace well-being.

Relevance:

GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Highlights of the ILO Report on Work-Related Fatalities:
  2. International Labor Organization (ILO)

Key Highlights of the ILO Report on Work-Related Fatalities:

Global Work-Related Deaths:

  • Approximately 30 lakh (3 million) workers die annually due to work-related accidents and diseases.
  • More than 63% of these deaths occur in the Asia-Pacific region.

Leading Causes of Fatalities (2016):

  • Long working hours (55 hours or more per week) contributed to nearly 7.45 lakh deaths.
  • Exposure to occupational particulate matter, gases, and fumes resulted in around 4.5 lakh deaths.
  • Occupational injuries caused approximately 3.63 lakh deaths.

Fatal Occupational Injury Rate (FOIR):

  • Sectors like mining, construction, and utilities are identified as the most hazardous globally based on FOIR.
  • FOIR is a statistical measure quantifying work-related deaths within specific occupational groups or industries.

ILO Conventions:

  • 79 out of 187 member countries ratified the ILO Occupational Safety and Health Convention.
  • 62 countries ratified the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006.
  • India has not ratified these conventions, prompting calls for their adoption after the Uttarkashi tunnel incident.

Work-Related Diseases:

  • 26 lakh work-related deaths are attributed to diseases like circulatory diseases, cancers, and respiratory diseases.
  • Changing disease trends due to occupational exposure, including increased cases of cancers and asbestos-related diseases.

Decrease in Deaths:

  • Deaths due to asthmagens and particulate matter, gases, and fumes have decreased by over 20%.

ILO Recommendations:

  • ILO advocates five “Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work” for ensuring safety and health.
  • Principles include freedom of association, elimination of forced labor and child labor, non-discrimination, and a safe working environment.

International Labor Organization (ILO):

Nature and Structure:

  • The only tripartite United Nations (UN) agency.
  • Brings together governments, employers, and workers from 187 member States, including India.
  • Aims to set labor standards, develop policies, and create programs promoting decent work for all.

Recognition and Awards:

  • Received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969 for its efforts in promoting social justice and labor rights.

Establishment and Affiliation:

  • Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Initially affiliated with the League of Nations.
  • Became the first affiliated specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

Headquarters:

  • Geneva, Switzerland.

-Source: The Hindu


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