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World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2014

World Cement,

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Today, 28 April 2014, is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Organised by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as part of its global strategy on occupational safety and health, the event aims to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. The campaign also seeks to raise awareness about emerging trends in OH&S, including the scale of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities around the world.

This year’s theme is ‘Safety and health in the use of chemicals at work’. The ILO has released a report on this topic, demonstrating the precautions that should be taken whilst handling chemicals in order to reduce risks for workers, communities and the environment. The report can be found here.

Today is also the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers, which honours the memory of those who have suffered from occupational diseases and accidents.

History of occupational health and safety

To coincide with World Day for Safety and Health at Work, a new website about the history of occupational health and safety has been launched: The website is the culmination of three years of work in a project led by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ National Occupational Safety and Health Committee (RoSPA NOSHC).

The site covers over 200 years of the UK’s industrial history, from the 1802 Factory Act to present day health and safety regulations.

“Contrary to what some might believe, the management of safety and health at work is not a 21st century phenomenon. With roots stretching all the way back to the turn of the 19th century, this is an area at the heart of the UK’s industrial history,” said Karen McDonnell, RoSPA’s Occupational Safety and Health policy Adviser. “Numerous pieces of legislation have come on to the scene over more than 200 years, covering a wide array of different industries, but their shared aim has been to ensure that workers can go home to their families safe and healthy at the end of each day.”

“It is important to value the history of occupational safety and health, not just to honour its pioneers but to develop a sense of perspective about what needs to be done today to continue to tackle preventable harms associated with work, not just in Britain but around the world,” added McDonnell.

The project was made possible thanks to the support of Sheila Pantry, of Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd, the former Head of the HSE’s Information Services, David Eves CB and Dr Peter Waterhouse, past President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

How does your workplace promote health and safety onsite?

Let us know about initiatives, training programmes and motivational tools implemented at your workplace to encourage health and safety best practice. How have OH&S issues been identified and addressed? For example, last year, a batcher at a Cemex UK concrete plant came up with a simple but effective idea to prevent slips and falls caused by poor visibility: a headlight with an easy to fit, dust resistant bulb.

Share your experiences on our LinkedIn Group, Facebook page, the comments section below, or tweet @World_Cement with the hashtag #WorldSafetyDay.

Edited from various sources by

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