The International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced the theme for this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work, which falls on 28 April annually. With each commemoration, the ILO focuses on timely themes pertinent to occupational safety and health, underscoring the global commitment to safeguarding workers’ well-being.
In 2024, the spotlight will shine on the impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health. As the world grapples with shifting weather patterns and environmental challenges, the realm of work is not immune to these transformations. Climate change exacerbates various occupational risks, including heat stress, UV radiation exposure, air pollution, industrial accidents, extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases, and heightened exposure to agrochemicals.
The ILO’s initiatives for the World Day 2024 encompass a comprehensive approach to address these challenges. Plans include the production of informative materials such as reports and promotional content, alongside a global event featuring experts and guest speakers from governments, employers, and workers. This gathering aims to foster dialogue and collaboration in devising strategies to protect workers and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on occupational safety and health. The exact date for the event in April 2024 will be announced in due course.
In June 2022, the International Labour Conference (ILC) made a landmark decision to incorporate “a safe and healthy working environment” into the ILO’s framework of fundamental principles and rights at work. This decision, celebrated on 28 April 2023, convened experts and constituents to discuss its implications for the world of work and practical implementation strategies. The event also showcased research findings on the status of implementing provisions of fundamental Conventions No. 155 and No. 187.
As we move forward into 2024, the ILO remains committed to building upon past achievements and strengthening global efforts towards ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for all. This year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work promises to be a platform for meaningful dialogue and action, advancing the cause of workers’ well-being in the face of climate change challenges.