By Davis Akampurira
Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work.
The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4% of global Gross Domestic Product each year.
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is held yearly on April 28, and has been observed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) since 2003.
It is an awareness-raising campaign intended to focus international attention on emerging trends in the field of occupational safety and health and on the magnitude of work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities worldwide.
The theme for the 2017 World Day for Safety and Health at Work is: "Optimise the collection and use of OSH data", focuses on the critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilise reliable occupational safety and health (OSH) data.
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted on September 25, 2015 encompasses a global plan of action with specific targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
With its adoption, the capacity to collect and utilize reliable OSH data has also become indispensable for countries to fulfil their commitment to implement and report on some of the agenda's 17 sustainable development goals and their targets.
We urge the community leaders and organisational representatives to uphold this day by speaking out on issues such as: workplace health and safety standards. Various media should continue to promote the day through news articles and broadcast programmes. We believe each of us is responsible for stopping deaths and injuries on the job.
As governments we are responsible for providing the infrastructure both laws and services necessary to ensure that workers remain employable and that enterprises flourish. This includes the development of a national policy and programme and a system of inspection to enforce compliance with occupational safety and health legislation and policy.
Let us therefore, work together for safety and health culture to have a safe and healthy working environment that is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment.
Happy World Day for Safety and Health at Work!
The writer is the Team leader -Africa Leadership Awards /Youth leader