ILO’s Flagship Programme Safety + Health for All launches its second phase, reaching up to 138 million workers worldwide

As the ILO Flagship Programme Safety + Health for All launches its second phase (2021-2025), it will continue to bring together governments, social partners, the private sector and other stakeholders to improve the safety and health of more than 138 million workers around the world.

News | 07 December 2021
Contact(s): Laetitia Dumas, Team Lead, Programme and Operations, LABADMIN/OSH
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and societies around the world and has resulted in profound impacts on the world of work, confirming the vital role of occupational safety and health (OSH) for protecting and promoting human life, sustainable development, public services and recovery strategies.

According to the recent WHO/ILO Joint estimates, each year over 1.9 million people die as a result of occupational injuries, accidents and diseases, with exposure to occupational risks being estimated to result in almost 90 million healthy life years lost.

Safety + Health for All has played a key role in supporting global and national efforts to recover from the pandemic, thus giving practice to the Global call for action for a human-centred recovery.

Since its launch in 2016, the Programme has grown, with an important increase in the number of development cooperation projects; donors were multiplied by six. More than 138 million workers benefit from the programme in 19 countries. The programme is particularly relevant in the context of the pandemic. Indeed, it has reinforced the visibility of the Flagship programme interventions and has increased its obligations.

Vera Paquete Perdigao, Director, GOVERNANCE Department

The Programme strategy for phase II (2021-2025) remains focused on prevention to reduce risks at the workplace by implementing a four-fold approach: i) building knowledge, ii) creating conducive national frameworks, iii) strengthening national capacities, notably those of governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, and iv) promoting demand for safe and healthy workplaces. The strategy was developed and endorsed following in-depth consultation with member States, employers and workers, as well as development partners.

New Programme features under the second phase include
  1. increased attention to work-related ill-health and occupational diseases,
  2. specific efforts to improve OSH for workers in the informal economy and new forms of work,
  3. systematic inclusion of activities at national level to promote the ratification of relevant conventions,
  4. greater attention to helping countries build national reporting and notification systems; and,
  5. the development of a global research agenda.

Building on the successes from its first phase (2016-2020), Safety + Health for All will continue to strengthen research methodologies, support evidenced-based OSH policies and contribute to targeted interventions and the development guidelines, policy and technical tools for a wide range of audiences. During its first phase, the Programme played a critical role in supporting the development and enhancement of OSH policies, programmes and frameworks in several countries, in particular in Asia, The Programme put an emphasis on increasing the capacities of OSH-related organizations, in particular labour inspectorates. Interventions in targeted workplaces, notably in the agriculture sector, have led to improved OSH management systems, resulting in concrete OSH outcomes for workers.

Certain categories of workers continue to find themselves particularly vulnerable to OSH risks or face pressing OSH needs, such as those in hazardous sectors, workers in small and medium-sized enterprises, migrant workers, women, young workers (ages 15-24), those in the informal economy as well as in new forms of work. The Programme continues to develop interventions which target the specific OSH issues and conditions faced by these workers.

The Vision Zero Fund, an integral part of Safety + Health for All, strives to realize zero-work related fatalities and severe injuries and deceases in supply chains.

Safety +Health for All is a priority for the ILO, which uses its technical expertise and its own regular resources to fund the Programme. However, it could not accomplish its objectives without the valuable support and collaboration from the following public and private development partners: Colombia, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, as well as the Walt Disney Company and Siemens.