Safety and health, prevention of accidents to be made an everyday management concern
The ILO commended China’s endeavours in promoting the management system approach of occupational safety and health and encouraged the government to ratify the Promotional Framework for OSH Convention, 2006 (No. 187).
On April 28, 2014, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) jointly organized a tripartite seminar to observe the Word Day for safety and health at work in Beijing. In the commemoration activity for the world OSH day, the Chinese and international OSH specialists discussed strategy on improving Safety and Health in the use of chemicals at work and the revision of the Basic Standard for Work safety Standardization in Enterprises (hereafter referred to as the Basic Standard).
The Basic Standard was issued by the SAWS in 2010 and is currently being revised. The purpose of the Basic Standard is to promote occupational safety and health management system at organizational level and will be compulsory for the industrial and mining sectors.
Sun Huashan, the Vice-Minister of SAWS, stressed that the Chinese government paid high attention to work safety and management in the use of chemicals and the government would further reform the supervisory mechanism to prevent occupational accidents and diseases in the use of chemicals. He pointed out that this seminar, focusing on the revision of the Basic Standard for Work safety Standardization in Enterprises, will improve the consistency between the work safety standardization of China and international practices in this area. He highlighted the importance of the Basic Standard in helping enterprises take more proactive approach to improve working conditions and prevent major industrial accidents.
Tim De Meyer, the Director of the ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, recalled the tragedy of Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh which 1,138 workers died in building collapse one year ago. He called on the tripartite partners to pool efforts together for the prevention accidents from happening in the first place. He commended the endeavours of the SAWS in promoting the management system approach of occupational safety and health at the organizational level, and encouraged the government to ratify the Promotional Framework for OSH Convention, 2006 (No. 187), which is now widely considered the most central OSH Convention together with C. 155. He also emphasized the importance of workers’ participation which enables a bottom-up approach of OSH management and the support mechanisms for the progressive improvement of occupational safety and health conditions in micro-enterprises, SMEs, and the informal economy.
More than 60 participants from the SAWS, the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the China Enterprise Confederation, the China Association of Work Safety, the China Academy of Safety Science and Technology, the China Chemical Safety Association, certification agencies, and press took part in this seminar.