WASHINGTON (ILO News) ─ The Programme on Safety and Health at Work and the Environment (SafeWork) of the International Labour Office (ILO) and the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today signed an agreement aimed at expanding safety and health in the workplace.
The agreement foresees closer cooperation between the ILO SafeWork programme and NIOSH, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the area of occupational safety and health (OSH). The agreement was signed by Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, Director of the ILO SafeWork programme and Dr. John Howard, Director of NIOSH.
“Faced with the intolerable human burden of fatalities and global economic costs of work-related accidents and diseases, agreements like this one are significant steps towards improving OSH worldwide”, says Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, Director of the ILO’s SafeWork department.
“NIOSH is pleased to reaffirm our close working relationship with the International Labour Office by signing today’s agreement,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “In today’s global marketplace, partnerships such as this are key for safer and healthier workplaces here in the U.S. and around the world.”
The agreement said that ILO SafeWork and the NIOSH “agree on the critical importance of the world of work in defining sound occupational safety and health (OSH) prevention policies and interventions in the workplace, and implementing strategies which expand protection to workers and their communities”.
“In this regard, it is noted that closer cooperation between SafeWork and NIOSH is desirable, subject to the strategic priorities and budgetary resources of each. SafeWork and NIOSH hereby agree to pursue finalizing a partnership agreement through their parent organizations, which will facilitate working toward common goals,” it said.
Under the agreement, NIOSH will support the ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Safety and Health, including the identification of experts, writing, editing, reviewing and updating articles, and suggesting new topics and approaches to information and dissemination.
The ILO has adopted many international OSH standards, which cover a wide range of sectors and generic hazards. Prevention is at the heart of these standards and is embedded in the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) and its accompanying Recommendation (No. 197), which seek to promote a preventative safety and health culture and a management systems approach to occupational safety and health through national policies, systems and programmes developed in a tripartite context.