World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021

Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises: Invest now in resilient occupational safety and health systems

The COVID-19 pandemic has led governments, employers, workers and the general population to face unprecedented challenges in relation to the virus and the many effects it has had on the world of work. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work will focus on strategies to strengthen national occupational safety and health (OSH) systems to build resilience, in order to face crises now and in the future, drawing on lessons learned and experiences from the world of work.

The ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder and a panel of global leaders and senior representatives from governments, employers and workers’ organizations will provide perspectives and showcase how investing in occupational safety and health system contributes to a stronger infrastructure at the national level which is prepared to respond to crises such as COVID-19 and similar events.

Video statements

  1. Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General

  2. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO

  3. Marty Walsh, United States Secretary of Labor

  4. Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour for Canada

Background resources

  1. ILO Report

    Anticipate, prepare and respond to crises – Invest now in resilient occupational safety and health systems

  2. Q&A

    Occupational safety and health and COVID-19: what lessons have we learned?

Since emerging as a global crisis in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts everywhere. The pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of the world of work, from the risk of transmission of the virus in workplaces, to occupational safety and health (OSH) risks that have emerged as a result of measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. Shifts to new forms of working arrangements, such as the widespread reliance on teleworking, have, for example, presented many opportunities for workers but also posed potential OSH risks, including psychosocial risks and violence in particular.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2021 focuses on leveraging the elements of an OSH system as set out in the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187). The world day report examines how the current crisis demonstrates the importance of strengthening these OSH systems, including occupational health services, at both the national and undertaking level.

The ILO will take this opportunity to raise awareness and stimulate dialogue on the importance of creating and investing in resilient OSH systems, drawing on both regional and country examples in mitigating and preventing the Spread of COVID-19 at the workplace.

See also

  1. Voices – A new window on the world of work

  2. ILO topic portal on COVID-19 and the world of work

    Country policy responses, ILO Monitor, sectoral and thematic briefs, news, virtual events...