LEGOSH - The world’s knowledge base on national OSH legislation

Global database on occupational safety and health legislation

The database compiles the wealth of legislation in occupational safety and health (OSH) and serves as a snapshot of the current major national legislative requirements around the globe. Constituents and interested parties are provided with a source of reliable and targeted information for making educated decisions. The compilation allows countries to learn from more advanced laws and criteria and it facilitates undertaking comparative research on specific indicators. Policy briefs and fact sheets can be developed based on the available data. LEGOSH can also be used as a tool for monitoring and mapping large-scale trends.

This high profile knowledge product identifies the main laws governing OSH in ILO Member States. It supports effective monitoring and comparison of legal criteria and trends across time and regions. The Korea / ILO Partnership Program offered a valuable contribution to this project.

Structure and content overview

This new database is mapping the status-quo of national OSH legislation, regulatory frameworks, and various legal criteria. It reveals what areas are covered and how by taking key international labour standards as benchmarks.

The user friendly platform provides an overview of key legislation pieces. It features a brief description of the overall OSH legislative structure and summaries of, or quotes from, specific paragraphs of law and regulation texts.

The classification structure of the database, built with the involvement of world leading experts in OSH legislation, is based on a comprehensive set of themes and descriptors. They enable users to learn about and compare regulations in a coherent and easy approach. The user is presented with the possibility to relate groups of interdependent descriptors for capturing and displaying meaningful data on country legal and institutional frameworks.

Cross-cutting analyses in support to the ILO policy agenda in OSH enrich the database with targeted policy briefs, comparative studies on selected topics, technical guidance notes and information sheets. Analytical content aimed at supporting priority action on the ILO’s areas of critical importance is also provided.

Main classification structure

  1. Description of national OSH regulatory framework
  2. Scope, coverage and exclusions
  3. Institutions and programmes relating to OSH administration and/or enforcement of OSH legislation
  4. Employers’ duties and responsibilities to protect the safety and health of workers and others
  5. Employers’ duty to organize prevention formally along generally accepted OSH management principles and practices
  6.  Employers’ duty to ensure availability of expertise and competence in health and safety
  7. Workers’ rights and duties
  8. Consultation, collaboration and cooperation with workers and their representatives
  9. Specific hazards or risks
  10. Recording, notification and investigation of work-related accidents and occupational diseases
  11. OSH inspection and enforcement of OSH legislation

Functions and beneficiaries

This practical OSH development leverage tool facilitates the generation of comparative studies, research across and within regions, and analytical work on selected topics. It constitutes a solid foundation upon which a rights-based and standard-setting approach can be built and through which both good examples and deficits in laws can be identified and addressed. 

The compilation of legislative requirements and regulations informs the national debate, provides a real-time view of potential alternative models, creates a concrete starting point for consultation on necessary change, and enables informed policy decisions. It can help define and propose technical support and assistance programmes and projects in the area of modernizing OSH systems and improving legislation on priority needs.

This unique database allows various technical entities concerned with the world of work, researchers, and analysts from various horizons and interests to conduct comparative analysis and longitudinal studies with the aim of shaping OSH strategies, policies and programmes. It can also be used to highlight trends in legislation development over time and to observe how the regulatory framework shapes the world of OSH in various regions.

All ILO constituents and the public in general are direct beneficiaries of the global database. It is of particular interest to workers’ and employers’ organizations, multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, universities and research institutes, as well as other international organisations and bodies. Access to reliable legislative information on OSH supports the achievement of decent work by guiding stakeholders to make better-informed decisions in this area.
This is an online reference source of authoritative information for OSH specialists, national authorities, managers, lawyers, academics and students, industry representatives, local social partners, and individual workers and employers seeking clarification on particular OSH rights and duties. Members of international and regional organizations and networks will find in the database practical resources.

The innovative collaborative platform permits the submission of relevant official documents for review and approval. OSH agencies, institutions and organizations from around the world are encouraged to become partners, content contributors or key informants on OSH legislation development. Extending cooperation to external expertise is highly necessary to ensure this database responds to the actual needs of professionals and constituents.

Workers and enterprises benefit from improved safety and health conditions at work

The database significantly contributes towards a strategic outcome of the ILO's Director-General Programme for 2014-2015. It allows workers and enterprises to benefit from improved safety and health conditions at work by facilitating the identification of legislative good practices and possible gaps in coverage. It informs about both general and specific obligations and rights, along with important legal exceptions and conditions. Legislation requirements that shape institutional governing programmes and institutions relating to OSH administration or enforcement have a direct consequence for workers and enterprises. Improving safety and health at work for workers and enterprises is a leading pillar and central goal in the establishment of sound OSH law.

Decent Work Country Programmes and OSH country profiles

Many countries have identified occupational safety and health as one priority in their Decent Work Country Programme. The reinforcement of safety and health conditions at work and compliance with relevant OSH legislation are often key aspects of these plans. This database assists countries in delivering safer and healthier working conditions and allows them to learn from more advanced laws and criteria. It helps shape national OSH strategies, policies and programmes. The database facilitates information analysis and it is useful for preparing country comparative reports. By offering the possibility to document good practices and highlighting legal trends across regions, the database acts as a driver for better OSH legal requirements at the country level. See also: Country profiles on occupational safety and health

Find out more about legislation on safety and health at work

OSH legislation is essential as a first step for the implementation of improved measures for safety and health as well as the prevention of accidents and diseases in the world of work. OSH law tackles issues at the national level as well as at the enterprise level. At the national level, it can include provisions on the labour inspection infrastructure, the call for a national representative committee on OSH, in addition to the governance of training institutions on OSH and inclusion of OSH in scholar curricula, to mention a few. At the level of the enterprise, legislation can involve issues from the planning and design phase of the enterprise and supply of equipment and substances to matters of maintenance passing through employer duties, worker rights and environmental considerations. Occupational safety and health is a broad area with legislative grounds sometimes difficult to track at the implementation level. According to the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Recommendation, 2006 (No. 197), a national OSH profile should include, among others, information on the following elements: laws and regulations, responsible authorities or bodies, mechanisms for ensuring compliance with national laws and regulations, and services in accordance with national law and practice.