“Accurate data will help to save lives”

“Countries that have good data will be better placed to fulfil their commitment to implement and report on the global plan of action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all under the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” says ILO Director-General on World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28th April.

© Jesse A. Lora / NAVFAC

On this World Day for Safety and Health at Work , the ILO highlights the urgent need for vastly improved national occupational safety and health (OSH) data.

It is estimated that over 2.3 million fatalities and 300 million accidents causing injuries occur in the workplace each year. However, these estimates do not properly reflect the magnitude of the problem, nor the real impact of occupational accidents and diseases on workers, families and economies. Better national data is needed for a better understanding of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents, injuries and diseases and to underpin effective policies and strategies for safe and healthy workplaces.

Reliable OSH data facilitates priority setting and gives the basis for measuring progress. It is indispensable for the detection of new hazards and emerging risks, the identification of hazardous sectors, the development of preventive measures, as well as the implementation of policies, systems and programmes at national and enterprise levels. It also helps with the early detection and diagnosis of occupational diseases as well as with measures for their recognition and compensation.

Improved and harmonized OSH data facilitates meaningful comparative analysis and informed effective awareness raising. With good data, prevention strategies can be honed and the design of OSH legislation enhanced. Additionally, there can be more effective social dialogue on OSH issues among stakeholders including government, employers’ and workers’ organizations.

Countries that have good data will be better placed to fulfil their commitment to implement and report on the global plan of action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all under the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development . SDG 8: “Inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all ” calls for the protection of labour rights and promotion of safe and secure working environments for all workers, including those in precarious employment.

Today the ILO renews its commitment to support member States’ efforts to strengthen their capacity to prevent occupational accidents and diseases including through practical measures such as our OSH Toolbox which contains resources to help improve the capacity to collect and use reliable OSH data.

Accurate data will help to save lives. Let us make it a priority.

Statement by ILO Director:  Mr Guy Ryder