Dear President, distinguished delegates, guest, observers, ladies and gentlemen.
Firstly, thank you for giving the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) the opportunity to speak at this Plenary of the 110th ILC. IOHA, representing 18000 members and 8200 professional occupational hygienists from 35 countries is truly excited to be part of the journey for the amendment of the 1998 Declaration: Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
Recognition of Health & Safety as a fundamental human right is only the beginning of an exciting journey ahead of us. IOHA believes this will drive 3 Focused Areas, namely:
1) Strengthened Regulatory Framework
2) Enhanced Capability Building
3) Nurture Greater Partnership
Strengthened Regulatory Framework
Director General Guy Rhyder in his speech https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_846791/lang–en/index.htm mentioned that three million lives lost each year because of work-related accidents and diseases, and he stressed the ‘stark and clear’ responsibility of the ILO to protect workers against sickness, disease and injury arising from employment. Therefore, this demonstrates the urgent need to review and strengthen the legal instrument to provide minimum requirement to protect workers in their working environment. At the time, where businesses are recovering from the impact of COVID-19, economic viability will be a bigger priority for some, over the investments that protect workers’ safety, health and well-being. Stronger regulations and enforcement as a result of the adaptation of health and safety as one on the fundamental right will drive the compliance culture.
Enhanced Capability Building
IOHA recognise the concerted effort to enhance capability building especially in the areas of occupational hygiene for various stakeholders. It is not only for the regulatory bodies, but also for professional safety and health organizations, researchers, social security institutions, workers, students who are desperately needed to support the larger companies and SME for implementation of the measures to assure safe and healthy working conditions. Access to trainings is now easier than before with e-learning modules and some are even offered at pro-bono. Aligned with technological enhancement, research to further improve workers’ health and safety should also focus in developing economies where a lot more industrialisation is taking place. The aspect of local culture should be taken into considerations to ensure effective strategy and holistic mindset for prevention, which is built on the common desire to promote and establish a global prevention culture.
In IOHA, our Mission is to enhance the international network of occupational hygiene organizations that promote, develop, and improve occupational hygiene worldwide, providing a safe and healthy working environment for all. With the recognition of Health & Safety as a fundamental human right, we are even clearer on our contribution to the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). The Tokyo Declaration on Vision Zero for All 2022 is another testament for greater partnership across the globe. Plenary Speech at the ILO 110th ILC 8th June 2022
In conclusion, access to safe and healthy working environment is not option, it is the fundamental right of the 3.3 billion workforces globally. It is the right thing to do.
Thank you very much.
Norhazlina Mydin, CIH, CPIH, CSFC