World Day for Safety and Health at Work: Optimise the collection and use of occupational safety and health data

Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Initiated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2003 as an annual day to commemorate the victims of occupational diseases and accidents, concerns over health and safety for workers remain to the day. CESI takes the occasion of this year’s World Day to recall the fundamental importance of occupational heath and safety for all.

The theme set by the ILO for this year’s World Day is ‘Optimise the collection and use of occupational safety and health data’.

According to CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger, there is still lack of data in order to put in place good health and safety measures: “We especially need more information concerning new challenges, such as stress at work, discrimination, harassment, rising work intensities and increased job insecurities. We know that increasing levels of stress at work contribute to elevated levels of absenteeism among the workforce and that this has negative impacts for both the employers and the employees, but concrete data to back this up and to put in place effective preventative mechanisms is often still lacking. According to EU-OSHA, 50% of workers in Europe feel they are considerably stressed at the workplace and 80% of managers say they are aware of the problem, but only 30% of companies take measures about it.“

Mr Heeger added: “Health problems caused by stress at work are also prevalent among white collar workers and public sector employees, but this is an area where detailed research data is still largely missing. This is why CESI made occupational health and safety in public services a work priority. CESI has been a partner in EU-OSHA’s Healthy Workplaces Campaigns since 2012 and just completed a project on better health and safety in public services in Europe.”

Data, findings and existing best practices were compiled and synthesised in a study that was released earlier this year, with the objective to improve health and safety management in public services in Europe.