Ensuring Safety and Health for All Workers in Myanmar: A Fundamental Right
27 April 2023
In marking World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the ILO calls for increased efforts in workplaces to cultivate a safe and healthy working environment.
YANGON, Myanmar (ILO news) - On this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work, in the midst a deep and ongoing crisis in Myanmar, the International Labour Organization (ILO) calls for intensified efforts to prioritize occupational safety and health (OSH) in all workplaces across all sectors.
In June 2022, the ILO took a historic step of including the right to a safe and healthy working environment in the ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. This decision emphasizes the responsibility of governments and employers to provide a safe and healthy working environment for all workers and recognizes the right of every worker to be protected from hazards and risks that can cause injury, illness, or death in the workplace.
Mr. Donglin Li, ILO Liaison Officer to Myanmar, underscores the importance of the issue, stating, "A safe and healthy working environment is crucial for the well-being of workers and the overall success of businesses in Myanmar. To ensure that every worker, regardless of their background or occupation, is protected from hazards in the workplace is of paramount importance."
Work-related accidents and diseases claim the lives of 2.9 million people around the world annually, amounting to over 8,000 deaths every day. The toll is enormous, both in terms of personal tragedy and economic loss. Protecting workers' safety, health and well-being is not just a moral imperative; it makes good business sense too, as a recent cost-benefit analysis carried out by the ASEAN Secretariat on OSH in the construction sector showed.
“However, for OSH protections to become a daily reality for all workers, it must be addressed alongside ILO’s other fundamental principles and rights at work relating to freedom of association and collective bargaining, the elimination of forced and child labour as well as ending discrimination in the world of work,” said Mr. Li.
The ILO calls on workplaces to reinforce a shared commitment to ensure that no worker is left behind, and that every individual can enjoy a safe and healthy working environment as a fundamental right.