icon / home icon / small arrow right / light News icon / small arrow right / light World Day for Safety and Health at Work
28 Apr 2024 by lbigmr

World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Today’s designated World Day for Safety and Health at Work serves as a reminder that a significant proportion of the global population still suffers from exploitation, forced labour, slavery, and an income that fails to meet the basic standards of a decent standard of living. Yet, the right to healthy, safe and dignified working conditions is a human right.

The 28 April has been an official day in the United Nations calendar since 2002, and dates back to the “Workers’ Memorial Day” established in 1984 by the “Canadian Union of Public Employees” for all those who have been killed or injured in accidents at work or affected by an occupational disease.

Individuals across the globe still suffer from inhumane working conditions and are exposed to a multitude of health and safety hazards on a daily basis. This is exemplified by incidents such as the fire at the Ali Enterprises textile factory in Pakistan (2012) and the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh (2013). Furthermore, the rising number of work-related accidents and occupational illnesses in Austria is also alarming. For example, in 2018, Austria recorded approximately 106,500 work-related accidents, with 147 resulting in fatalities. In addition, nearly 160,000 individuals who had not yet attained the statutory retirement age received a disability pension. This was due to underlying health issues that were caused or exacerbated by work-related stress and risks, among other factors (see the study by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, March 2020).

As part of its programme line, “Sustainability, Development, Economy & Social Affairs” (NEWS), the LBI-GMR conducts, among other topics, research on compliance with human rights and international labour standards in supply and value chains. In collaboration with the Institute for Sustainability, Corporate Law and Reporting (INUR) at the University of Cologne, the LBI-GMR is engaged in a study, sponsored by the Vienna Chamber of Labour, that examines the human rights and environmental due diligence obligations of companies in their supply and value chains.

a. ©Unsplash_UmitYildirim