|Emerging risks and new patterns of prevention in a changing world of work|
|Category: (International Labor Organization (ILO))|
|Wednesday, 28 April 2010|
|Type of document||brochure|
Recent decades have seen significant technological advances in the workplace, which, together with rapid globalization, have transformed work for many throughout the world. The effects of such changes on occupational safety and health (OSH) have also been significant. In some cases, more traditional hazards and risks have been reduced or eliminated, for example through plant automation, but new technologies have also created new risks. Many of the traditional workplace risks persist however, and the numbers of work-related accidents and diseases are still unacceptably high.
At the same time, many workers are exposed to ‘new’ risks emerging from changing patterns of work, for example because of conditions arising from precarious employment and increased pressures to meet the demands of modern working life. Workforce age profiles are also changing, as is the gender balance in many workplaces. These changes in employment patterns have created evident risks that were either less prevalent or less obvious previously.
Most ILO member States have committed to implement Decent Work Country Programmes, many of which emphasize the need to enhance OSH for all workers. Some of these countries have specifically developed national OSH programmes that focus on key national priorities.
The ILO promotes an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to OSH, taking into account the physical, mental and social well-being of women and men at work, in all economic sectors and in the informal economy. Such a comprehensive approach is vitally important in the context of new and emerging risks to safety and health at work within a changing global economy, in order to ensure sustainable economic and social development.
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