Commissioner Andor and ILO Director General agree to reinforce cooperation on health and safety at work

May 8, 2014

European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, and ILO Director General, Guy Ryder, have agreed to step up cooperation in the area of health and safety at work. Worldwide, every 15 seconds a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease and 160 workers have a work-related accident. Andor and Ryder agreed to improve their cooperation because the European Commission and the International Labour Organization:

1) have a mutual interest in supporting each other’s activities, in particular concerning cooperation in promoting occupational safety and health in emerging economies, implementing the decent work agenda and improving working conditions in global supply chains

2) share a preventative approach to counter occupational and work-related diseases, in particular by tackling new and emerging risks related to physical and mental health, associated with new technologies and new work organisation patterns. In this framework, they agree on the need to explore possibilities to improve cooperation in the area of prevention and on data collection on occupational and work-related diseases

3) recognise the vital role played by labour inspectorates in prevention, advice and enforcement at enterprise level and acknowledge the complementary role that private compliance initiatives could play in improving working conditions. They both highlight the need to reinforce the capacity of labour inspection and enforcement institutions and the role of technical assistance and capacity building to that aim

4) share a common understanding of the need to reinforce the tripartite occupational safety and health governance culture at all levels and therefore the importance of promoting the active participation of governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations in the development of OSH policies and programmes.