No Time to Lose campaign presented at the World Health Organization

IOSH was recently invited to take part in an important all-day round-table discussion hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Entitled ‘Towards Healthier and Safer Workplaces for all: Delivering as one’, it mapped global efforts by the WHO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) on achieving healthier and safer workplaces. This included occupational health and safety, workplace health promotion, health coverage of workers, as well as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their modifiable risk factors, plus violence and injuries and mental health at the workplace.

Participants from the WHO, ILO, International Social Security Organization (ISSA), IOSH and other key global bodies shared their experiences of encouraging healthier, safer workplaces through comprehensive programmes on health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace. They discussed the key roles workplaces have in promoting good health.

Sharing what works can enable all organisations to exemplify good practice and act in concert. Those present also identified a set of short-term actions at the global level to boost scaling up of efforts to promote healthier and safer workplaces.

In the second session of the day, where international partners outlined actions they’re taking to prevent accidents and ill-health in workplaces, Duncan Spencer, IOSH Head of Advice and Practice, presented IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign and its free practical resources which are helping businesses worldwide to tackle occupational cancer. He explained how IOSH has established a global network of supporter organisations and ‘pledge signatories’ tackling occupational cancer through its campaign.

He was able to give an OSH-practitioner perspective to complement contributions from international researchers and policy-makers in attendance and he made the point that IOSH is a good route to the solution of reaching into businesses via our professional base.

ISSA also credited No Time to Lose, in part with helping inform the design and implementation of its Vision Zero campaign programme.

Duncan also explained IOSH’s research and development of advice on mental health, including return to work and holistic prevention-focused health and wellbeing programmes.

Delegates also heard presentations from delegates representing India, Brazil, Italy, Nepal and Chile. All described the various amounts of progress each had achieved in getting OSH into their countries’ regulatory and policy frameworks.

The round table findings will contribute to a collaborative WHO programme designed to promote health and wellbeing at work.