To enhance and instill national awareness on the importance of occupational safety and health, the Department of Labor and Employment, together with the International Labor Organization (ILO), is all set to celebrate World Day for Safety and Health at Work tomorrow (April 28, 2017) morning at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said the celebration aims to elicit the cooperation and support of the workers, employers, professional groups, and especially the general public, in upgrading the quality of life in the workplace.

“Our celebration is in line with the ILO’s campaign on safety and health at work which focuses on developing a reliable information databank on occupational safety health, and at the same time ensure the safety of young workers and promote a culture of prevention in our country,” Bello said.

He said that apart from optimizing the collection and use of OSH data, the celebration will focus on raising awareness on occupational safety and health (OSH) practices among young workers, who are most vulnerable to work accidents and illnesses.

According to ILO estimates, 6,300 people die daily as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases or more than 2.3 million deaths per year.

The ILO indicated that the workforce in the Philippines is relatively young, with around 26 percent of its total labor force belonging to the age group of 25-34, while 17.5 percent come from 15-24 age group.

ILO also indicated that majority of these young workers are found in considered hazardous sectors, particularly in the agriculture, manufacturing and construction.

“Through the ILO conventions, particularly in implementing the SafeYouth@Work Project, DOLE will continue to ensure that our workers, especially the youth, know their rights at work, including a right to a safe and healthy workplace,” Bello said.

The celebration will start with the short program that will be followed by small group discussion on the importance of OSH practices.

Prior to this, DOLE and ILO has conducted series of toolbox talks in various constructions sites in National Capital Region, which focused on the strict implementation and compliance with the OSH standards and enhanced preventive measures to avoid accidents and illnesses at construction sites, particularly among young workers.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work.

END/Abegail De Vega

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