Evil electronic brains and rebellious robots frequently appear in our collective imagination and on our screens, reducing the contribution of technology to a distant and vaguely problematic danger. Although ethical and social issues must evolve rapidly in order to keep up with the pace of technological advances, AI should not be confined to this vision straight out of science fiction, but rather be seen as a tool that has a place in the development of various world economic spheres. The main players in the marketing sector have clearly understood the possibilities of this digital transformation.
If the ethical side is sometimes put aside, investors in this field of work have nevertheless managed to convert information into real value. If the concept seems easy—create value based on questions and then sell them to the highest bidder—the complexity of the system needed to answer those questions is harder than it seems. This is where artificial intelligence comes into play.
Besides this enthusiasm for new technological solutions, investors, big and small, are also increasingly looking for responsible investments. Environment is instinctively associated with sustainable development, but health, worker safety, product quality, supply chain impact and community considerations are also unavoidable components of social driving choices. Considering customer demands and market pressure for organizations to perform when it comes to sustainable development, combined with the organizational agility that the digital transformation provides to business leaders, EHS experts have no choice but to develop a data culture and to familiarize themselves with AI tools and techniques, catalysts in extracting value from all this data.
So what are these simple questions that are relevant to sustainable development? Once the questions that are critical to the functioning of your business have been identified, they must, of course, be answered. Usually, the problem is not about finding the data, but rather organizing it in a system while extracting useful information that will add value. It is in your best interest to start as quickly as possible. The more information you gather, the more material you will have to give to your artificial intelligence system, as it will learn to differentiate patterns and trends allowing your system to acquire knowledge.
The industry is full of inspiring examples, including the history of this small manufacturing company that asked its employees five years ago to photograph different stages of the assembly line. Years later, there are now enough photos to visually compare products and detect defects using an image recognition algorithm. There is a lot of value extracting data without being able to predict its purpose. An organization need only send a letter containing sufficient information to the Director-General, International Labour Office, 4 route des Morillons, Geneva 22, Switzerland fax number Article 22 procedures.
A government must submit reports on the application of Conventions it has ratified to the International Labour Office Article The government is also bound to provide copies of those reports to the most representative organizations of employers and workers in the country Article These organizations can make comments on the reports and provide additional information on the application of an instrument. An independent Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations CEARC examines the reports and any comments made, and it may then address comments to governments to recommend changes in law or practice or to note cases of progress.
The Conference sets up an Applications Committee, which addresses selected cases before reporting to the plenary. Article 24 procedures. The ILO Governing Body may then set up a committee to examine the representation, communicate it to the government for comment and prepare a report, which the Governing Body can order to be published.
It may also lead to a direct contacts mission. Where a government has not acted on the report of an Article 24 representation, the Governing Body may initiate the complaint procedure provided by Article 26 of the ILO Constitution. Article 26 procedures. This article of the ILO Constitution permits complaints to be filed with the International Labour Office against a Member State which has allegedly failed to secure the observance of a Convention it has ratified.
A complaint may be lodged by another Member State having also ratified the same Convention, by a delegate government, employer or worker to the International Labour Conference or by the Governing Body of the ILO. The Governing Body may appoint a Commission of Inquiry to consider the complaint and report back to it.
The recommendations may include a direct contacts mission.
Democratizing Artificial Intelligence in EHS
In case of disagreement as regards the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, a complaint may be referred to the International Court of Justice, whose decision is final. Freedom of association procedures. With freedom of association and the right to engage in collective bargaining at the heart of membership of the ILO, it has established special procedures to deal with complaints alleging infringements of these rights.
A Governing Body Committee on Freedom of Association examines complaints made by national or international organizations of employers or workers against any ILO Member State, even when it has not ratified the two main ILO Conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining. This Committee can also recommend that a government accept a direct contacts mission to assist it in ensuring respect for these basic principles. While the ILO has no police force or labor inspectorate empowered to order a workplace to be made safer, governments are sensitive to pleas that they fulfill the obligations they have undertaken in ratifying ILO Conventions.
The public pressure brought to bear by use of the ILO procedures has in a number of cases led to changes in law and practice, and thus through them to an improvement of working conditions. The object of ISO is to promote the development of standards in the world with a view to facilitating international exchange of goods and services and to developing mutual cooperation in the sphere of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.
The scope of ISO is not limited to any particular branch; it covers all standardization fields except standards for electrical and electronic engineering, which are the responsibility of the International Electrotechnical Commission IEC. ISO brings together the interests of producers, users including consumers , governments and the scientific community in the preparation of International Standards.
ISO work is carried out through some 2, technical bodies. More than , experts from all parts of the world are engaged in this work which, to date, has resulted in the publication of over 10, International Standards, representing some , pages of concise reference data in English and French. International standardization started in the electrotechnical field some 90 years ago.
While some attempts were made in the s to develop International Standards in other technical fields, it was not until ISO was created that an international organization devoted to standardization as a whole came into existence. It follows that only one such body for each country is accepted for membership in ISO. Member bodies are entitled to participate and exercise full voting rights on any technical committee of ISO, are eligible for membership in the Council and have a seat in the General Assembly.
By September the number of member bodies was The remainder have close links with the public administration in their respective countries. A correspondent member is normally an organization in a developing country which does not yet have its own national standards body. Correspondent members do not take an active part in the technical work, but are kept fully informed of it.
Normally, a correspondent member becomes a member body after a few years. Nearly all the present correspondent members are governmental institutions. By September the number of correspondent members was A third category, subscriber membership, has been established for countries with smaller-scale economies. These subscriber members pay reduced membership fees that nevertheless allow them to maintain contact with international standardization.
By September , the number of subscriber members was eight. The decision to set up a technical committee is taken by the Technical Management Board, which also approves the scope of the committee. Within this scope, the committee determines its own programme of work. The technical committees may, in turn, create subcommittees SC and working groups WG to cover different aspects of the work.
Each technical committee or subcommittee has a secretariat assigned to an ISO member body. At the end of there were in existence technical committees, subcommittees and 2, working groups. A proposal to introduce a new field of technical activity into the ISO working programme normally comes from a member body, but it may also originate from some other international organization. Since resources are limited, priorities must be established. Therefore, all new proposals are submitted for consideration by the ISO member bodies.
If accepted, either the new work will be referred to the appropriate existing technical committee or a new committee will be created. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been authorized has the right to be represented on that committee.
It may be used as such or implemented through incorporation into national standards of different countries. An important first step towards an International Standard takes the form of a committee draft CD , a document circulated for study within the technical committee. This document must pass through a number of stages before it can be accepted as an International Standard. This procedure is designed to ensure that the final result is acceptable to as many countries as possible.
When agreement is finally reached within the technical committee, the draft proposal is sent to the central secretariat for registration as a draft International Standard DIS ; the DIS is then circulated to all member bodies for voting. In many countries, the DIS is made available for public enquiry, thereby ensuring the widest possible consultations.
Normally the fundamental technical issues are resolved at the technical committee level. However, the member body voting procedure provides assurance that no important objections have been overlooked. The greater part of the work is done by correspondence, and meetings are convened only when thoroughly justified. Each year some 10, working documents are circulated. Most standards require periodic revision. Several factors combine to render a standard out of date: technological evolution, new methods and materials, and new quality and safety requirements. To take account of these factors, ISO has established the general rule that all ISO standards should be reviewed every five years.
On occasion it is necessary to revise a standard earlier. The more than 10, International Standards already published by ISO cover a wide spectrum, from aerospace, aircraft and agriculture to building, fire tests, containers, medical equipment, mining equipment, computer languages, the environment, personal safety, ergonomics, pesticides, nuclear energy and so on.
This Standard, like all others, is continuously updated in the light of research and experience, and relates to such forms of transport as dumpers, tractors, excavators and many other vehicles and worksites. The ISO technical committees listed in table 1 are among the most prominent in the work for safety and accidents and disease prevention. Table 1. ISO technical committees most concerned with prevention of occupational accidents and diseases.
Typical example of ISO standard. Technical drawings, product definition and related documentation. Technical product documentation—Data sheets for drawing materials and equipment and related documentation. Equipment for fire protection and fire-fighting. Classification of fires. Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry. Tractors for agriculture—Seat belt anchorages. Paints and varnishes. Paints, varnishes, petroleum and related products—Determination of flashpoint—Rapid equilibrium method.
Acoustics—Measurement of airborne noise emitted by construction equipment intended for outdoor use—Method for determining compliance with noise limits. Welding and allied processes. Building construction. Building construction —Needs of disabled people in buildings —Design guidelines. Materials, equipment and offshore structures for petroleum and natural gas industries.
Petroleum and natural gas industries—Offshore production platforms—Analysis, design, installation and testing of basic surface safety systems. Stranded wire ropes for mine hoisting—Fibre components—Characteristics and tests. Nuclear energy. Nuclear energy—Fissile materials—Principles of criticality, safety in storing, handling and processing. Mechanical refrigerating systems used for cooling and heating—Safety requirements.
Building materials—Determination of calorific potential. Personal safety—Protective clothing and equipment. Clothing for protection against heat and fire—General recommendations for users and for those in charge of such users. Cranes—Limiting and indicating devices—Part 1: General. Bases for design of structures. General principles on reliability for structures.
Continuous mechanical handling equipment. Continuous mechanical handling equipment—Safety code—General rules. Mechanical vibration and shock. Evaluation of human exposure to whole-body vibration—Part 1: General requirements. Industrial trucks. Counterbalanced fork-lift trucks—Stability tests. Compressors, pneumatic tools and pneumatic machines.
Stationary air compressors—Safety rules and code of practice. Workplace air—Determination of particulate lead and lead compounds—Flame atomic absorption spectrometric method. Hot environments—Estimation of the heat stress on worker, based on the WBGT index wet bulb globe temperature. Safety of machinery. Safety of machinery—Basic concepts, general principles for design—Part 1: Basic terminology, methodology. These technical committees and others have prepared or are preparing International Standards concerned with occupational risks in such areas as building construction sites, factories, docks, agriculture and forestry, nuclear installations, handling of materials and personal protective clothing and equipment.
The field of building provides a very clear example of the intensive concern for accident and disease prevention in the work of ISO. The physical factors in the building field cover aspects such as personal safety, vibration and shock, noise, plant and equipment, earth-moving machinery, cranes and lifting devices, and ergonomics. The chemical factors cover air quality, paints and varnishes, protection of welding workers, and protective clothing and equipment. ISO TC Earth-moving machinery has set up a subcommittee to deal specifically with safety requirements and human factors in respect of all the current basic types of earth-moving machinery such as tractors, loaders, dumpers, tractor scrapers, excavators and graders.
Standards are already in existence for safe access to driving cabs via steps, ladders, walkways and platforms, and the dimensions of cabs have been established for both large and small operators, sitting or standing and in arctic clothing or not, as appropriate. Sitting positions and the sizes and shapes of seats for different operators are also the subject of International Standards.
Sitting positions are now being related to areas of comfort and to reach for both hand and foot controls, and Standards have been prepared to determine the field of view available to operators of earth-moving machines, based upon determination of the shape, size and position of areas of invisibility caused by obstructing parts of the machines. To prevent machines from crushing their operators in the event of accidental overturning, roll-over protective structures ROPS have been developed and standardized.
Falling rocks, trees and parts of buildings in the process of demolition can prove hazardous, so falling-object protective structures FOPS have been standardized so as to minimize the possibility of injury to the operator. ISO , Graphical symbols for use on equipment—Index and synopsis , provides a synopsis of several hundred internationally agreed graphic symbols to be placed on equipment or parts of equipment of any kind in order to instruct the persons handling the equipment as to its use and operation. ISO work in the building field is both intensive and extensive, just as it is in other fields covered by ISO.
The scope of ISO includes most industrial, agricultural and maritime activities except the electrotechnical field, which is handled by the International Electrotechnical Commission, and pharmaceutical products, handled by the World Health Organization. On the factory floor, International Standards take on a special meaning as persons seeking work migrate from one country to another and often to jobs where they cannot speak or read the local language.
Easily recognized graphic symbols for controls on machinery that conform to International Standards are vital here as in the building industry; so are standardized locations for foot and hand controls and International Standards for guards to moving parts. An ISO safety code for compressors covers a wide range of safety and environmental factors, such as the prevention of oil inhalation and the control of toxic oil inhibitors, the prevention of oil coke ignition and of crankcase explosion, and the use of relief and safety valves.
The safety of continuous mechanical handling equipment is the subject of nearly 40 International Standards. They cover such aspects as safety and safety codes for the different kinds of equipment, such as belt conveyors, vibrating feeders, overhead chain conveyors, hydraulic conveyors, pneumatic handling equipment, and roller and screw conveyors. In the field of agriculture and forestry, ISO has developed important International Standards that protect the worker. Anchorages for seat belts for farm tractors are the subject of a well known standard that is making the import-export trade easier for manufacturers as it is implemented, replacing a plethora of national standards and regulations on the subject.
On the docks the worker is protected by International Standards that determine the stability of cranes and mobile cranes in action and determine the effect of wind loads on crane structures. The Standards produced and in preparation should not only assist operators in their work, but enhance the working environment by inspiring confidence in all works personnel moving under and around cranage. A related International Standard provides discard criteria in relation to wear, corrosion, deformation and wire strand breaks, and is intended to guide competent persons involved in the maintenance and examination of cranes and lifting appliances.
New Standards under development include out-of-service anchoring devices, maintenance, condition monitoring, safe use and safety signs. Safety for the worker and others at or near nuclear installations is covered by a number of International Standards, and the work continues in this area. Subjects covered are methods for testing exposure meters and dosimeters, a test for contents leakage and radiation leakage, and the general principles for sampling airborne radioactive materials. In addition to the Standard for industrial safety helmets, it has developed a standardized vocabulary for personal eye-protectors, established utilization and transmittance requirements for infrared filters for eye protectors, and general recommendations for users and those in charge of users of clothing for protection against heat and fire.
The production and use of ISO International Standards such as these, produced through worldwide cooperation, have unquestionably improved the quality of the workplace. The aim of the ISSA is to cooperate, at the international level, in the defence, promotion and development of social security throughout the world, basically through its technical and administrative improvement. The prevention of social risks is today considered to form an integral part of social security.
The ISSA was founded at this time, upon the initiative of the International Labour Office, with the aim of gaining support from experts in a number of European countries for the ratification of these instruments. The concept of prevention already existed in the minds of the CIMAS pioneers when they included this notion in the fundamental policy principles adopted by their Constituent Assembly. It was not until , however, that the Association became actively involved in occupational safety and health activities, through the establishment of its Permanent Committee on Prevention of Occupational Risks.
Although prevention programmes are obviously most prevalent in the field of occupational safety and health, over the last two decades prevention has gained increasing importance in other branches of social security as well, particularly as regards sickness insurance and, more recently, unemployment insurance, as may be seen from the activities of ISSA Permanent Committees. The ISSA is an international organization of services, institutions or bodies administering one or more branches of social security or mutual benefit societies.
It has its offices at the headquarters of the ILO in Geneva. The Association has two categories of membership— affiliate membership , for government departments, central institutions and national federations of institutions administering social security or one of its branches at the national level, and associate membership , open to national non-profit institutions, such as research and safety and health institutions, the aims of which are compatible with those of the Association, but which are not qualified to become affiliate members.
Two different and complementary aspects i. The Committee is charged with undertaking at the international level the following types of activities for the prevention of occupational risks:. There is no doubt however that the resultant exchange of ideas and information relating to recent research and to its practical application in different countries, both at the national level and within industry, has enabled a large number of participants in these Congresses to be cognizant of the many changes being introduced.
This, in turn, has enabled them to make a greater contribution to their particular field of activity. In , the site is Brazil. Eight of them deal with accident prevention in various sectors of industry and agriculture and three deal respectively with information techniques, research in the area of occupational safety and health, and education and training for prevention of accidents. A concrete example is the prevention concept discussed separately below. The International Sections are financially autonomous, having a decentralized structure and their own membership consisting of full members, associate members and corresponding members.
Full membership is open to ISSA member institutions and other non-profit organizations; profit-making entities with activities compatible with the area of competence of a Section may be admitted as associate members, and individual experts may apply for corresponding membership. The Secretariats of the Sections are provided in various countries by member institutions of the ISSA specialized in the respective fields. Each Section is a clearing house for information in its own area of competence.
All Sections organize international symposia, round tables and expert meetings, the proceedings and reports of which are published in the ISSA Prevention Series The Sections currently have some 45 internationally composed working groups working on specific topical subjects, which range, for example, from safety advice for migrant workers in the construction industry or a checklist for the classification of machines on the basis of ergonomic principles, to safe working with biological agents.
Most titles exist in English, French and German, some also in Spanish and other languages. Such publications may be ordered directly from the Secretariat of the Section concerned. Of special interest are the International Film and Video Festivals, which are held during World Congresses and for which a Working Group of the Electricity Section forms a clearing house.
All productions submitted to these festivals are listed in a catalogue in four languages which is available free from this Section. The Section offers the latest information on both current and planned research projects worldwide. Two data banks allow quick and efficient access to this information. The Information Section provides information on efficient information techniques. The Section deals with the classical risks of underground work in coal mines darkness, dust, heat, gases, explosions, cave-ins and concerns itself with the training of mine rescue teams. Although new substances result in new risks, the chemical industry has developed high safety standards that have proven to be exemplary.
The Chemical Section strives to ensure that these safety standards transcend borders just as much as—if not even more than—risks do. The high accident rate in this important branch of activity must be reduced. Safety strategies are developed against the most frequent hazards and causes of accident. The Section evolves recommendations for practical accident prevention, principles for a regulatory control of electrical appliances and systems, backed up by effective first aid measures in the event of electrical accidents.
The Section maintains a clearinghouse for films and videos in the field of safety, health and the environment. The extremely high accident risks in the construction industry call for a safety strategy that can deal with the continuous changes of the working environment on construction sites.
The mechanization of agriculture and the use of chemical substances in agriculture are worldwide problems. The Section advocates a rapid socio-technical evolution in the light of the technical revolution, while endeavouring to ensure that the production of food does not put life at risk. The Section deals with system safety and accident prevention relating to machines, appliances, apparatus and systems.
Technical progress is expanding in all areas of life; but at the same time it brings along new risks. The major factor in accidents is the lack of education and training in the field of safety. Safety must be an integrated part of human behaviour in all areas of life. The Section deals with pedagogical aspects of education and training for prevention and aims at a global approach of prevention, making use of the experiences gained in prevention at the workplace for safety in all areas of life.
The Section endeavours through international cooperation to overcome the safety deficits in the health sector. The health sector has typical professional risks which in part differ greatly from those in other fields of activity—for instance, direct exposure to diseases, risks from medications, particularly gas anaesthetics, disinfectants and infectious waste. Because only seven out of every fatal accidents are work accidents, with all others occurring in traffic, in the home, during sports or at school, the concept seeks to make meaningful use, in other areas, of the experience gained in prevention in the world of work.
Starting from the viewpoint that the preservation of health is a fundamental mission of humanity and thus a central aim of social security, the concept calls for the interlinking of prevention, rehabilitation and compensation and for the preservation of an intact environment. Emphasis will be laid on the human factor at the planning, organization and implementation stages and the need to begin education in prevention during early childhood.
Efforts will be made to address all those who, through their own activities, can provide better protection against hazards for individuals. These include legislators and standard-setters, social partners, persons responsible for developing, planning, designing and manufacturing products and services, and school curriculum planners and teachers, as well as information specialists in public information work, occupational health physicians, supervisory and consultative bodies, responsible officials in social and private insurance, decision-makers and programme managers in international organizations, professional and other organizations and so on—and, last but not least, parents and children.
The thorough promotion of safety and health at work and elsewhere requires measures of three types—technical measures, behavioural change measures and organizational measures. The first step in the implementation of the concept will be a stock-taking of prevention activities to determine regional needs and deficiencies. An inventory of existing support facilities and materials will also be drawn up. In addition, the ISSA will step up its information and research activities and its programme of meetings, strengthen cooperation with international organizations active in the prevention field, and take their projects into account in its own activities.
In summary, the only sure way to success lies in cooperation between prevention, rehabilitation and compensation services; the positive experiences of prevention within enterprises must be carried over into non-occupational fields; and greater account must be taken of the human factor. In addition to the proceedings of World Congresses on Occupational Safety and Health, which are published by the National Organizing Committee of the host country, the publications issued by the International Sections are listed in the ISSA Prevention Series and , and are also available at the above address.
The International Commission on Occupational Health ICOH is an international non-governmental professional society whose aims are to foster the scientific progress, knowledge and development of occupational health and safety in all its aspects. Its official languages are English and French. At its founding the Commission had 18 members representing 12 countries. After the London Congress in the international interest was evident and the Commission was internationalized with changes in its constitution, and the name was changed to Permanent Commission and International Association on Occupation Health, a change finalized in The internationalization and democratization of the commission grew with time and in the present name was established.
ICOH provides a forum for scientific and professional communication. To achieve this purpose, the ICOH:. The ICOH is governed by its officers and board on behalf of its membership. The officers of the ICOH are the President, two Vice-Presidents and the Secretary-General, while the board comprises the past president and 16 members elected from among the general membership. Further, if necessary the President may co-opt two members to the board to represent underrepresented geographical areas or disciplines. ICOH has both individual and collective members. An organization, society, industry or enterprise may become a sustaining member of the ICOH.
A professional organization or a scientific society may become an affiliate member. Sustaining members may nominate a representative who fulfils the criteria for full membership and enjoys all the benefits of an individual member. An affiliate member may nominate one representative who fulfils the criteria for full membership and enjoys the same rights as a full member.
These professionals work either for universities, institutes of occupational health, governments or industries. At the end of , the largest national groups were those of France, the United States, Finland, Japan, United Kingdom and Sweden, each with more than members. Sustaining and affiliate members can be represented in the General Assembly, and can participate in the activities of scientific committees; they can also submit materials for publication in the newsletter, which also keeps them informed of ongoing and planned activities.
The Congress in the year is scheduled to be held in Singapore. The venues of the triennial congresses since are listed in table 1. Vienna cancelled. Buenos Aires. At present the ICOH has 26 scientific committees and four working groups, listed in table 2. Most of the committees have regular symposia, publish monographs and preview the abstracts submitted to the international congresses. ICOH issues a quarterly newsletter, which is circulated to all members free of charge. The bilingual newsletter contains congress reports, reviews of publications, a list of coming events and information on research and education, and other announcements relevant to members.
Several of the scientific committees also publish monographs and proceedings from their meetings. ICOH keeps a computerized membership file, which is printed at regular intervals and circulated to the membership. The journal is available for members at a very affordable subscription rate. Accident prevention. Ageing and work. Chemical industry Medichem. Computing in occupational and environmental health. Construction industry. Developing countries. Education and training.
Epidemiology in occupational health. Health-care workers. Health services research and evaluation. Industrial hygiene. Musculoskeletal disorders. Neurotoxicology and psychophysiology. Occupational health nursing. Occupational toxicology. Organic dusts. Radiation and work. Occupational health services in small industries. Toxicology of metals. Work-related respiratory disorders. Vibration and noise. Occupational and environmental dermatoses. Handicap and work. Reproductive hazards in the workplace. Thermal factors. The International Association of Labour Inspection IALI was founded in in order to provide a professional forum for the exchange of information and experience between inspectors about their work.
It promotes closer cooperation and greater understanding between inspectorates, authorities and other institutions of the role, the realities and challenges of labour inspection. The statutes exclude any political, trade union or religious activity and any judgement in respect of the labour law or inspection systems of individual states.
There is an annual membership fee which is dependent upon the size of the organization making the application. This covers the expenses of organizing the programme of activities. In September the Association comprised 65 member organizations from 50 countries. The majority of members are now labour departments or labour inspectorates. By gathering and summarizing information and documentation on particular aspects of labour inspectorate work and by undertaking comparative studies among its members, the Association promotes professional understanding of all aspects of labour inspection and provides opportunities for the exchange of views between practitioners.
The technical symposia organized jointly with member countries and the triennial congress let inspectors get to know their colleagues personally, to exchange information on problems, solutions and new developments, and to develop their own thinking. These meetings also serve to focus attention in a practical way on a wide range of specific, but carefully chosen, aspects of labour inspection, thus promoting greater consistency of practice between inspectorates in different countries.
The proceedings are published and a regular newsletter is also sent to members. The programmes of IALI are devoted exclusively to the distribution of information collected through international enquiries based on questionnaires and reports from international or regional symposia. There is an international congress every three years in Geneva, undertaken with the generous technical assistance of the ILO at the time of its annual international conference.
The ILO also collaborates in the organization of many of the symposia. Since programmes have been devoted to the study of a wide range of practices in the field of safety, health and the working environment. Topics have included recording systems for premises and accidents, methods of inspecting smaller enterprises, the problems of large construction sites and the use of computers by inspectors. The Association has considered causes of accidents and other problems in relation to the use of robots and other programmable electronic systems. More recently its symposia and congresses have included topics as diverse as human factors, training of inspectors, inspection of public services, child labour, agriculture, risk assessment and occupational health.
The need for a more effective exchange of information and experience has been stimulated by a number of significant developments in the field of labour inspection, including:. Affecting all these issues is the increased emphasis on the human factor. Labour inspectors need to analyse, understand and constructively use their skills to help employers and employees to take this central element into account in developing preventive strategies for health and safety.
In many countries too there is increasing public awareness of and concern about the consequences of work and work processes. In much forward-looking legislation this is expressed as the aim that no one should be harmed in any way by the need to work. But it is also evident in concerns about the impact of industry and commerce on the environment and the quality of life.
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Labour inspectors cannot simply ignore these trends; they have to take the initiative and explain through the media their role, the advice they give and the effect of their compliance work, in order to promote confidence in the constructive work they do. Inspectorates throughout the world have had to review how they work, set their priorities and carry out their inspections so they can devote more time and more of their limited resources to productive activities. The exchange of information and experience about all these matters is of enormous interest to inspectors.
For whilst inspectorates operate in very different political, economic, legal and social climates, experience shows that they have many practical concerns in common and can benefit in a very instructive way from the experience, the different viewpoints, the ideas and the successes and failures of their colleagues in other countries.
Aims and Purposes of Intergovernmental Organizations One of the important roles of international organizations is to translate agreed-upon values into rights and obligations. Other Intergovernmental Organizations The activities of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD are particularly important as regards environmental health issues, safety in the use of chemicals, methods for the evaluation of chemical risks, and protection from radiation.
International Non-governmental Organizations Scientific, professional and other groups also felt the need to develop international cooperation and join in international non-governmental organizations. Joint Programmes in International Cooperation It is interesting to examine how international organizations complement each other and mobilize their various means of action to combat specific occupational hazards. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development UNCED , held in Rio de Janeiro in , recognized the need to ensure the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals and identified six programme areas for international cooperation: expanding and accelerating the international assessment of chemical risks harmonization of classification and labelling of chemicals information exchange on toxic chemicals and chemical risks establishment of risk reduction programmes strengthening of national capabilities and capacities for management of chemicals prevention of illegal international traffic of toxic and dangerous products.
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Common Goals and Complementary Approaches in Occupational Health In the field of occupational health, the ultimate goals of the WHO and the ILO are the same: to protect and promote the health of the workers in all occupations. It spelled out the three fundamental principles that: Work should take place in a safe and healthy working environment.
Work should offer real possibilities for personal achievement, self-fulfilment, and service to society. Read more Origin of the United Nations The United Nations was, in , an organization of nations legally committed to cooperate in supporting the principles and purposes set out in its Charter. Membership The Charter declares that membership of the UN is open to all peace-loving nations which accept its obligations and which, in the judgement of the Organization, are willing and able to carry out these obligations. Structure The United Nations is a complex network consisting of six main organs with a large number of related programmes, agencies, commissions and other bodies.
Relations with non-governmental organizations Over NGOs have consultative status with the Council, with varying levels of involvement. Security Council The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. Secretariat The Secretariat, an international staff working at UN Headquarters in New York and in the field, carries out the diverse day-to-day work of the Organization. Trusteeship Council In setting up an International Trusteeship System, the Charter established the Trusteeship Council as one of the main organs of the UN and assigned to it the task of supervising the administration of Trust Territories placed under the Trusteeship System.
Besides these two organizations with a central focus on work and health, respectively, several UN bodies include health and safety matters within their specific sectoral or geographical functions: The United Nations Environment Programme UNEP has the mandate to safeguard and enhance the environment for the benefit of present and future generations, including the working environment.
The Constitution of the International Labour Organization Permanent peace worldwide, justice and humanity were and are the motivations for the International Labour Organization, best expressed in the Preamble to the Constitution. Tripartism All the decision-making mechanisms of the ILO follow a unique structure. Contents of Conventions on Safety and Health Structure and content of safety and health Conventions follow a general pattern: scope and definitions obligations of governments consultation with organizations of workers and employers obligations of employers duties of workers rights of workers inspections penalties final provisions on conditions for entry into force, registrations of ratifications and denunciation.
Design of Conventions concerning safetyand health at work The Preamble Each Convention is headed by a preamble referring to the dates and the item on the agenda of the International Labour Conference; other Conventions and documents related to the topic, concerns about the subject justifying the action; underlying causes; cooperation with other international organizations such as WHO and UNEP; the form of the international instrument as a Convention or Recommendation, and the date of the adoption and citation of the Convention.
Scope Wording of the scope is governed by flexibility towards implementation of a Convention. Obligations of governments Conventions on safety and health establish as a first module the task for a government to elaborate, implement and review a national policy relating to the contents of the Convention. Consultations with organizations of employers and workers The importance of involvement of those who are directly associated with the implementation of regulations and the consequences of accidents is undoubted.
Obligations of employers The responsibility for the execution of legal requirements within an enterprise lies on the owner of an enterprise or his or her representative. Duties of workers Since the s, Conventions have stated that workers have a duty to cooperate with their employers in the application of safety and health measures and to comply with all procedures and practices relating to safety and health at work. Rights of workers A variety of special rights of workers has been stated in ILO Conventions on safety and health.
Inspection Conventions on safety and health express the needs for the government to provide appropriate inspection services to supervise the application of the measures taken to implement the Convention. Penalties Conventions on safety and health often call for national regulation regarding the imposition of penalties in case of non-compliance with legal obligations. Promotion of progressive development by Conventions Work on Conventions tries to mirror law and practice in Member States of the Organization. Here are two examples: 1 The right of a worker to remove himself or herself from work that poses an imminent and serious danger to his or her life or health.
In principle, the Resolution constitutes a framework of operation for all action by the ILO and by Member States of the Organization in the field of safety and health: Work should take place in a safe and healthy working environment. Origin and Membership International standardization started in the electrotechnical field some 90 years ago. ISO technical committees most concerned with prevention of occupational accidents and diseases No.
Structure and Membership The ISSA is an international organization of services, institutions or bodies administering one or more branches of social security or mutual benefit societies. Activities The Association has three main programmes: Regional activities. These are aimed at serving the special needs of member institutions in the various parts of the world. Research and documentation. Worldwide developments and trends in social security are monitored and analysed from the perspective of national and cross-national research through a network of correspondents.
Technical activities. Ten Permanent Committees and a Study Group each deal with a specific branch or aspect of social security. They investigate sector-specific problems such as those relating to health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, family protection, rehabilitation, organization and methods, actuarial and statistical issues. The Committee is charged with undertaking at the international level the following types of activities for the prevention of occupational risks: exchange of information and experience organization of international meetings and World Congresses implementation of surveys and promotion of research in the field of prevention of occupational risks coordination of the activities of the ISSA International Sections for the Prevention of Occupational Risks cooperation with the ILO and other agencies active in the prevention of occupational risks other measures appropriate to the purposes of the Committee.
To achieve this purpose, the ICOH: sponsors international congresses and meetings on occupational health establishes scientific committees in various fields of occupational health and related subjects disseminates information on occupational health activities issues guidelines and reports on occupational health and related subjects collaborates with appropriate international and national bodies on matters concerning occupational and environmental health takes any other appropriate action related to the field of occupational health solicits and administers such funds as may be required in furtherance of its objectives.
Table 2. Accident prevention 2. Ageing and work 3. Agriculture 4. Cardiology 5. Chemical industry Medichem 6. Computing in occupational and environmental health 7.