1757d Future of work and occupational health – a global view from the ilo

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IntroductionSummary and key ‘takeaways’ from ILO global conversations on the Future of Work and their implications for occupational safety and healthDiscussionOver that last two years the ILO has support global conversations on the Future of Work. These conversations have focused on four topics:work and society,jobs of the future,organisation of work and production, andgovernance of work.These conversations identified for key drivers of changes in the world of work –technology, demography, climate change and globalisation. Each of these conversations and the drivers of change they identified have implications for occupational safety and health and the strategies that have been developed over the last decades to improve the safety and health of work and workplaces – from government regulation to workplace management systems. For decades, we have been reacting to the growing body of evidence on work-related hazards and their impact on workers’ health and safety. Our energies have been focused on retrofitting work and workplaces to eliminate hazards after significant harm has already been done.And as the body of evidence on occupational safety and health hazards has grown and its scope expanded beyond physical, biological, and chemical hazards, to psychosocial hazards and hazard related to work organisation, we must now presume that all work has an impact on worker health and safety and when we create the future of work we can no longer have ‘a wait and see’ attitude. We must anticipate the impact that future jobs will have on the safety and health of workers and this responsibility does not rest only with governments, employers and workers but with technology developers, equipment and chemical manufacturers, architects and the workplace designers, and human resource professionals as well as OSH professionals. For the ILO this may mean rethinking how it develops OSH standards and supports their implementation by its Member States.

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