Particularly in middle- and low-income countries, workers lack basic/adequate occupational health and safety coverage, while often working in conditions with the highest risks of occupational and work-related diseases and accidents. Less than 80% of the workers of the world have access to occupational health services; in general, workers with the highest needs have the lowest coverage in term of health services and protection.
On the other hand, health and work ability of the working population is a key asset to sustainability, as the input of the global workforce provides a total global gross domestic product of USD 75 trillion per year, which sustains many other societal activities, including health and social services, training and education, research and cultural services. In addition, human labour is also behind the most intangible assets of society such as sustainability of the social fabric, level of education, general knowledge and social cohesion.
Occupational health in general can contribute to the achievement of some specific SDGs, with special reference to SDGs 1, 3 and 8, whose targets can be achieved also by developing specific occupational health and safety action aimed at improving working conditions and social protection.
According to its policy, the Scientific Committe on Occupational Health and Development (SOCHDev) focuses its interest on the relation between occupational health and development, with the aim of finding solutions and providing tools and godd practicese to improve occupational health and safety even when resources are scarce.
The most important function of the Committee is facilitating networking between those interested and active in issues of occupational health and development both in developing and industrialised countries; to achieve its objectives the Committee is engaged in providing action-oriented rather than research-oriented communication to its members and the OSH community, examples of SCOHDev activities and products will be presented during the presentation.