The Ministry of Labour in partnership with Better Work Jordan celebrated the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) annual World Day for Safety and Health at Work (SafeDay) on 29 April, 2018.
Observed by authorities, trade unions, employers’ organizations, and safety and health practitioners around the world, the annual celebration aims to prevent occupational accidents and diseases and raise awareness of best practices and trends in occupational safety and health (OSH).
In line with the ILO’s theme for SafeDay 2018, “OSH Vulnerability of Young Workers,” this year’s efforts aim to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour, in addition to achieving “Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.8 of safe and secure working environments for all workers by 2030 and SDG target 8.7 of ending all forms of child labour by 2025,” according to the International Labour Organization’s website.
In Jordan, the Ministry of Labour also celebrated this special occasion for its 14th consecutive year as part of the ministry’s “National Occupational Safety and Health Week” to raise awareness on the importance of occupational safety and health. “We are delighted that all relevant stakeholders have come to together to mark OSH Day. By participating in this joint campaign on a national level, I am confident that we will be able to further improve the safety and health of young workers,” said Tareq AbuQaoud, Programme Manager at Better Work Jordan, a joint programme of the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation.
SafeDay activities arranged by the Ministry of Labour began with an opening ceremony under the patronage of His Excellency Samir Murad, Minister of Labour. Murad used the event to explain the significance of the issue: “Ensuring the safety and health of workers will aid in further growth on a multitude of fronts. Protecting the rights of workers with regards to the safety and health of workers is essential, which is why it is imperative that all rules and regulations are implemented. The ministry is committed to raising awareness and implementing procedures.”
“The world is witnessing a significant development in the realm of further protecting workers’ safety and health. In Jordan, we have been actively involved in the strengthening of workers’ skills, enabling them to be responsible through educational and training programs in addition to creating policies and strategies in partnership with the private sector,” explained Adnan Abu Alragheb, Chairman of Amman Chamber of Industry.
In his speech, Mohammad Ghanem, Head of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, said “The union is actively involved in providing training and workshops in partnership with civil society to provide a safe place for workers. It is our conviction that occupational safety and health is vital to the protection of our human and economic resources. We aspire to create a working in environment that is totally safe and completely accident free.”
Egidijus Navikas, Head of Political Section at the European Union Delegation in Jordan, emphasized the importance of occupational health and safety especially for young workers as it has been shown that it has implications for productivity and quality of life. “The European Union is committed to supporting Better Work Jordan in adapting its Compliance Assessment Tool for the three non-garment sectors – chemicals, engineering, and plastics. The adaptation comes in the context of the programme’s expansion to non-garment sectors under the European Union’s simplified rules of origin initiative for Jordan.”
Additional presentations were made by the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health and by Better Work Jordan. A documentary film produced by the International Labour Organization was also screened.
Stakeholders also participated in the “Sixth Occupational Safety and Health Management” conference as part of the weeklong activities. Workshops geared towards addressing issues on occupational safety and health were conducted throughout Jordan covering the Northern Region, the Central Region, and the Southern Region.
On this occasion, Rand Al-Araj, Ministry of Labour Inspector on secondment to Better Work Jordan shared her perspective. “We commend and support the Ministry of Labour’s efforts on the many valuable activities they have planned for SafeDay. The safety and health of workers should always be the main objective of policies and strategies.”