More than four per cent of the world’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) is lost because of work-related injuries and diseases, according to the ILO.
In the garment and textile sector, the generation of chemical waste, extreme heat, air pollution and flooding as well as the reduced availability of water exacerbate occupational safety and health (OSH) risks. This also produces negative economic consequences, increasing the damaging effects of unsafe work environments on human health and wellbeing.
The impact of COVID-19 on the safety and health of workers in the garment sector has been severe and has compounded those the industry has already been facing in relation to OSH globally, with the ILO estimating that the pandemic has resulted in the most severe crisis for the world of work since the 1930s’ Great Depression. The threats posed by the pandemic have extended well beyond catching the virus itself, clearly highlighting the importance of a robust commitment to OSH.
Better Work Action Plan
Better Work’s OSH Action Plan is responsive and designed to evolve over the lifetime of our strategy, Sustaining Impact, 2022/27. In consultation with global and national partners, we will continue to refine our action plans to ensure they support long-term, progressive change.
To achieve a culture of health and safety in the world of work, we will:
As a sign of the programme’s flexibility and adaptability to the different contexts in which it operates, priority OSH areas may vary, depending on each country’s constituent priorities and decent work country programme workplans.