ISSA President Errol Frank Stoové (on right) joins Turkish Minister of Labour and Social Security Faruk Çelik and ILO Executive Director (Social Protection) Assane Diop to open the Safety and Health Exhibition during the XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work. Photo: ISSA
The opening ceremony of the World Congress was addressed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Minister of Labour and Social Security Faruk Çelik and senior representatives of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA), co-organizers of the event.
Towards a global culture of prevention
In his speech, the ISSA President Errol Frank Stoové called for commitment by policy-makers and professionals to build a “global culture of prevention”, to face new safety and health challenges.
Despite progress in some areas of prevention, each year, more than 2 million people die and tens of millions are injured as a consequence of work-place accidents and diseases. Studies confirm that health risks are replacing traditional safety risks in industrialized countries, with an increase in occupational and chronic diseases.
“The challenge we face is a daunting one. Work claims more victims around the globe than does war,” the ISSA President stated.
To more effectively address these risks, traditional prevention approaches at the workplace must be undertaken in combination with health promotion and other cross-sectoral activities, Mr. Stoové said.
“By broadening our scope, and by aiming at the development and promotion of a workplace culture of prevention in the broadest sense, we wish to take a new and decisive step towards achieving safe, healthy and productive workplaces worldwide,” Mr. Stoové said.
The Istanbul Declaration
Mr. Stoové upheld the Istanbul Declaration, adopted at a Summit of Ministers meeting prior to the World Congress, as an “important milestone” in the promotion of prevention at the workplace. The Istanbul Summit involved ministers from 33 member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The ISSA President concluded with an appeal to participants to look to the future with “hope and optimism: That together we can develop, promote and live a culture of prevention… and contribute to safer and healthier working conditions for millions of workers worldwide.”
Address of the ISSA President to the Opening Ceremony of the XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work
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