Meeting prior to the XVIII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, the first high-level Safety and Health Summit gathered international leaders, government ministers, CEOs of major multinational companies, social security leaders and senior safety and health experts, and representatives of employers and workers.
"There is no doubt about the importance of safety and health at work for all. But we also know that this view is not yet shared by all decision-makers throughout the world," said the ISSA President, Mrs. Corazon de la Paz-Bernardo, speaking at the opening of the Summit. "By means of this Declaration, we wish to lift occupational safety and health higher on the political agenda and hope to stimulate political commitment to workers' health."
"The Declaration marks a major step in the establishment of a preventative safety and health culture," said Mr. Assane Diop, Executive Director of the International Labour Office's (ILO) Social Protection sector. "The ILO, in partnership with the ISSA and the Korean Occupational and Safety Health Agency, are determined to achieve tangible progress towards reducing the number of occupational accidents and diseases."
Recognizing that improving safety and health at work has a positive impact on working conditions, productivity and economic and social development, the Declaration also emphasizes that the right to a safe and healthy working environment should be recognized as a fundamental human right.
The Declaration recognizes the important role of social security organizations in promoting prevention and in providing treatment, support and rehabilitation services. The prevention of occupational risks and the promotion of workers' health constitutes an essential part of the ISSA's mandate and of its conceptual framework of Dynamic Social Security.
The Declaration encourages Governments to consider the ratification of the ILO Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (No. 187) as a priority, as well as other relevant ILO Conventions on safety and health at work and ensure the implementation of their provisions - including by a strong and effective labour inspection system - as a means of improving national performance on safety and health at work in a systematic way.
Noting that high safety and health standards at work go hand in hand with good business performance, the Declaration calls on employers to ensure that prevention is an integral part of their activities, to establish effective occupational safety and health management systems to improve workplace safety and health, and to guarantee that workers are consulted, trained, informed and involved in this process.
The Declaration also states that workers should follow safety and health instructions and procedures, including those on the use of personal protective equipment, participate in safety and health training and awareness-raising activities and cooperate with their employer in adhering to measures related to their safety and health at work.
Through the Declaration, the signatories committed to taking the lead in promoting a preventative safety and health culture, placing occupational safety and health high on national agendas, and agreed to review progress at the XIX World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in 2011.
The triennial Congress on Safety and Health at Work is jointly organized by the and the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The XVIII World Congress is hosted by the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA).