Vision Zero – ISSA launches global campaign for zero accidents, diseases and harm at work
The International Social Security Association (ISSA) launches the first ever global campaign to improve safety, health and wellbeing at work. The campaign aims to engage companies worldwide to systematically cut down on occupational accidents and diseases by investing in a healthy and motivated workforce.
Is a world without accidents, diseases or harm at work possible? “Yes” says the first ever global prevention campaign that was launched today at the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Singapore. “‘Vision Zero’ stands for the belief that any workplace accident or a disease is not bad luck or predetermined but has specific causes” says Dr Joachim Breuer, President of the International Social Security Association (ISSA). “That’s why all occupational accidents and diseases are preventable”.
This objective can be achieved by integrating prevention systematically in all aspects of business and by going beyond the classical safety issues. "While it is important to further reduce accident risks we strongly believe that in todays’ complex and demanding world of work, companies need to focus more on health risks including those that negatively influence people’s wellbeing” adds ISSA’s Secretary-General Mr. Hans-Horst Konkolewsky. “A workplace without accidents, diseases and harm is only possible if both the safety, health and wellbeing of people is properly looked after”.
Seven Golden Rules
To support a more systematic and integrated approach to prevention the campaign provides Vision Zero Companies and Partners with seven golden rules and practical checklists, as well as training material, published on the campaign website.
The seven golden rules have been developed by the ISSA with prevention experts from companies, authorities and social partners and have been successfully tested. Together with the other campaign material they form a practical toolbox for companies to build a strong workplace prevention culture.
Implementing the seven golden rules obviously represents an investment for companies – but one that pays off. International research by the ISSA on the return on investments shows that every dollar invested in safety and health generates a potential positive economic benefit of more than two dollars. “It is widely recognized that prevention pays and that a healthy and motivated workforce is critical to business performance. This is why many important companies have expressed a strong interest in joining the Vision Zero campaign.” Mr Konkolewsky comments.
Businesses and institutions around the globe take action
The success of the Vision Zero Campaign depends on the active participation by international and national partner organizations to reach out to as many companies worldwide as possible. Positively, important partners such as WHO, US OSHA, Singapore Ministry of Manpower, US Department of Labor - Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) and prominent companies including Siemens, Rolls Royce, Keppel Offshore & Marine and Boehringer Ingelheim have already pledged their support.
Lars Hoffmann, Head of Safety at Siemens adds “Everyone should be able to rely on a safe working environment at all times so that they can return to their family and friends healthy and safe. Caring for people and the environment is a commitment that goes beyond profit. Siemens takes this social responsibility for occupational health and safety very seriously. Vision Zero starts with those who hold responsibility, but it can only become a living culture if everyone contributes.”
Mr Konkolewsky expects that following the launch many companies, governments and OSH institutions and networks will join the campaign: “It is time for action and only together can we improve the safety, health and wellbeing of millions of people and turn Vision Zero into reality”.
Renowned personalities have offered their support as Vision Zero Ambassadors. Mr. Michael López-Alegría, a former NASA astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station is one of the first: “Vision Zero is a very effective strategy to ensure safety, health and wellbeing, in space as well as on earth. Risk assessment, preparation and training are keys to return safely to the earth. But most important was my leadership and commitment to ‘safety first’. That’s why safety issues were part of any single decision I made in orbit and on the ground.”
The seven golden rules:
- Take leadership – demonstrate commitment
- Identify hazards – control risks
- Define targets – develop programmes
- Ensure a safe and healthy system – be well-organized
- Ensure safety and health in machines, equipment and workplaces
- Improve qualifications – develop competence
- Invest in people – motivate by participation
Further information can be found on the website www.visionzero.global. The website provides background information, training materials and a form for interested companies and partner organizations to pledge support for the Vision Zero campaign.