ISSA President urges G20 to strengthen workplace safety and accident insurance
Investment in employment injury schemes is an essential condition for decent work in a transforming labour market, particularly in developing countries, ISSA President Dr Joachim Breuer has told a gathering of G20 labour and employment ministers, meeting in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, on 19 May 2017.
Addressing the ministers responsible for labour, employment and social security from the world’s largest economies, Dr Breuer, who also heads Germany’s social accident insurance, emphasized that employment injury schemes can provide protection which is in the interest of both workers and employers.
“Workers want security, if they become sick or disabled because of a work accident or a disease. Employers (and investors) want legal certainty. They want an institution which compensates them against liability for work injuries – which otherwise could very well destroy their business. Governments want to ensure social peace and a good business climate,” he stated.
Around one third of the world’s population benefits from insurance protection against accidents at work, Dr Breuer noted, many through schemes administered by ISSA member institutions, and coverage is constantly expanding.
Reaching the potential of employment injury schemes
Dr Breuer upheld three factors that enable the full potential and sustainability of employment injury schemes: Firstly, institutions responsible for the scheme should be promoting the prevention of employment injuries in line with health and safety regulations. Secondly, the institution should be given the responsibility for rehabilitating injured and sick workers. Thirdly, workers and employers should be able to influence the way in which the protection scheme is managed, he stated.
Vision Zero Fund
As a means to build up employment injury schemes and improve safety at work, the ministerial meeting welcomed the development of the Vision Zero Fund, which supports concrete initiatives for safety and health in low-income countries. Managed by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Vision Zero Fund aims to improve occupational safety and health in the workplace and in global supply chains, and offers practical assistance for employment injury schemes in low-income countries. The ISSA is coordinating a global campaign in support of Vision Zero, which aims to reduce fatal and severe accidents to zero and promote a culture of safety, health and well-being at work.
To support the development of employment injury schemes that provide prevention, rehabilitation and compensation, the ISSA has developed best practice Guidelines and offers advice and capacity building on their implementation to member institutions.
The G20 "Group of Twenty" is made up of 19 countries and the European Union, and meetings are attended by the heads of the ILO and OECD. The G20 is the central forum for international cooperation on financial and economic questions.