A Technical Seminar on prevention measures in the workplace: towards a culture of prevention will take place in Dakar, Senegal, on 12 and 13 April 2016. This seminar is organized by the ISSA Liaison Office for West Africa and hosted by the Social Security Fund of Senegal. It is open to the ISSA member organizations from the West Africa region.
Each year, 2.34 million people die from work-related accidents and diseases and around 4 per cent of GDP is lost as a result of occupational accidents. The preservation of the health of every human being is therefore a key objective of social security. The topics of prevention of occupational risks, the promotion of health and well-being at work as well as the rehabilitation and reintegration of insured employees strongly link to key areas of social security.
Work injury schemes provide for compensation for work-related injuries and occupational diseases. The efficiency of a work injury scheme depends on a range of factors, the main indicator being the reduction of work-related accidents and occupational diseases. The concept of preventing occupational risks is therefore embedded in many of these schemes. Linking prevention to accident insurance compensation can enable effective mechanisms to reduce both accidents at work and occupational diseases, and to provide an incentive for employers to boost preventive activities in an enterprise, as it directly impacts on the contribution rate paid exclusively by the employer.
Prevention includes every measure aimed at preventing undesirable events that might limit or destroy the physical or mental soundness and wellbeing of the individual. It is a matter not just of ethical but also economic concern since successful prevention is beneficial to other social security schemes such as pension systems and general healthcare. It is also beneficial for workers, enterprises and society as a whole. Statistics show that where investment in prevention measures has been made over a period of time, a significant decrease in work-related accidents and occupational diseases takes place. With globalization and the fast pace of change in the workplace, new occupational risks are emerging. This can place new demands on safety and health strategies and, as a consequence, they may need to be adapted accordingly.
The aim of the Technical Seminar is to review the good practices in occupational safety and health and the role of different players in developing a culture of prevention. The programme will cover four thematic areas within two days as follows:
Promoting health and well-being at work
The ISSA Guidelines on Workplace Health Promotion describe the role of social security in supporting programmes for the well-being of employees. In view of the dramatic rise of non-communicable diseases, society needs to identify approaches that support the working population in staying healthy. This session will provide good practice examples and approaches to health and well-being at work.
Culture of Prevention
The promotion of a world-wide prevention culture is necessary to better understand risk exposure and learn how to address these risks at work. The ISSA has been promoting a worldwide prevention culture through various activities, such as the development of Guidelines and indicators to measure the level of safety and health in enterprises, the promotion of the Seoul Declaration and by addressing young workers. The value of prevention is increasingly understood as strategic assets for companies. The objective of this session is therefore to identify the common interests of enterprises and social security institutions that can contribute to a workplace prevention culture.
Vulnerable Groups – Reintegration
There are numerous groups of workers who may be vulnerable to workplace injury risks in different ways. They may include, for instance, young workers, migrant workers, older workers, workers in the informal economy, or workers that live with a temporary or long-term disability. This session will address the challenges that these workers face and present strategies and approaches to support them.
"Vision Zero" is based on the view that all work-related accidents and occupational diseases are preventable and that a world without work-related fatalities and serious injuries is possible. Such a vision requires a clear, coherent and comprehensive strategy as well as joint efforts at every level to reduce incidents and accidents at the workplace. A cornerstone of this strategy must be that social security institutions, that cover the risks of occupational accidents or diseases play a key role (e.g. through the introduction of incentive systems). It therefore calls upon social security institutions to develop tools that support these processes, such as information campaigns, safety and health trainings or consultations at the workplace.
The Technical Seminar will provide a unique occasion for senior representatives and technical specialists of various social security institutions to engage in an exchange on prevention approaches in social security, especially in the areas of accident prevention, health and reintegration. The working languages will be English and French, and simultaneous interpretation will be provided in these languages.