SHEQ MEETINGS, parades, mascots, industrial theatre and affirmation of corporate social compacts are celebrated on 28 April.
28 April to promote safe, healthy and decent work. The event is recognised in the SA government calendar.
Since 2003, the International Labour Organization (ILO) observes World S&H Day, stressing the prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses. The celebration is an integral part of the Global Strategy on Occupational Safety and Health of the ILO, documented in the Conclusions of the International Labour Conference.
One of the main pillars of the global strategy is advocacy. World Day for Safety and Health at Work is a significant tool to raise awareness about how to make work safe and healthy and to raise the political profile of occupational safety and health.
April 28 is also a day that the global trade union movement has long associated with commemorating victims of occupational accidents and diseases.
Employers and employees should raise awareness of workplace risks,
orld Day for Safety and Health at Work is an ILO annual global campaign on
risk management skills, and resources to protect the health and wellbeing of employees.
“Unsafe work is a human tragedy”, said Somavia, director general of the ILO. “Much of this tragedy involving millions of workers each year plays out unseen and unheard, never making headlines.” Yet much of the social and economic loss could be prevented.
Awareness is a cornerstone to carry most of the other management elements, reports Sheqafrica.com
in a discussion about World S&H day. “If deficient mindset is your diagnosis, perhaps corporate culture is the problem”, writes Sheq specialist Edmond Furter. “Behaviour should be enabled or actualised. if you want people to apply different concepts to their work lives, management should issue and demonstrate these concepts.
“Ancient societies practiced divination and prayer before decisions and battle, these are not superstitious, they assess societal
culture, site culture, project culture, invoke concepts via symbols, unite human effort in applying their skills.
“Before the general delivers the speech, like king Arthur, king Lear, or Abraham Lincoln, get Merlin or the proverbial Etruscan consultant to read the liver, metaphorically speaking.
“African people deliberate for hours on vested interests and protocol before deciding on a course of action, then sing and dance to activate a new social compact, even changing their supposed tribal history in the process.
“These are valid approaches. Supposed history is merely a set of assumptions by selected metrics. So are Sheq metrics. Concentrate on culture, protocol, and archetypal symbols instead. I wonder if kgotla and tribal bonding processes are not perhaps underrated.”
The ILO links the concept of 'decent work' to H&S, which may be unfortunate if wage and labour relations issues would detract from pure Sheq issues, yet employers and employees together could do a lot to change workplace conditions and work impact on society by information and skills exchange, Furter writes.
“Get your colleagues talking, guide the discussion to remain on Sheq and cultural issues, and 'cargo will come', as ritualists say in Papua New Guinea.”
MINER’S CHOICE APRIL 2010 PAGE 7
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