By Gabriel Olawale
The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is marked every year on the 28th of April. The purpose is to promote the prevention of occupational emergencies and diseases globally.
The campaign focuses on raising international attention on the enormity of the problem and how promoting and creating a safety and health culture can help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries.
Daily, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases while 317 million accidents occur on the job annually and many of these result in long time absence from work. The human cost of this daily tragedy is immeasurable, while the economic difficulty of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4% of the global Gross Domestic Product each year.
The theme for this year’s World Day for Safety and Health at Work is “Anticipate, prepare and respond to Crises”. The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the occupational health crisis in workplaces worldwide. It has led employers, employees, governments, and the general public to face unprecedented challenges in relation to the virus and the effects it had on the world’s work. The pandemic also demonstrated why health and safety must be a right for everyone who works.
In an interview, Dr Ifeoma Monye, Founder of Brookfield Centre For Lifestyle Medicine and President of the Society for Lifestyle Medicine stated “Employees are major stakeholders in any organization and their state of health influences productivity and organizational outcomes. The Covid-19 pandemic has also negatively impacted the mental and physical health of employees including healthcare workers. As the world continues to battle with COVID, employees are reminded to continue to practice preventive measures that will keep each person safe from contracting the disease. Employers must now create a workplace that promotes preventive measures, such as the right sitting arrangements, provision of running water to regularly wash hands and hand sanitisers made freely available for all staff. Finally, we would like to encourage employers and organizations to put measures in place to empower and improve the overall health of employees for better workplace outcomes. This includes policies, wellness programs, healthcare support among others.”
Brookfield Centre for Lifestyle Medicine is Africa’s First Lifestyle Medicine Centre and a leading provider of specialist Integrated Family Health Care to individuals and families. As a multidisciplinary all-inclusive medical and wellness organization, Brookfield works with clients to establish optimal health and wellbeing, through appropriate, evidence-based and well-timed lifestyle interventions.