The lowdown of what happened on Day 2 of the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2017!

14 Sep 2018

With 2 Keynotes, Reports from ILO and ISSA, 3 Technical Sessions, 11 symposia sessions, and the International Media Festival for Prevention, it has been one action-packed day. Here, we give you some highlights of Day 2.

Report by ILO
Ms Nancy Leppink, Chief of the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch from International Labour Organisation, Switzerland, shared that the ILO had begun work on a flagship programme focused on OSH in the last 3 years. This includes effective regulatory framework, mechanisms for effective dialogues at the national, international and enterprise level.

Report by ISSA
Mr Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Secretary General, International Social Security Association, Switzerland, launched the Global Vision Zero Campaign. ISSA invites and encourages companies and partners to promote the three core values of this campaign: safety, health and well-being. ISSA has also developed a roadmap, “Seven Golden Rules”, to reach Vision Zero. For more information on the Global Vision Zero Campaign, go

Keynote 1: Vision Zero-From Vision to Reality
Mr Michael Lopez Alegria (former Commander of the International Space Station) shared how NASA applies the Seven Golden Rules. Given the complex nature of launching space shuttles and sending people to space, there is a huge team to ensure that all systems are checked and verified at each step before a space shuttle can be launched. This mirrors the Vision Zero rules of having leadership commitment, identifying hazards and risks, having a safe system and improving qualification of people involved in preparing a space shuttle launch.

Keynote 2: Healthy Work-Healthy Life
Ms Prikko Mattila, Minister, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland, opened her session with elaboration of the global estimates on work-related fatalities and ill-health, noted the high economic costs involved and stressed the importance of Vision Zero. Even though there are people who do not believe that Vision Zero is possible, Ms Mattila believed otherwise. Using Finland as a case study, she believes Vision Zero is possible if government, citizens and businesses work together.

Technical Session 1: Vision Zero
Organised by: International Social Security Association

Industry speakers believe that making safety part of business decision-making improves business bottom lines. And even though it may take time to achieve Vision Zero, it is important that we do not lose sight of our goal. Key ingredients for a successful Vision Zero journey includes strong and visible leadership commitment, competent employees and contractors through training, as well as clear and simple performance goals for a strong safety culture.

Technical Session 6: Regional networks and approaches to a safe and healthy workplace
Organised by: Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

Speakers shared approaches undertaken by various regional platforms regarding OSH issues. The question, “What more can be done to strengthen regional cooperation
in WSH?” was high on the audience’s minds. Representatives from EU explained that an approach leveraging on existing networks, and having support from top politicians and leadership from a central administration would be advantageous. Additionally, each region can cooperate with one another (e.g., between ASEAN and EU) to improve current status.

Symposium Session 05: OSH in the new digital world
Organised by: ISSA International Section on Machine and System Safety

The future smart industry will be able to improve our lives. However, the smart industry and digitalisation of the global world will also bring with them changes in business models, new employment trends and new roles at work. These will, in turn, lead to new OSH risks and hazards, and as such we will need to foresee and address these new risks and hazards early, as well as adjust the way we work in order to prevent accidents in the future.

Symposiun Session 11: Prevention pays! The role of accident insurance and the return to work integration
Organised by: ISSA Technical Commission on Insurance against Employment Accidents and Occupational Diseases

For every dollar invested for return-to-work programme, employers received an average return of 3.7 times the initial investment. Financial benefit of effective rehabilitation pays off significantly by outweighing the incurred costs. However, return-to-work programme is complex and involve multiple stakeholders with injured worker as the focus of discussion. It is also especially challenging to engage employers and hence there is a need for early and continuous communication among all stakeholders involved (e.g., employee, employer, healthcare providers and government).