Occupational Safety and
Dr. David Gold
• Development and implementation of international
standards on labour and social matters is a key function
of the International Labour Organization
• Standards take the form of Conventions and
• More than 70 address occupational safety and health
• Conventions are comparable to multilateral international
– they are open to ratification by member States
– once ratified, create specific, binding obligations.
• A State that has ratified a Convention is expected to
apply its provisions by legislation or by other appropriate
• The Government is required to report regularly on the
application of ratified Conventions.
• Conventions that have not been ratified have the same
value as Recommendations.
• Recommendations offer guidelines for action.
• A Recommendation may elaborate upon the provisions
of a Convention.
• Member States procedural obligations
– to submit to legislative bodies
– to report on the action resulting and to report occasionally
at the request of the Governing Body
• There are no specific substantive obligations
Summary on Conventions and
• Both influence laws and regulations of member States.
• Many texts have been modeled on the relevant
provisions of ILO instruments
• Drafts of new legislation or amendments are often
prepared with ILO standards in mind so as to ensure
compliance with ratified Conventions or to permit the
ratification of other Conventions
Four categories of occupational
safety and health standards
• Guiding policies for action.
• Protection in given branches of economic activity.
• Protection against specific risks.
• Measures of protection.
The Occupational Safety and Health Convention,
1981 No. 155 and Recommendation No. 164.
• Progressive application of comprehensive preventive
• Adoption of a coherent national policy on occupational
safety and health.
• The responsibility of employers for making work and
equipment safe and without risk to health
• The duties and rights of workers.
The Occupational Health Services Convention,
1985 (No.161) and Recommendation (No. 171).
• Occupational health services
– preventive functions
– responsible for advising employers, workers and their
representatives on maintaining a safe and health working
– adaptation of work to the capabilities of workers.
– best use of resources and cooperation
• Form two groups
– Convention 155
• Decide on a chairperson and a
• Based on the Convention, develop
a list of the most important steps to
implement the provisions of the
Convention on a national basis.
• Be prepared to present and defend
Dr. David Gold
Senior Occupational Safety and Health Education
and Training Officer
International Labour Office
1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland