World Safety and Health Day 2017 Theme: Optimise the collection and use of OSH data

Freedom Day 2017
April 26, 2017
April 30, 2017

Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.3 million deaths per year. 317 million accidents occur on the job annually; many of these resulting in extended absences from work. The human cost of this daily adversity is vast and the economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product each year.

The annual campaign for safety and health is to create awareness within areas of work where health and safety compliance is a high risk. This year the theme focuses on the “critical need for countries to improve their capacity to collect and utilise reliable occupational safety and health (OSH) data.”[1]

The SABPP supports the initiatives of the campaign to promote health and safety, and the utilisation of accurate data to improve capacity and promote decent work within industries and countries. The importance of health and safety within industries like mining, agriculture and manufacturing is critical in terms of work productivity and risk. The negligence of compliance to health and safety standards will lead to devastating consequences and even loss of life.

Companies must ensure that the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act No 181 of 1993, is upheld to “ provide for the health and safety of persons at work and the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; to establish an advisory council for the occupational health and safety; and to provide for matter connected therewith.”[2]

The celebration of the day is to further ensure that the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected and implemented within all sectors. The organisation is responsible to ensure that conducive healthy and safe work environments are provided for employees. Employees themselves are responsible to ensure that the standard of health and safety is sustained. Health and saftey is a partnership between employer and employee.

Celebrate World Safety and Health Day 2017 with compliance, awareness and zero tolerance to risk when it comes to health and safety.

This article was written by Lathasha Subban Head: Knowledge and Innovation of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) with contributions from Marius Meyer, CEO of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP).   For more information, you can follow SABPP on twitter @SABPP1 or visit their website on