The International Labour Organization (ILO) started observing the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28, 2003. The ILO is devoted to advancing opportunities for people to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. It aims to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, boost social protection, and strengthen dialogue in work-related issues.
In recent years, there has been growing attention to the impact of psychosocial risks and work-related stress among researchers, practitioners and policymakers. Work-related stress is now generally acknowledged as global issue affecting all countries, all professions and all workers both in developed and developing countries. In this complex context, the workplace is at the same time an important source of psychosocial risks and the ideal venue to address them in order to protect the health and well-being of workers.
To mark the day, the International Labor Organization has released a report that addresses the effects of workplace stress, ways for preventing and managing hazards and risks, and “global trends.” The report contends that work-related stress is a global issue that has an impact on all professions and workers. “Psychosocial hazards” are workplace factors that can result in stress and can include interactions, conditions and culture that affect worker performance, health and job satisfaction.
An effective program to prevent workplace stress includes “proper identification of psychosocial risks and assessment of work performance and personal problems resulting from stress,” the report states. Workers should be empowered to share concern about circumstances that cause stress.