Recognizing the great challenge that governments, employers, workers and whole societies are facing worldwide to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work will focus on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Concern is growing over the continuing rise in COVID-19 infections in some parts of the world and the ability to sustain declining rates in others. Governments, employers, workers and their organizations face enormous challenges as they try to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and protect safety and health at work. Beyond the immediate crisis, there are also concerns about resuming activity in a manner that sustains progress made in suppressing transmission.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work will focus on addressing the outbreak of infectious diseases at work, focussing on the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to stimulate national tripartite dialogue on safety and health at work. The ILO is using this day to raise awareness on the adoption of safe practices in workplaces and the role that occupational safety and health (OSH) services play. It will also focus on the medium to long-term, including recovery and future preparedness, in particular, integrating measures into OSH management systems and policies at the national and enterprise levels.

The SafeDay report – In the face of a pandemic: Ensuring Safety and Health at Work  highlights the occupational safety and health (OSH) risks arising from the spread of COVID-19. It also explores measures to prevent and control the risk of contagion, psychosocial risks, ergonomic and other work-related safety and health risks associated with the pandemic. The ILO Centenary Declaration adopted in June 2019 declared that “safe and healthy working conditions are fundamental to decent work”. This is even more significant today, as ensuring safety and health at work is indispensable in the management of the pandemic and the ability to resume work.

“We need special measures to protect the millions of health care workers and other workers who risk their own health for us every day.”

“Teleworking offers new opportunities for workers to keep working… However, workers must be able to negotiate these arrangements so that they retain balance with other responsibilities, such as caring for children, the sick or the elderly, and of course themselves.”

ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder

Please note that the world day theme announced earlier for 2020 on violence and harassment in the world of work has been replaced in view of the current global crisis. The technical products and promotional material on violence and harassment will continue to be made available here .