ASEAN Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to improve occupational safety and health (OSH) for the region’s workers with the signing of ASEAN Statement on Improving OSH for Sustainable Economic Growth.
ASEAN Labour Ministers convened a special session on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) in conjunction with the 21st World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Singapore on Sep 3.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Khampheng Saysompheng, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, the Director General of the International Labour Organisation Guy Ryder and representatives from ASEAN member states.
The statement captured the ASEAN Member States’ intent to raise OSH standards through reviewing safety regulation, building OSH capabilities, and deepening collaboration, among others.
The signing of the Statement clearly indicates that all ASEAN Labour Ministers commit to seriously improve OSH at the workplace, said Mr Khampheng Saysompheng, Chair of the ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM).
Occupational safety and health is human rights of workers. Improving safety and health at work supports productivity and living condition of workers, and contribute to poverty eradication and national socio-economic development, he added.
Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Manpower, Singapore, shared how Singapore would contribute to boosting OSH standards in ASEAN.
He said, Singapore is committed to work with ASEAN member states to enhance OSH capabilities. Specific areas would be training for OSH inspectors, building companies’ expertise in risk management through BizSafe, and developing accreditation frameworks for OSH training providers.
Mr Guy Ryder, Director General, ILO, also highlighted that The ILO is working with ASEAN countries to build a generation of safe and healthy workers. To reach that goal, safety and health must go hand in hand with education, training and skills development. We are pleased to support the collaboration among ASEAN labour ministers to make occupational safety and health a priority, particularly through ASEAN-OSHNET, a model regional network for cooperation among national OSH institutions. Our common efforts will boost proactive safety and health policies that are key to productivity, competitiveness and sustainable development.
In closing, Secretary General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh, said This year we commemorate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. In this spirit, the signing of the statement today is timely. The statement is a reflection of ASEAN Member States’ understanding and commitment to decent work which is pivotal in sustaining long-term economic growth.
He added, The statement concretely shows the collective resolve of ASEAN Member States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the ASEAN Vision 2025. We need to continue expanding the scope and terrain of occupational safety and health efforts, as well as exploring technologies and innovations to identify and prevent occupational risks.
Source: Lao News Agency