Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and environmental Issues


Ana Catalina Ramirez


Andrew Christian

Coordinator: Ana Catalina Ramirez

Members: Andrew Christian

Technical Adviser: Vacant

Objective: With a safe and healthy working environment now being a fundamental principle and right at work, the ILO must ensure that within the Organization the OSH management system is fully operational. The ILO must walk the walk rather than just talk the talk.

Thus, the SU will continue to collaborate with the Office to ensure an effective OSH management system is operationalized in Geneva and in all duty stations, with OSH committees being part of this management system. As well as calling for administration accountability through strengthening Staff Union representatives’ knowledge, capacity and resilience to defend the rights of staff concerning security, occupational safety and health, both physical and mental and well-being at work.

Means of action

  • Supporting the implementation of the current occupational safety and health (OSH) policy, directive and procedure (IGDS 48, IGDS 286, IGDS 385 ) through active participation in the HQ Committee on Safety and Health (COSH) promoting compliance with the actions and requirements of IGDS 385;

  • In regard to the above, the SU representatives at the COSH will continue to participate in the COSH working group on the revision of IGDS No. 48, 286 and 385 with the current Administration, and will continue to advocate for the improvement of the OSH management system at the ILO;

  • In addition, the SU will keep contributing to the COSH working group on mental health and well-being at work; specifically by advocating for the implementation of a component on psychosocial risks factors management into the OSH management system, as part of the ILO Action Plan on Mental Health and Well-Being at Work;

  • The SU members of the COSH will continue to request that data on occupational accidents and (suspected) occupational diseases be regularly reported to the COSH as per the current IGDS No. 385, thereby enabling data to be available on issues affecting staff members and prioritization of control measures to reduce the risk;

  • Reaching out to Staff Union representatives in the field offices to promote and support the creation and functioning of OSH committees and mechanisms, including, where necessary, the identification and appointment of OSH representatives;

  • Contributing to capacity-building among SU representatives by developing user-friendly guidance for OSH representatives on how to fulfil their OSH duties;

  • Supporting SU representatives in their crises response capacity, on matters concerning occupational safety and health in public health crises and consultation of return-to-office policies and security and well-being in fragile contexts;

  • Ensuring a staff voice in the building renovation processes (planning and implementation), through Steering Committees or other consultation mechanisms, so that the highest standards on staff occupational safety and health and well-being apply during the renovation of the headquarters and field buildings, in consultation with Staff Union representatives, union stewards and focal points;

  • Supporting climate- and environmentally friendly initiatives within the ILO;

  • In collaboration with the Administration, ensuring that staff are kept informed of developments concerning security and occupational safety and health through communications and/or information sessions.


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