[ePrayer – Pray for laboursaround the world]
As we took rest on 1 May Labour Day, are we reminded of the current situation that faced by workers globally?
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 2.34 million people die each year for work-related accidents and diseases. From these fatalities, 2.02 million correspond to occupational and work-related diseases. Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease. Every 15 seconds, 160 workers have a work-related accident.
28 April was celebrated as World Day for Safety and Health at Work. As chemical safety is key to a healthy and safe working condition, this year theme ‘Safety and Health in the Use of Chemicals at Work’ is meant to highlight the benefits achieved through the production and use of chemicals while minimizing workers’ exposure as well as the emission of chemicals into the environment through national and international action. However, there is still a long way to achieve the goal. There are occasionally serious chemical incidents which put people’s health and environment at risk. Those who are exposed to harmful chemicals have the right to work in a safe and healthy working condition, as well as knowing the risks and receiving the necessary training and protection.
The ILO encourages governments, employers and workers to work together to ensure and promote safety in using chemicals and to put in place legislation and policy related to occupational safety and health. In addition, there should be a balance between the effectiveness of using chemicals and the implementation of preventive measures on impact of workers, environment and society.
According to the ILO Convention on safety in the use of chemicals at work in 1990, the term ‘chemical’ refers to chemical elements and compounds, and their mixtures, whether natural or synthetic, such as pesticide to improve food harvest quality and farming area, drugs of curing diseases and home cleaning products. [ILO, UN News(1), UN News(2)]
Meditation on Hymns:
‘If God Build not the House’
If God build not the house, and lay
the groundwork sure, whoever build,
It cannot stand one stormy day;
If God be not the city’s shield,
If He be not their bars and wall,
In vain the watch-tower, men and all.
Though then thou wak’st when others rest,
Though rising thou prevent’st the sun,
Though with lean care thou daily feast,
Thy labour’s lost and thou undone;
But God his child will feed and keep,
And draw the curtain to his sleep.
May this hymn be a comfort and blessings to all people at work.
Pray for laboursaround the world:
- Pray for efforts from different parties to provide readily available information about chemical hazards and risk, and associated preventive and protective measures;
- May the rights and health of labours be protected by occupational safety and health legislation and policy;
- Pray that decent work for all can be achieved.