The ILO has designed these guidelines as a practical tool for assisting organizations and competent institutions as a means of achieving continual improvement in occupational safety and health (OSH) performance. The guidelines have been developed according to internationally agreed principles defined by the ILO’s tripartite constituents.
The practical recommendations of these guidelines are intended for use by all those who have responsibility for OSH management.
At the onset of the twenty-first century, a heavy human and economic toll is still exacted by unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. The positive impact of introducing OSH management systems at the organization level, both on the reduction of hazards and risks and on productivity, is now recognized by governments, employers and workers.
The Guidelines call for coherent policies to protect workers from occupational hazards and risks while improving productivity. They present practical approaches and tools for assisting organizations, competent national institutions, employers, workers and health management systems, with the aim of reducing work-related injuries, ill health, diseases, incidents and deaths.
The Guidelines may be applied on two levels – national and organizational. At the national level, they provide for the establishment of a national framework for OSH management systems, preferably supported by national laws and regulations. They also provide precise information on developing voluntary arrangements to strengthen compliance with regulations and standards, which, in turn, lead to continual improvement of OSH performance.
At the organizational level, the Guidelines encourage the integration of OSH management system elements as an important component of overall policy and management arrangements. Organizations, employers, owners, managerial staff, workers and their representatives are motivated in applying appropriate OSH management principles and methods to improve OSH performance.
Employers and competent national institutions are accountable for and have a duty to organize measures designed to ensure occupational safety and health. The implementation of these ILO Guidelines is one useful approach to fulfilling this responsibility. They are not legally binding and are not intended to replace national laws, regulations or accepted standards. Their application does not require certification.
This second edition includes new additions to the bibliography.
01 January 2009