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Occupational safety and health must remain priority in a changing world of work

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
18.9.2021 9.00
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Finland will participate in the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work on 20– 23 September 2021. Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen will give a speech about the EU’s new Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work and the global promotion of occupational safety and health activities at the closing session of the Congress to be held on 23 September. Minister Sarkkinen will also open a joint Nordic side event to the Congress together with the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. The event will be held on Saturday 18 September before the actual Congress. Finland is one of the world’s leading countries in developing and investing in safety and health at work.

Discussing Prevention in the Connected Age

This year the Congress will exceptionally be held virtually, and its main theme will be Prevention in the Connected Age: global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all. The Congress will discuss, among other things, innovations and developments in occupational safety and health in a changing world of work and the promotion of a culture of prevention. 

Finland has been invited to speak about the global promotion of occupational safety and health activities and the EU’s new Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work at the closing session of the Congress on 23 September. In her closing address, Minister Sarkkinen will emphasise the importance of international standards and rules-based cooperation, the strengthening of prevention  and readiness, and the better consideration of mental health in a changing world of work. 
 
“Finland is highly committed to active promotion of occupational safety and health. We need a world of work based on rules and standards, up-to-date legislation and researched knowledge,” says Minister Sarkkinen. 

Nordic cooperation in the field of occupational safety and health

The theme of the joint Nordic side event, which will be organised in collaboration with ILO on Saturday 18 September, is the future of work and the importance of proactive preventive actions  in a changing world of work.  The key participants — ILO, the EU and the Nordic countries — will meet at Finland’s earlier initiative. This year the theme will be Working in an unpredictable world: The Nordic perspective on safe work in the future. In her opening address, Minister Sarkkinen will discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world of work and how occupational safety and health should remain a priority in changing working environments. 

"Decent work is about human rights. In line with the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goal on Decent Work, we must protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers,” says Minister Sarkkinen. 

The side event is based on the report issued  by the Nordic Future of Work Group, which meets at Finland's initiative and whose work further improves the Nordic countries’ reputation as leaders in occupational safety and health. The Nordic countries have made significant investments in taking proactive preventive actions  concerning the future of work, for example, by means of studies and research.  

Background

Every third year, the International Labour Organization ILO and the International Social Security Association ISSA organise a World Congress on Safety and Health at Work. The Congress, which is hosted by Canada, will be held virtually on 20–23 September 2021.  The Congress was meant to be held in autumn 2020 but was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Congress is the biggest event in the field of occupational safety and health, and it attracts thousands of international occupational safety and health stakeholders from more than 100 countries. The Congress has been organised since 1955.

Inquiries

Päivi Mattila-Wiro, Ministerial Adviser, Department for Work and Gender Equality, tel. +358 295 163 467, [email protected]
Elina Häkkinen, Specialist, International Affairs Unit, tel. +358 295 163 119, [email protected]

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