Starting in 2003 the International Labor Organization (ILO) began the yearly observance of April 28 as a day to promote awareness and prevention of accidents and diseases at work. As an organization devoted to advancing opportunities for individuals worldwide to obtain decent and productive work they have constantly advocated for increased workplace awareness of the need for a culture of occupational safety and health.
A culture of occupational safety and health is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defines rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of injury prevention.
This yearly campaign is intended to focus attention on the magnitude of the problem of work related deaths and injuries and how the creation of a work culture dedicated to health and safety can reduce that number.
The Cost of Unsafe Work Environments
Each of us is responsible for stopping injuries on the job but there is still much that can be done. It is estimated that the economic cost of poor occupational health and safety practices cost nearly 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product globally each year not to mention the staggering human cost. As of 2017, it is estimated that 6,300 people die daily worldwide as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – adding up to more than 2.3 million deaths a year. In addition, an estimated 317 million on-the-job accidents occur annually. These accidents often result in extended worker absences, loss of production, and increased risk of additional accidents due to increased strain on coworkers who try to fill in for absent workers.
What We Can Do
In addition to raising overall awareness of possible improvements to workplace health and safety, each year the ILO highlights one specific area for improvement. The highlighted focus for World Safety and Health at Work Day 2018 is the need for increased awareness of the specific challenges facing young workers and the need to end child labor. Many factors face young workers (15-24 years old) that are not often considered in regards to older workers, primarily their limited awareness of work-related hazards, lack of work experience or training, and lack of bargaining power that can lead young workers to accept dangerous tasks or jobs with poor working conditions which results in a 40% higher rate of on the job injuries.
While the ILO works with governments to provide infrastructure – laws and services – necessary to allow enterprises to flourish and workers to remain employable as well as implement national policies of inspection and the means to enforce compliance with legislation, we can take steps as employers and employees to improve conditions on an organizational level.
Employers can take steps to ensure they provide a safe and healthy working environment, employees can do their part to follow existing work safety protocols to protect themselves and others, and both can participate together to improve upon existing accident and injury prevention measures in light of ever-changing occupational risks.
Here at 212 Performance Gloves, our primary focus is on that one degree of difference that helps us create industry leading safety solutions for professional, industrial, and private settings. We do our best to provide you with high quality, reliable personal protective equipment options for a variety of tasks and jobs. To help you select from our wide range of work gloves we provide several online resources through our website including glove safety icon explanations, safety sheets, and a safety blog.
Because there is such a wide range of possible ways for hands to become injured while on the job, we provide a wide selection of gloves with a range of protective features and feature combinations to make it easy to find the one best suited for your job. Each style is rated according to industry standard testing methods for protection against specific hazards.
At 212 we have designed specialized safety icons that make it easy to understand both the hazard and a glove’s particular ability to protect your hands from that hazard. These colorful icons each feature an easily identifiable image of the hazard as well its printed name and the glove’s rating for protection against that hazard if applicable (some icons represent features that are not graded on a scale such as touch screen and anti-vibration features). Accompanying each of these on our Safety Icons web page is a short explanation of what that icon’s feature is and what benefits that feature can provide.
We also provide freely downloadable safety sheets to help you understand and educate yourself about the most common safety standards and testing procedures used by OSHA and other regulatory organizations. These include explanations of both the tests and their associated score scaling for abrasion, tear, puncture, and cut resistance. Where applicable the sheets also include explanations of the icons used to indicate a piece of protective equipment’s having been tested for these qualities.
The 212 Performance Gloves Safety 101 Blog offers even more in depth information and resources for understanding the sometimes complex world of hazard resistance testing. In these articles we do our best to dispel the mystery of what goes into testing for the protective properties of our gloves. For example, in our cut resistance article, we go into detail about how the tests are performed and what differences exist between the two most common testing standards, the ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 and the EN388-2016 methods. Included with each article are animations and graphics to aid you in understanding the processes and symbols described.
We provide these resources so you can have the best available information to use when choosing which of our gloves will best fit your individual needs, but the first line of safety will always lie with you. Know what hazards and dangers you will encounter in your line of work and take the time to educate yourself in how to best protect yourself, your employees, and your coworkers. Together we can make the working world a safer place.
For additional resources and information speak your workplace safety officer. The International Labor Organization also provides an online Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety filled with information and tips for setting up workplace safety measures as well as other helpful resources. It can be found at www.iloencyclopaedia.org.