Health and Safety perspective within the Concept of Sustainable Development

Issues of occupational safety and health are an important aspect of the implementation of activities, as well as one of the factors of the effective development of the company. It is worth noting the importance of an integrated approach to solving problems, focusing on long-term results. That is impossible without the effective use of resources and the full involvement of the company’s employees. In other words, it is necessary to strive for a sustainable business.

There are many discussions on the topic of zero injuries, the preservation of human health and life, regardless of the activity carried out, whether it is a large-scale production or office work.

The ILO estimates that 2.3 million employees die from occupational accidents and diseases each year. 160 million employees struggle from occupational diseases every year, and 313 million suffer from non-lethal accidents. In this regard, the ILO also estimates that more than 4% of the world’s GDP is lost annually due to industrial accidents and occupational diseases.

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Sustainable development is now becoming an increasingly urgent issue for all countries and organizations. The goals and objectives are documented in the 2030 Agenda, adopted in 2015 at the UN Summit in New York (USA). This agenda is the result of the joint work of Governments and citizens around the world to create a new global model for eradicating poverty, promoting prosperity and well-being, human security, protecting the environment and combating climate change. In total, the concept contains 17 goals and 169 tasks, covering almost all spheres of life. Moreover, it involves the conduct of activities taking into account the social, environmental, and economic aspects.

This is the concept of conducting an activity with a comprehensive account of the consequences and impact of this activity. To learn more about the Concept, existing tools, and features, follow the events in the Environment & Sustainable Development track

Occupational health and safety is an S-factor that affects the environmental and economic aspects. It is also taken into account when attracting investment. Labor issues fall under the social aspect of sustainable ESG investing. Sometimes, the impact of labor disputes or challenges on a business is obvious, such as striking auto workers. In other cases, however, these factors can be the indirect result of broader economic trends. For example, the number of attracted seasonal workers, contractors, modernization of production, etc.

Business responsibility is no longer a matter of choice. It is the responsibility of the business that will influence how the organization provides energy, purchases raw materials, develops innovative products, and protects the supply chain from weather disasters and natural disasters. Your decisions will affect the well-being of your employees and their desire to work for you. And perhaps more importantly, your approach to business management and development will be judged by a new generation of consumers who expect you to behave rationally and ethically.

So, the issues we are considering are most relevant to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. One of the objectives is to implement development-oriented policies that promote productive activities, decent jobs, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation, and to encourage the formal recognition and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including by providing them with access to financial services.

This issue is relevant for companies regardless of whether it is included in the list of SDGs, it is relevant both for the operating activities of companies in the normal mode and for business in the future. With targets that include achieving higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, job security, technological modernization, and innovation, as well as significantly reducing the number of young people out of work, higher or secondary education, this Goal is seen by most large companies as a commitment and gives them confidence that they can make a real contribution here.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and promote innovation. One of the tasks is to intensify scientific research and increase the technological potential of the industrial sectors.

Goal 3: Promote healthy lifestyles and promote well-being for all of all ages, one of the goals is to reduce the number of deaths and illnesses caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals and pollution, and the poisoning of air, water, and soil.

Some of the key targets of this SDG can only serve as a priority for pharmaceutical companies and health organizations, such as ending the epidemic of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and tropical diseases that have not been given due attention, as well as combating hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other infectious diseases. At the same time, automotive, insurance, and technology companies can play a role in doubling the number of deaths and injuries in car crashes worldwide. Other targets may require the attention of all companies. These include reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment, as well as improving mental health and well-being, providing health insurance, including protection against financial risks, and access to essential health services.

The goal of ensuring the transition to rational consumption and production models – SDG 12-is also outlined. Of course, this cannot be achieved without creating safe workplaces and taking care of the health of employees. 

The mission of the Association “ETALON” is aimed at solving socially significant problems at the global level by creating opportunities for the international exchange of experience, promotion of a culture of safety, healthy lifestyle, and continuous development in the field of labor protection and the environment.

The activities of the Association “Etalon” correspond to the goals of sustainable development and are aimed at effective social partnership, creating conditions for the professional and personal development of employees. What we see as promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all:

  • promoting development-oriented policies that promote productive activities and decent jobs;
  • promote the efficient use of resources in consumption and production systems, and strive to ensure that economic growth is not accompanied by environmental degradation;
  • promote safe and secure working conditions for all workers.

At the same time, SDG 17 “Partnership for Sustainable Development” states that it is impossible to work towards achieving sustainable development without interaction and joint work at the global, regional, and local levels.  This is one of the reasons why we consider this platform important and invite you to a dialogue.

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