After years of campaigning by workers globally, the right to a healthy and safe workplace has been enshrined in the International Labour Organisation’s framework of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
It sits alongside the right of freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation.
Speaking at the ILO conference in Geneva the ACTU’s President Michele O’Neil, acknowledged that although this is an incredible achievement, more work needs to be done to improve occupational safety and health in workplaces across the world.
Jill McCabe CEO Professionals Australia said that workplace health and safety must encompass psychological safety at work. In a recent survey of PA members, mental health and well- being ranked as one of the top three issues of concern to members, behind pay and job insecurity. Excessive working hours, lack of adequate breaks, high pressure work environments, bullying, discrimination and harassment in the workplace are all contributing to poor mental health and well- being for professional employees across a range of workforces.