Chief executive of the British Safety Council and its chairman designate will explore the nature of wellbeing at work and the practical management of workplace risks at the 21st World Congress on Safety & Health at Work, in Singapore

The 21st World Congress on Safety & Health at Work 2017, which will take place on 3-6 September 2017, will bring together occupational health and safety professionals, business leaders and government officials from all over the world to share their knowledge and expertise in making workplaces safer and healthier.

It is estimated that 2.3m workers worldwide die every year because of workplace accidents and work-related diseases. Further estimates from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) show that every day, 6,400 people die from occupational accidents and diseases, and 860,000 are injured at work. ILO director general, Guy Ryder, said: “As well as appalling consequences for workers and their families, this represents a colossal social and economic burden on enterprises, communities and countries. Most occupational deaths and diseases are preventable and it would be a mistake to cut back on occupational safety and health, even in the face of economic downturn. Occupational safety and health is a basic human right as well as a labour right.”

Speaking on 5 September 2017, at the ‘Wellbeing through Work’ session hosted by the National Safety Council (USA), Mike Robinson, chief executive of the British Safety Council will present the business case for managing health and wellbeing in the workplace and explore the nature of workplace wellbeing.

Mike Robinson said: “While the business case for managing safety is well documented and understood, the case for managing health and wellbeing is just as compelling, but the progress is not as strong. Health conditions are much more difficult to define and manage. That’s why businesses need to adopt a holistic approach to promoting wellbeing and the resilience of their staff. Progress in relation to health and wellbeing can only be made when organisations will move beyond the need to comply with regulations and inspire employees to engage in wellbeing because this benefits them as well as their companies.”

Lawrence Waterman, OBE, who will take up his post as chairman at the British Safety Council on 24 November, will also speak at the World Congress on 4 September, at the session entitled, ‘A Culture of Prevention on OSH’. Drawing on the lessons of the London 2012 Olympic Games construction programme, which achieved a low accident rate and no fatalities, he will demonstrate how to effectively manage health risks in construction through good design and early interventions on issues such as mental health.

The World Congress on Safety & Health at Work, which takes place every three years, is on this occasion hosted by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower, in conjunction with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA). Its work contributes to building a global prevention culture. This year, the Congress will reassess the progress of its Vision Zero initiative, which aims to make global workplaces free of fatal accidents and occupational diseases.