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1704a The need for reliable data and robust indicators to drive improvements in osh performance
  1. NJ Leppink
  1. International Labour Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland


International Labour standards promulgated by the International Labour Organisation have long called for ILO constituents to establish and support notification and recording systems for the collection of reliable data on work-related fatalities, injuries and diseases. The ILO has developed guidance and set out good practices in response to well document challenges constituents face when working to establishing effective notification and recording systems. These challenges are both technical and behavioural in nature. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which require countries to report the frequency rates of fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries, by sex and migrant status has put the spotlight on the reliability of the data countries are reporting and the need for countries to improve notification and reporting systems before that indicator is a true measure of OSH performance. For this indicator to be relevant it should be accompanied by a means for measuring the capacity of countries’ notification system to collect reliable and comparable data. Frequency rates of fatal and non-fatal injuries are lagging indicators and should be coupled with leading indicators that drive behaviours that correlate with improvements in OSH performance. Leading indicators need to be supported by research and have applicability to variety of contexts and the future of work. Leading indicators can be more readily aligned with positive incentives, such as improved productivity and competitiveness. Leading indicators may also be more effective in addressing occupational disease. Leading indicators need to be developed through a collaborative and consultative process engaging representatives of governments, employers, workers and the public to ensure their viability and acceptance.

  • reliable OSH data
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
  • lagging/leading indicators

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