UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 28 April 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the need for an effective Occupational Safety and Health code..

Syllabus: GS-III Issues relating growth and development, employment; OSH

OSH and Status:

  • Globally, an estimated 2.9 million deaths and 402 million non-fatal injuries are attributed to occupational accidents and diseases.
  • Occupational safety and health (OSH) mechanisms need to be strengthened to establish workplaces that are not hazardous for workers.
  • Occupational accidents and diseases cost 5.4% of the global GDP annually.
  • While less tangibly, they materialise as presenteeism (working with less effectiveness), productivity losses associated with permanent impairment, and staff-turnover costs (i.e., loss of skilled staff).
  • The Government of India declared the National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at Workplace in February 2009 and compiled the available OSH information as National OSH Profile in 2018.
  • Effective implementation of the code of OSH and working conditions of 2020 is expected to extend OSH protection to more sectors, especially to informal workers who make up nearly 90% of India’s workforce, and provide fair and effective labour inspections, as labour inspection visits dropped from 1,21,757 in 2011 to 93,846 in 2016. 

Need of the Hour:

  • At the national level, the government needs to include all relevant ministries to ensure that workers’ safety and health are prioritised in the national agenda.
    • This requires allocating adequate resources to increase general awareness around OSH, knowledge of hazards and risks, and an understanding of their control and prevention measures.
  • At the state level, workers’ and employers’ organisations, by way of bilateral discussions, must incorporate safety and health training at every level of their supply chains to ensure protection from workplace injuries and diseases.
  • Social dialogue is essential for improving compliance and plays a vital role in building ownership and instilling commitment, which paves the way for the rapid and effective implementation of OSH policies. 

Best Practices:

  • The Government of UP, in cooperation with employers and workers, carried out participatory OSH training workshops for metal and garment home-based workers.
  • The Government of Kerala applied the ILO’s participatory OSH training methodologies and reached out to small construction sites for OSH improvements.
  • The Government of Rajasthan generated OSH awareness among workers and employers in stone processing units for preventing occupational lung diseases. 


  • A reliable occupational accident and disease reporting system is vital for remedying victims and making effective prevention policies for safer and healthier workplaces. 

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