Country and Regional Issues
Summary of the world day for safety and health at work
Maritza Tennassee and Marie-Claude Lavoie
Regional Office for the Americas, Occupational Health
On April 28th, PAHO held the 2011 World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This international campaign on April 28 is acknowledges worldwide as a day to engage in dialogue about preventing diseases and injuries at work. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is opportunity to raise the awareness on work as a key social determinant of health. It is also a day in which employers, employees, and civil society pause to commemorate dead or injured workers. These tragedies deeply affect families and communities.
For this event, PAHO organized a plenary session focusing on tools to improve workers’ health. PAHO hosted this event at his HQ in Washington, DC and broadcast the event live throughout the region of the Americas. Several countries from the region attended this event.
The first speaker, Dr. Leslie Nickels, Senior Communication Fellow at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH/CDC), presented on the use of social media as a tool to promote workers health. List serve, twitter, facebook, flicker are the names of just few social media tools reaching million of people throughout the world everyday Dr. Nickels shared concrete examples on how public health institutions can use social media to communicate key public health messages and reach broader audience. The second keynote speaker, Dr. Tee Guidotti, Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability at the Medical Advisory Services presented on workers’ health as a fundamental tool for productivity and socioeconomic sustainability.
During this event, PAHO also launched its new online course on occupational and environmental cancer: recognition and prevention. PAHO collaborated with the Canadian Center of Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) to translate this course into Spanish and to adapt it to the context of Latin America. Many experts from the network of collaborating centers in occupational health of the Americas contributed to the development of the course. The course is available free of charge at www.paho.org/saludocupacional/cancer and includes a series of interactive features such as case scenarios and quizzes.