Occupational health

Country occupational health and safety profiles

Occupational health profiles are descriptions of the state of the art in occupational health that include quantitative and qualitative indicators. A profile is more than a set of indicators, because it provides an understanding and context that cannot be communicated by numbers alone.

Profiles can be used to describe the situation, provide early signals for problems related to workers' health, monitor trends, assess the effectiveness of programmes and present a baselines against which progress can be monitored. Data, such as work injuries and occupational diseases, are collected in some form in nearly every country. However, comparisons across countries are difficult because of differences in legislation, criteria and reporting systems. Profiles increase transparency and visibility of occupational health and safety and provide insight into its complexity, priorities and the needs of countries.

If profiles are constructed carefully and involve different stakeholders from the beginning, they can be a powerful instrument as a first step in a constructive planning process, working towards sound policies and action plans to improve health and safety of workers.