The objective of any society in the field of occupational accidents should be zero accident rate, but Catalonia still suffers from some high occupational accident rate figures. The safety and health of workers is very valuable and everyone – companies, trade unions, workers, administration – must assume their commitment, take responsibility and make every possible effort to combat this scourge, which in 2021 cost the lives of 69 people.
With this horizon, that of zero accident rate, the Government of the Generalitat, through the Departament d’Empresa i Treball has launched a campaign under the slogan ‘Against occupational accidents: prepared, cautious, safe / prepared, cautious, safe’. It aims to inform and raise awareness among society as a whole. and, especially, to companies and workers of the need to apply the appropriate preventive measures to avoid accidents, occupational diseases and other work-related damages.
The campaign reflects a series of injuries, damages and illnesses that can occur in the workplace if not applied the necessary preventive measures. For example, a worker in a wheelchair after a fall from a considerable height -one of the main causes of serious and fatal occupational accidents in our country-, a meat industry worker with an amputated finger, a cook with a burned face, a depressed office worker or a warehouse porter injured by physical overload and musculoskeletal disorders -the most common health problem among working people- and an intoxicated chemical industry worker.
The Government of the Generalitat wanted to emphasize that these are just a sample of different injuries and sectors of activity and that it is necessary to be aware that. all jobs have riskswhether safety, ergonomic or psychosocial, which must be evaluated and prevented. Stress and depression are precisely the diseases caused by psychosocial risks that are often invisible and little recognized as occupational accidents, despite the fact that they affect many workers.
It is necessary for workers to be aware of the occupational hazards they may suffer, but just as important is that companies must remember their legal responsibility for the occupational health and safety of their staff. The company must train and inform workers of the risks to which they are exposed. and of the preventive measures adopted, which may be mainly collective, individual protection equipment or the organization of work itself – working time, workload – according to the law on prevention of occupational hazards.
The company is also responsible for. monitoring the health of working persons. through health surveillance specific to the risks to which they are exposed. And, in the event of an accident at work or an occupational disease, the company’s preventive organization must carry out an investigation to identify its causes, so that the appropriate preventive and corrective measures can be implemented to prevent its recurrence.
This information campaign is part of the Estratègia Catalana de Seguretat i Salud Laboral 2021-2026, which has been developed and agreed by the Government with the most representative employers and unions in the country. A joint roadmap that establishes nine strategic objectives and forty operational objectives -and one cross-cutting one, the gender perspective- to extend the preventive culture to workplaces and society in general.The aim is to improve the quality of safety and prevention of occupational hazards and to drastically reduce the number of accidents at work.
On the website of the Institut Català de Seguretat i Salut Laboral (ICSSL), you can find. information and resources on occupational risk prevention. in any of the professional sectors. The ICSSL prepares documents and preventive and informative materials, offers basic and specialized training on occupational health and safety, monitors companies with the highest accident rates, and offers technical advice to organizations, technical personnel, workers and prevention delegates.