Home » News and Events » Jordanian Labor Watch calls for strengthening mechanisms to monitor occupational safety and health in workplaces

Jordanian Labor Watch calls for strengthening mechanisms to monitor occupational safety and health in workplaces

The Jordanian Labor Watch has called for strengthening official inspection and monitoring mechanisms on occupational safety and health, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises.

In a specialized research paper issued on the occasion of World Occupational Safety and Health Day, which falls on April 28 every year, the Jordanian Labor Watch said that there is a weakness in the application of occupational safety and health legislation to establishments, which has led to an increase in work-related deaths and injuries.

According to the latest statistics issued by the General Organization for Social Security (GOSS), the percentage of work injuries approved by the organization for 2022 increased by 13.1% compared to 2021, and the incidence rates are still relatively high in terms of severity, as the organization recorded a work injury every 30 minutes in all sectors.

The Jordanian Labor Watch pointed out that the number of accidents registered with the Social Security Institution increased to 23070 accidents in various sectors, of which 17746 were approved as work injuries in 2022, while the number of injury deaths reached 200 injury deaths out of all approved injuries.

There is also an increase in the general rate of occurrence of work injuries, as it reached 12.8 injuries per 1000 insured persons during the past year, up from 2021 by one point.

The Jordanian Labor Watch warned that these indicators do not reflect the reality of real work accidents and injuries, as many private sector businesses do not report all their work injuries and compensate the injured in ways outside the framework of the General Organization for Social Security mechanisms, in order to avoid increasing the number of work accidents and injuries, which results in an increase in social security contributions.

These indicators also do not include unorganized workers (not registered for social security), who constitute about half of the workforce in Jordan, noting that these workers are exposed to hundreds of accidents and work injuries.

The Jordanian Labor Watch noted that dealing with workers in the field of occupational safety and health is not done professionally and comprehensively, but rather partially (selectively), despite the fact that occupational safety and health are one of the standards of decent work and an essential part of the basic rights and principles at work.

The Jordanian Labor Watch pointed out that there is a low degree of awareness among male and female workers of the importance of adhering to the application of occupational safety and health standards, including workers in business establishments that provide material requirements to maintain their safety during work, and many of them do not receive sufficient and continuous training on the use of occupational safety and health tools and their importance.

The Jordanian Labor Watch emphasized that the damage is not limited to the physical health of workers but includes mental health, as many male and female workers are exposed to psychological violence by employers through verbal abuse.

The Jordanian Labor Watch attributed this to the lack of psychological consideration in Jordan’s work environments in various sectors in order to preserve workers’ mental health, which requires attention to the application of mental health standards in the workplace, and the need to prioritize the mental health of male and female workers in the plans of enterprises.

With regard to working women, the Jordanian Labor Watch indicated that many of them in Jordan work in occupations that may jeopardize their safety, such as working in the health sector, which last year recorded the highest percentage of all work injuries registered with the Social Security Institution, in addition to their work in factories and agriculture, which suffer from the absence of social protection.

The Jordanian Labor Watch believes that the occupational safety and health strategy to prevent and reduce work accidents and injuries, which was recently launched by the Social Security Institution, needs to focus on unregulated sectors such as construction, mechanical professions, the agricultural sector, and factories because most workers in these sectors are not registered with social security.

The Jordanian Labor Watch recommended that occupational safety and health requirements should be dealt with from a holistic perspective as an integrated system and that all institutions should apply their standards, develop plans and programs, and appoint specialists and experts in the field of occupational safety and health as part of the institutions’ responsibility towards their workers.

Jordanian Labor Watch stressed the need to ratify ILO Conventions 155, 161, 170, and 187 on occupational safety and health, as well as Convention 190 on the elimination of harassment and violence in the work environment.

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