A new International Labour Organisation report has revealed that more than one in five people in employment has experienced violence and harassment.
The report titled ‘Preventing and addressing violence and harassment in the world of work through occupational safety and health measures’, emphasised the need to use Occupational Safety and Health frameworks to address the root causes of violence and harassment and encourage collective action for better work environments.
According to the ILO, Occupational Safety and Health measures are key to building an inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach to preventing and eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work.
“This issue can affect all types of workplaces and can also occur during commutes, work-related trips, events, digital communications, social activities and in home-based offices,” it noted.
It emphasised that OSH frameworks tackle root causes of violence and harassment by addressing underlying risks such as inadequate work organisation, factors related to specific tasks and working conditions that produce high-stress levels that in turn lead to violence and harassment.
Occupational safety and health frameworks that are based on workplace cooperation and social dialogue, mobilise both employers and workers to create working environments free from violence and harassment, the organisation explained.
In the 25 countries studied, about two-thirds of all legal provisions on workplace violence and harassment were contained in OSH legislation and regulations, the study finds.
It further stated that the OSH policies were more detailed in outlining preventive strategies and defining the responsibilities of employers and workers compared to other regulatory approaches.
According to the report, practical tools, training programmes and guidelines tailored for enterprises and workplaces can help put violence and harassment policies into practice.
Meanwhile, ILO claimed that those tools explained the steps needed to implement interventions to tackle violence and harassment and help carry out complex tasks such as workplace risk assessments.
The report is being issued as part of a research project, ‘Practical guidance and tools to prevent and address violence and harassment in the world of work: An OSH perspective,’ which is jointly funded by the European Commission and the ILO.