OSH Conference 2018 an eye opener

Dr. Tor Erik Daniel is a senior occupational physician with the Norwegian Labour Inpsection Authority. Dr. Danielsen was a guest speaker at OSH Conference 2018 that was organized by OSH Pro Services in Mombasa. After visiting Mombasa, he went on and attended another OSH Conference in New Delhi, India. His experiences from Mombasa and from New Delhi are presented in this chronicle published 13.05.2019 in a Norwegian newspaper, titled “De andres arbeidsliv” which translates to “The others’ worklife.” Following are some excerpts from the chronicle…

On workers’ choices: “The choice between poverty and lesser poverty, makes them willing to sell their labour for a short and destructive period” (in reference to workers in precarious work).

On workers’ rights: “What about those working in the heavy, manual tasks in metal, electric and stone industry? If their work outlook is to become sustainable, the workers must be assured of rights similar to ours (in Norway). It concerns right to organisation, rights on payment, sickness, health and safety at workplaces, and protection against discrimination.”

On OSH professionals: “At the Conference (In Mombasa and New Delhi), I met colleagues working zealously to improve the situation. Specialists in work health and occupational diseases in Africa and Asia have professional competence and vision to improve work conditions. But their competence is not in demand. They are little involved by the local authorities, and meet worked-up patterns in the society with little interest in regulating  the labour market.”

On global companies: “Some companies set the standard by allowing same rights and conditions to apply for all their employees, whether they work in München or Mombasa.”

On our contribution: “A large part of little things we surround us with, have been produced in labour market where there are no contracts or formal employers. To have any effect (on changes) we need to be able to affect work conditions to the outermost in the industrial chain, for example those who polish stones to jewelry industry, or those who make brass articles we put on our mantelpiece.”

Taken from: Klassekampen, Monday 13 May 2019. No. 108, Week 20.