The International Labour Organization (ILO) has, since its founding, worked towards the improvement of the working conditions of all people through various means of action, including the adoption of international labour standards. This paper will briefly discuss ILO’s standards concerning occupational safety and health, its specific standards concerning work on board fishing vessels, and its work to develop a new Convention and Recommendation on Work in the Fishing Sector. It will then cover the background and debate concerning the provisions in these proposed instruments that relate to improving occupational safety and health, with a special emphasis on proposed requirements and guidance concerning “risk assessment”. Examples will be provided of how “risk assessment” has been used in ILO instruments, in regional (European Union) legislation concerning the fishing sector and in national laws, regulations and practice in this sector. The objective of the paper is to stimulate debate on how “risk assessment” of safety and health matters on fishing vessels could be promoted worldwide, taking into account differing levels of development and the considerable diversity of fishing operations.
Sectoral Activities Branch
International Labour Office
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the subject of this article was presented by the Author to the participants of the ErgoMare international symposium held on 3-6 October 2006 in Lorient, France