IOHSAD Joins Women Workers for Health Empowerment Network to Promote Workplace Health and Safety

March 5, 2024

The Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Development (IOHSAD), a non-government organization focused on workplace safety and health, joined the WHEN: Women Workers for Health Empowerment, marking a significant step in advocating for women workers’ right to a healthy and safe working environment.

“We are honored to be part of WHEN, an initiative that amplifies awareness among women workers on the importance of safeguarding their rights to workplace health and safety,” said Nadia De Leon, IOHSAD Executive Director.

De Leon emphasized the crucial role of partnerships in advancing initiatives like the Cervical Cancer Elimination in the Workplace Campaign. “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Jhpiego, SUCCESS, and CLAMS projects for their invaluable support and resources in promoting cancer awareness and organizing WHEN,” said De Leon.

IOHSAD, through the help of Jhpiego and in collaboration with workers’ unions in special economic zones in Laguna and Cavite, conducted cervical cancer awareness and screening initiatives in workplaces and communities. These efforts not only raised awareness about cancer but also paved the way for the issuance of Labor Advisory 2023-20 by the Labor Department, outlining the Cancer Prevention and Control in the Workplace Policy and Program in September 2023.

“Although Labor Advisory 2023-20 is a step forward in addressing workers’ health concerns, enforcing safety and health standards remains a huge challenge. Strict monitoring and enforcement mechanisms are necessary to prevent these guidelines from being mere symbols,” said De Leon

IOHSAD also emphasized the importance of comprehensive measures to control workplace hazards, including the monitoring of chemical usage. Identifying, assessing, and controlling potentially carcinogenic substances is paramount. Prioritizing the elimination or substitution of harmful chemicals with safer alternatives, alongside measures to minimize workers’ exposure and provide appropriate personal protective equipment, is essential.

“Comprehensive training on chemical hazards and safe handling practices is critical. Workers must be equipped with the knowledge and resources to protect their health and safety effectively,” De Leon added.

IOHSAD pledges unwavering support to WHEN and other organizations dedicated to women’s health and safety. “We commit to monitoring cancer cases and other occupational safety and health (OSH) issues among women workers. Furthermore, we will collaborate with women and OSH committees to ensure the implementation of cancer prevention and control programs in workplaces,” said De Leon.

WHEN will march for women workers’ health and safety at the International Women’s Day on March 8

As International Women’s Day approaches, IOHSAD encourages women workers to celebrate by pledging to prioritize their overall well-being at work. Let us collectively push for occupational safety and health programs in our workplaces, ensuring every woman worker can work in an environment that nurtures her health, safety, dignity, and empowerment.