Since 1950 the joint of International Labor Organization and World Health OrganizationILO/WHO committee adopted and shared a common definition of occupational health “the occupationalhealth should aim to: the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and socialwell-being of workers in all occupations; the prevention amongst workers of departures from healthcaused by their working conditions; the protection of workers in their employment from risks resultingfrom factors adverse to health; the placing and maintenance of the worker in an occupationalenvironment adapted to his physiological and psychological capabilities; and, to summarize: theadaptation of work to man and of each man to his job.”1Occupational health and safety OHS is a multidisciplinary field concern with the safety,health and welfare of people at work. It is the science of the anticipation, recognition, evaluation andcontrol of hazards arising in or from the workplace that could impair the health and well-being ofworkers, taking into account the possible impact on the surrounding communities and the generalenvironment.2Occupational accidents’ and diseases are the main causes of injuries and deaths amongworkers. Labor related deaths on the Middle East were estimated at 19,000 in 2005.3 In order to preventworker from being exposed to such risk ILO had worked hard to raise awareness worldwide about thisissue. The ILO is United nation organization for the world of work founded on 1919 in world war two onthe believe that social justice is essential to the universal and lasting peace.
It promote decent workthrough agenda that brings together government, employer and worker representatives from 187 memberstates to set labor standards, develop policies and devise programs to promote decent work for all womenand men. It raised the awareness and noting that there are many risks and gaps in the work environment.And suggested means to address them and provided all kind of assistance to bring about actual changes.
ILO standards provide essential tools for governments’, employers and workers to establish suchpractices to provide maximum safety at work.Despite this variety of all disciples involved in this field they all aimed to maintain decent and saveworking environment. Through:1• provide the right of all workers of having safe and healthy working environment; conditions of workshould be consistent with workers’ well-being and human dignity and work should offer realoccupational safety and health.
• Establishment of Occupational safety and health policies.• Formulation of A national program on occupational safety and health. Once formulated, it must beimplemented, monitored, evaluated and periodically reviewed.• Social partners (that is, employers and workers) and other stakeholders must be consulted.
Thisshould be done during formulation, implementation and review of all policies, systems and programs.• Occupational safety and health programs and policies must aim at both prevention and protection.• Continuous improvement of occupational safety and health must be promoted.• Information for the development and implementation of effective programs and policies.• Health promotion for occupational health practice.
• Compensation, rehabilitation and curative services must be made available to workers whosuffer occupational injuries, accidents and work related diseases.• Education and training are vital components of safe, healthy working environments.• Policies must be enforced.Occupational health and safety Situation in Sudan:There no available clear data about the situation in Sudan regarding the legislations, lowsand occupational accidents’ and injury and their influence or relation to the economical status ofthe country. The main legislation on occupational health and safety contained on labor code 1997and most recently tobacco control low has been approved 2005.4 It covers physical andpsychological health the coverage involved workers even immigrant one except some excludedcriteria like domestic servants , home worker and some branches of economic activities likesome agriculture workers and construction workers. There is no available data for self employedperson.5The legislation covers:? Protection of workers (men, women and mothers) from occupational diseases.
? Protection of industrial enterprises from the fire hazard, explosions and accidents atenterprises.The Sudan ratified 14 ILO conventions as follow:? Fundamental 7 out of 8? Governance conventions(priority): 2 of 4? Techniqual 5 of 177But only one is related to occupational health and safety. There are three additional agreementsunder process of ratification which are:? The occupational health and safety and the working environment convention number 155.? Occupational health service convention number 161.? Promotion framework for occupational safety and health convention number 187.Other than that there is no separate low for occupational health and safety which reduce theseriousness of dealing with the subject among all parties. The local legislation that cover theaspect of OHS are occupational act, factories act, interdiction of night work for female andrefusing of mothers work especial in dangerous substances.
6The role of Ministry of Health in changing the current situation:the classical approach of ensuring a healthy working environment was depending onaccreditation of legislations and inspections of work places to ensure it is conform tospecifications and standards. The effectiveness of these approaches has been less than required.Many factors contributed to this which may include : the changed occur in the workingenvironments , the emerging and growing of the private sector which make it so difficult forinspections process, the development of the agriculture sectors new methods and new hazard andrisk arised, the technology and machines development increases the risk of occupationalaccidents.Barrier facing occupational health and safety: 6? Delays in ratification of ILO conventions on occupational health and safety.
? The lack of comprehensive and detailed occupational health and safety provisions incivilian legislations.? The absence of national OSH policies and programs.? Weak of enforcement of occupational health and safety regulations.? Other barrier like under reporting and under coverage inspection.Recommendation:Butting in mind the above mentioned barriers the ministry of health can influence in thecurrent situation by:? Promotion activity on OSH: increase the awareness on OSH and promote safety culture,raising the awareness and positive influence of OHS on workers and employers andbuilding supportive environment among both stakeholders and community.? OSH research studies: to provide scientific and a credible information relevant to Sudansituation.? Collection data system or surveillance system for any disease relating to occupation andaccidents’.
To provide ground data to sit the priorities and measure the change achievedand evaluate the programs.? Training and increasing the knowledge of workers and employers in the field ofoccupational safety, occupational hazard and risks.? Training staff and providing occupational nurse staff to deal with injuries, first aid andemergencies at work place.? Integration between health authorities labor office and environments ministries to updatethe current legislations, establish national strategy profile, implementation of thelegislation and program based on the standard of ILO and evaluation and monitoringprocess.? Dissemination the current information regarding the current situation and attracts localgovernmental and nongovernmental organizations as well as social moves to help andguide in decisions making, addressing the most important issues, implementation andfinancing the planned program and strategies.The road to considerable acceptable OSH situation in Sudan is not an easy task but canbe achieved by assistance from ILO and integration between local authorities (ministry of health,ministry of human development and labour, ministry of environment, natural resources andurban development) as well as contributions of workers and employers.