Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) is a discipline that aims to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses by ensuring safe and healthy working environments.
OHS covers various aspects such as hazard identification, risk assessment, control measures, training, monitoring, reporting, and enforcement. OHS is important for migrant workers because it can protect them from harm, improve their well-being and productivity, and reduce social and economic costs.
Migrant workers are an essential part of the global workforce, contributing to the economies of both their home and host countries.
Migrant workers often face additional work-related risk factors and unfavorable social determinants of health including employment and wage discrimination, poor working and living conditions, lack of access to social protection, language and culture barriers.
The majority (71.1%) of migrant workers worldwide are engaged in the service industry, including domestic work, food services, administrative or professional work. Other occupational sectors include industry (manufacturing and construction) and agricultural work. Women make up 44.3% of all migrant workers.
These challenges can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of migrant workers. For example, exposure to hazardous substances or dangerous working conditions can increase their risk for illness or injury. Language barriers can make it difficult for them to access health care services or understand important safety information.
In Part 2, we will discuss recommendations on global and local scales that have been offered as potential solutions to improving the health of immigrant workers.