C161 - Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985 (No. 161)


The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Seventy-first Session on 7 June 1985, and

Noting that the protection of the worker against sickness, disease and injury arising out of his employment is one of the tasks assigned to the International Labour Organisation under its Constitution,

Noting the relevant international labour Conventions and Recommendations, and in particular the Protection of Workers' Health Recommendation, 1953, the Occupational Health Services Recommendation, 1959, the Workers' Representatives Convention, 1971, and the Occupational Safety and Health Convention and Recommendation, 1981, which establish the principles of national policy and action at the national level,

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to occupational health services, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention;

adopts this twenty-sixth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and eighty-five the following Convention, which may be cited as the Occupational Health Services Convention, 1985:

Article 1

For the purpose of this Convention-

  • (a) the term occupational health services means services entrusted with essentially preventive functions and responsible for advising the employer, the workers and their representatives in the undertaking on-
    • (i) the requirements for establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment which will facilitate optimal physical and mental health in relation to work;
    • (ii) the adaptation of work to the capabilities of workers in the light of their state of physical and mental health;
  • (b) the term workers' representatives in the undertaking means persons who are recognised as such under national law or practice.
Article 2

In the light of national conditions and practice and in consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers, where they exist, each Member shall formulate, implement and periodically review a coherent national policy on occupational health services.

Article 3
  1. 1. Each Member undertakes to develop progressively occupational health services for all workers, including those in the public sector and the members of production co-operatives, in all branches of economic activity and all undertakings. The provision made should be adequate and appropriate to the specific risks of the undertakings.
  2. 2. If occupational health services cannot be immediately established for all undertakings, each Member concerned shall draw up plans for the establishment of such services in consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers, where they exist.
  3. 3. Each Member concerned shall indicate, in the first report on the application of the Convention submitted under article 22 of the Constitution of the International Labour...

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