Extract from the report of the Meeting of Experts on the Recording and Notification of Occupational Accidents and Diseases (Geneva, 3-11 October 1994)

Extract from the report of the Meeting of Experts on the Recording
and Notification of Occupational Accidents and Diseases
(Geneva, 3-11 October 1994)
Examination of the draft code of practice
. . .
10. During the general discussion, the experts agreed that the document prepared
by the Office provided a suitable basis for discussion by the Meeting. The experts
supported the view that the collection, recording and notification of data concerning
occupational accidents and diseases were instrumental in preventing them. In analysing
occupational accidents, the attribution of the responsibility for the accident should not be
the main concern. It was important to study the causes of accidents in order to develop
preventive measures. This was especially important given the high cost of occupational
accidents and diseases. It was also noted that the conclusions of the Meeting will be
taken into account by the Sixteenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians
which is provisionally scheduled to take place in 1998.
11. The experts noted that, whilst the code should serve as a useful instrument to
the competent authorities in developing systems of recording and notification of
occupational accidents and diseases, it should provide valuable guidance to a joint action
by the employers and workers which was aimed at the overall prevention of
occupational accidents and diseases. In the process of collecting data, use would be
made of statistics compiled by social security institutions. However, distinction should
be made between the legal aspects which involved compensation, and the analytical
aspects in order to avoid problems with duplicate reporting. Some experts also
acknowledged that there was a general problem of under-reporting of occupational
accidents and diseases. Due attention should also be paid to the aspect of the incidence
of occupational accidents and diseases because of the lessons which could be drawn
from them.
12. Some experts emphasized that although it was important to supplement the
code with the annexes referred to in the document, the recording and notification of
occupational diseases should not be restricted to those which appear in the list of
occupational diseases (amended 1980) of the Employment Injury Benefits Convention,
1964 (No. 121). It should be realized that new occupational diseases were likely to
emerge in cases of those diseases which have long latency periods following the
exposure of workers to occupational hazards.
13. In discussing the objectives of the code the experts emphasized the need to give
more prominence to prevention than to the element of statistics. They agreed to call for
consistency in compiling statistics at the national level with a view to improving interna-
tional comparability, and to consider commuting accidents in promoting the progressive
development of procedures and methods of recording and notification. Commuting
accidents caused severe economic losses to the enterprise and deserved attention. The
experts agreed to extend the coverage of the code by adding a text which addressed the
promotion of awareness among health-care providers of the potential effects of a
person’s work upon the health of their patients. They decided that there was no need to
extend the coverage to include subjects such as the environmental monitoring of the ex-
posure of workers to airborne substances since this was adequately covered by other

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