In the Spring of 2011, a group of occupational hygienists came together to found Workplace Health Without Borders, a not-for-profit organization, to address occupational health and safety issues around the world. WHWB intends to incorporate ideas from and work with other groups who have been engaged in setting up similar organizations with a global reach.
According to the World Health Organization, almost 2/3 of the world’s 3 billion workers are employed in unhealthy and unsafe working conditions. The International Labour Organization, the United Nations tripartite agency responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards, reports nearly 2 million deaths each year from occupational disease. In addition, 160 million of the world’s workers get sick every year due to non-fatal occupational diseases. Most of the world’s workers do not have access to occupational hygiene expertise. They lack the resources, knowledge and technology to identify and control workplace exposure to disease-causing agents like chemicals, microbes, noise and radiation.
Building on concepts explored by occupational hygienists in Norway, the United States and elsewhere, Workplace Health Without Borders was started by a team of occupational hygienists and other activists to engage volunteers in improving workplace health in regions of the world with under-served worker populations requiring our assistance. Our focus is to provide these workers with technical assistance, training and skills development to help them to develop the capacity and local infrastructure to manage and improve health conditions in their workplaces. Our intent is also to focus on helping Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who serve communities and workplaces in developing countries to integrate occupational health into their operations around the globe.
More details about the mission of WHWB can be found in the Strategic Framework document available here.
Our Board of Directors is listed here.