Korea OSHA Prepares for Safety World Congress XVIII in Seoul

With more than a year still to go before the opening of the 18th World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, which will be held at the COEX Convention Center in Seoul, South Korea, from June 29 to July 2, 2008, organizers have already nailed down a timetable and specific agenda items for the event and are planning for the largest turnout ever.

The world's biggest international forum for the safety and health field, the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work has been held every three years since it took place for the first time in Rome in 1955. The 2008 World Congress in Seoul will be the second one ever held in Asia, as India hosted the 13th version in 1993. That year, 50 countries and 1,080 people attended, and the event has grown with each successive gathering. The 17th World Congress, held in Orlando, Fla., in 2005, drew 3,000 attendees from 111 countries.

The Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency received approval to host the 18th incarnation of the event from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA) in September 2005. By January 2006 KOSHA had launched a planning organization, and a year later it had established the Secretariat for the event, the slogan of which will be "Safety and Health at Work: A Societal Responsibility."

According to KOSHA, World Congress XVIII will focus on four main topics: "Strategies and Programmes of Safety and Health for the Future," "Impact of Changes of Working Conditions on Workers' Protection," "New Challenges and Opportunities in Occupational Safety and Health," and "Safety and Health Management Systems." KOSHA says it has prepared for the event by closely cooperating with joint organizers ILO and ISSA; through their efforts, the Seoul Declaration on Safety and Health at Work will be announced after the Safety and Health Summit for the first time in history, KOSHA said.

"Ministers responsible for occupational safety and health, industry leaders, high-level representatives from employers' and workers' organizations, as well as leading occupational safety and health specialists from around world will participate in the discussion to exchange each other's opinions on safety and health at work as a basic human right and a means to economic growth and development," says a KOSHA press release. "The Regional Meetings for the discussion of the pending issues related to the safety and health of the five continents including the Americas, Asia-pacific, Europe, Africa, and Arab states and the Symposia for the exchange of mutual experiences and opinions regarding the prevention of the industrial accidents and occupational diseases will also be held during the World Congress. KOSHA has made every effort to prepare brand-new programmes for the World Congress perfectly."

The International Film and Multimedia Festival will be held concurrently with the World Congress, providing participants the opportunity to enjoy worldwide films and multimedia products regarding safety and health and to release their own products. KOSHA says you can present your products for the festival now. "You can also find out the ways to solve the problems related to safety and health in your workplaces if you visit the International Safety and Health Exhibition showing the global cutting-edge safety and health related machinery and tools, equipment, and technology, which will also be held at the same time during the period of the congress," the agency says.

For more information about and registration for World Congress on Safety and Health at Work XVIII, please visit http://www.safety2008korea.org/eng/.

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