International Labour Organization (ILO) Survey on Biohazards

The ILO released a report Biological Hazards in the Working Environment in 2022. The report contains a survey which calls on governments to respond and to ensure that employers and trade unions in their countries also respond. 

The ILO is now circulating the survey directly to trade unions and employers to ensure that it gets more response.

The ILO released its report on "Biological Hazards in the Working Environment" in 2022, shedding light on the critical issue of workplace safety and health. The report highlights the increasing importance of addressing biological hazards in various industries and the need for comprehensive measures to protect workers worldwide. It summarises the emerging challenges and trends related to biological hazards, including the impact of pandemics such as COVID-19, infectious diseases, and occupational exposure.

The report examines the significance of implementing preventive measures such as risk assessments, training programs, and the use of personal protective equipment to mitigate the risks associated with biological hazards. It also highlights the importance of integrating health and safety policies into broader frameworks, promoting effective collaboration between employers, workers, and government authorities.

 The deadline for submitting responses is 31 July 2023

PSI is encouraging all affiliates to respond to survey but particularly those representing members within the following sectors:

  • Health and Care Services

  • Emergency Services

  • Water And Utilities

  • Waste Handling 

Please return the survey to and copy PSI at

Please note you are not required to answer every question within the survey, only the ones most relevant to your members. The survey will inform the document for the discussions at the 112th and 113th International Labour Conferences in 2024 and 2025. The discussions will encourage global efforts in ensuring safer and healthier working environments for all by resulting in a new standard or instrument on biohazards.  

It appears that the International Organisation of Employers (IOE)is opposed to this process by the ILO for international standard setting on biohazards. They tried to limit assessment of biohazard risks in the health and care sector, therefore, it is especially important that health and care unions fill out and submit the survey to the ILO ahead of the deadline. 

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Also see

The International Labour Organisation recently adopted a new set of guidelines on handling biological hazards in the workplace. Coming out almost three years into the pandemic, this document is vital for unions and workers as it provides expert advice on how to prevent and control work-related injuries, diseases, and deaths related to exposure to biological hazards in the workplace.