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Washington, D.C., 22 April 2013 (PAHO/WHO) — In observance of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, 28 April, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has organized a series of virtual seminars on promoting and protecting the well-being of workers in the Americas.

In keeping with this year’s theme, “Prevention of Occupational Diseases,” the next webinar (on Monday, 29 April, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon) will consider the global path for prevention and diagnosis of these diseases.

A subsequent seminar will be held on 29 May, coinciding with the launch of the Knowledge Network on Occupational Diseases, which seeks to pool the efforts of countries, funding agencies and social stakeholders throughout the Americas.

The virtual seminars are designed for staff of ministries and departments of health, labor, and environment; people working in healthcare systems; employers; industry representatives; and specialists from technical and professional associations in the fields of occupational health and hygiene, ergonomics, and occupational safety, among others.

Those interested may attend in person at PAHO/WHO headquarters in Washington, D.C., or by accessing the links below on the day of the seminar. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English and Spanish.



The first webinar of the series was held on 8 April. Materials from that webinar are available at: (in Spanish) and (in English).

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work was declared by the International Labor Organization (ILO) to honor workers who have suffered or died from work-related accidents or diseases and to promote prevention of such events.
This commemoration is also intended to raise awareness about the seriousness of pathologies such as occupational lung diseases (including asbestosis and pneumoconiosis), allergies leading to occupational asthma, stress-related disorders, depression and similar illnesses, and occupational cancers, all of which are highly preventable.

To improve prevention of occupational diseases, PAHO/WHO has aligned itself with ILO recommendations and has been promoting national surveys aimed at developing hazard and risk profiles; defining the characteristics of work procedures; developing job-exposure matrices; strengthening occupational hygiene practices, ergonomics, safety, and medicine; and organizing subregional and local networks with the participation of occupational health experts.

For more information on the seminars and PAHO/WHO’s work, visit:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 16:29

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