Dr. Jukka Takala

Dr. Jukka Takala, Adj.Prof. FFOM (Hon)
President of the International Commission of Occupational Health


Short CV

  • President of ICOH 2015 –
  • DSc, Adj.Professor, Tampere Universities, Finland, FFOM (Hon) ;
  • Executive Director emeritus, Senior Consultant, WSH Institute/MOM, Singapore from 2011-2017
  • 40+ years of global experience in Workplace Safety and Health (WSH), in six countries and three continents, in industry, and national/international civil service, UN, ILO, EU
  • Speaks six languages to varying degree
  • Prior to joining WSH-Institute as the first ED in 2011, he was the Director of the EU-OSHA Agency, Spain from 2006-2011
  • Held several positions in the International Labour Organisation ILO in Africa, Asia, and at ILO
  • Headquarters as Director of the Global SafeWork Programme in Geneva, responsible for ILO OSH Conventions, GHS process, ILO Encyclopaedia, 1978-2006…
  • OSH-Administration, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland 1973-78 and 1981-83


Zero Harm and Vision Zero – Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Work


In terms of Vision Zero much has been concentrated on safety issues at work. In health issues, insufficient emphasis has been placed on preventive action. This is not usually considered as a key area of most health organisations, such as health centres, hospitals, and most health professionals. There is an immediate need to emphasize elimination of not only factors leading to fatal and other injuries at work, but all harmful consequences caused by or aggravated by work. A paradigm change is necessary to introduce Zero Harm at work. This means injuries, diseases and disorders at work covering all risk factors and consequences. All such negative outcomes are caused by humans to other humans and they are not resulting from an unavoidable and unplanned event, such as natural disasters.


Studying experiences at all levels and identifying priorities in work of today and in future. All available exposure data to risk factors have been followed including related associations and the level, direction and strength of association of the risk/outcome pairs were used. Local, regional and global priorities for the elimination of exposures were looked at.


Today ‘s data is based on the estimates of negative outcomes. Latest data indicate – based still on restricted number of risk factors and estimation of exposures – tell that 2.78 billion workers lose their lives due to exposures at work globally. In the EU28 the number of fatal cases was 203,000. Latest country and region data have been estimated, and will be partly presented, while still incomplete. Proposed priorities for the elimination of related exposures are presented.


Targets and objectives include mapping of exposures. CAREX cancer exposure register itself is a model for carcinogens in the EU. Such sources need updating and expansion to all significant risk factors including physical and psychosocial risk factors by sector by occupation and jobs (Job Exposure Matrices). This means comprehensive and systematic data collection including modern methods, such as artificial intelligence.