Improving Workers’ Occupational Safety and Health in Selected Supply Chains in Mexico – A Vision Zero Fund

Project Duration
January 2021
May 2025
Funding and Year

Part of the broader Vision Zero Fund - which aims to promote worker safety and health in global supply chains – this project aims to improve the occupational safety and health of workers in selected supply chains with a focus on COVID-19, female workers, and workers in vulnerable conditions. This project also helps Mexico meet its labor obligations under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The Problem

There has been an increase in the number of health-related crises reaching pandemic levels worldwide.  

In Mexico, according to the federal government, more than 3.3 million Mexicans were infected with the COVID-19 virus and more than 259,000 died. The viral pandemic particularly affected low-wage and informal workers. Occupational heat stress is also becoming more common in duration, frequency, and intensity because of climate change occurring at an accelerated pace. Working in warmer temperatures exposes workers to several potential health consequences including asthma, kidney disease, neurological disorders and other heat-related morbidity and mortality. Agricultural workers are amongst the populations most vulnerable to such health impacts as their work is often performed outdoors or in greenhouses.   

While the government has made progress in improving Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) conditions, Mexico still faces challenges in harmonizing OSH regulations; identifying and addressing sector-specific OSH risks; including gender and vulnerable workers’ considerations in OSH policies; and promoting an OSH prevention culture in the workplace, led by employers and workers. The agricultural sector in Mexico, particularly in the tomato and chili pepper sectors, have limited knowledge and capacity to put in place mechanisms, including OSH measures, to prevent and mitigate the effects of new and emerging heat-related crises, including viral pandemics and climate change induced occupational heat stress.

Our Strategy

Through a participatory approach, the project works with the Mexican government, the private sector, workers' organizations, and other actors to improve OSH conditions in the chili pepper and tomato supply chains by (1) strengthening prevention and mitigation measures of health-related crises and (2) increasing adherence to OSH laws and policies. The project focuses particularly on OSH conditions for female and other vulnerable workers.

The project is working to build the capacity of key government and private sector stakeholders to collaboratively respond to health-related crises within the chili pepper and tomato supply chains in Jalisco, Mexico through the implementation of sector specific plans and joint initiatives and the strengthening of OSH management frameworks and systems. The project is also supporting the Government of Mexico in aligning its legislative frameworks with internationally recognized OSH standards.


Results (as of October 2023):

  • The project has trained 187 workers and employer representatives on Basic OSH topics.  Additionally, 36 government staff and 29 workers and employers received a TOT to replicate the Basic OSH Training for others.  
  • The project developed a research profile on female agricultural workers in the chili pepper and tomato supply chains in Jalisco, which will help to inform training courses and tools that will promote a safe and healthy workplace environment for all. A forum was held in with the participation of 100 people from government, employers’ organizations, workers organizations, international organizations and female agricultural workers, to disseminate the results of the research profile. In this forum, 49 women producers of chili, tomato, coffee and flowers of the states of Jalisco, Puebla, Morelos and Veracruz were also trained in the ILO’s WIND methodology, regarding low cost solutions to OSH hazards.
  • The project developed a standardized protocol on how companies can respond to health related crises with a specific focus on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The protocol was based on a desk review, a field study with 131 surveys in 12 different workplaces and roundtable discussions at the workplace level. The project will begin delivering training workshops for the implementation and customization of the protocol at the workplace level next reporting period.  
  • In efforts for Mexico to ratify C187, the project began the development of the national OSH profile, which the project expect to conclude and present in a tripartite meeting, with government, private sector, and worker representatives, in January 2024.
International Labor Organization (ILO)
Contact Information: / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
Child Labor
Female Workers and Other Vulnerable Workers
Occupational Safety & Health (OSH)
Supply Chains
USMCA Technical Assistance
Vision Zero Fund