Tragedy reinforces ITF’s resolve to tackle hazardous substances across the transport sector

The global transport unions’ federation ITF is backing the ITUC theme for 28 April, removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. It will be integrating this into ongoing campaigns on container safety for dockers, truckers, seafarers, railway workers, warehouse workers – essentially along the entire supply chain. Toxic gases and fumigation in containers is one of the areas of campaigning as are container weights, packing, loading etc.

ITF is asking its affiliated unions to get involved on 28 April by, among other things, raising awareness about the issue of toxic gas and fumigation in containers with their members.  It says “this is an increasingly important topic for us given the tragedy in the port of Antwerp.”  Three experienced dockworkers died on Saturday 11 April in Antwerp, Belgium, after entering a ship’s hold to unload coal.  ITF president and chair of its dockers’ section, Paddy Crumlin, said: “Dock work is dangerous work and everyone involved must always do everything possible to minimise the risks. This is a timely reminder of the importance of Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April (28april.org), whose message is ‘Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living’.”

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