Category Archives: 2022

Belgium: Amiante – le nombre de victimes pourrait encore augmenter – #iwmd23

Le chiffre de 90 000 victimes annuelles en Europe de cancers liés à l’amiante pourrait encore gonfler, en raison de chantiers à venir et d’une trop faible volonté politique de prendre le sujet à bras le corps.

Il est urgent de mieux protéger, réduire les taux d’exposition, prévenir. L’appel vient de la CES, la Confédération européenne des syndicats, dont fait partie la FGTB. A l’occasion de cette journée internationale d’hommage aux travailleurs décédés ou blessés, le syndicat européen fait le focus sur les – beaucoup trop – nombreuses victimes de cancers professionnels liés à l’exposition à l’amiante.

Ces victimes, et leurs familles, appellent aujourd’hui les dirigeants européens « à offrir aux travailleurs le niveau de protection le plus élevé possible contre l’amiante. »

L’amiante cause de cancers du poumon, de la plèvre…

Les chiffres sont élevés. En Union européenne, environ 90 000 personnes perdent la vie à cause d’un cancer lié à l’amiante, chaque année. Ce qui en fait la principale cause de décès sur le lieu de travail. L’amiante provoque la majeure partie des cancers professionnels du poumon, et du mésothéliome, cancer qui touche notamment la plèvre.

Contrairement aux idées reçues, l’amiante est très loin d’avoir disparu des lieux de travail : entre 4 et 7 millions de travailleurs y sont toujours exposés en Europe. Et l’on serait loin d’en sortir. Paradoxalement, les travaux de rénovation des anciens bâtiments viendrait aggraver la situation, sans une prévention adéquate. « Ce nombre devrait augmenter de 4 % au cours de la prochaine décennie », indique la CES, « en raison de rénovations de bâtiments dans le cadre du Green Deal de l’UE. » 


Moldova: Work in safe and healthy conditions – a fundamental right of employees at work – #iwmd23

“Work in safe and healthy conditions – a fundamental right of employees at work.”
👉 The event was organized by Confederația Națională a Sindicatelor din Moldova with the support of the National Platform of the FSC from #PaE.
“Promoting a culture of safety and health at work can help reduce the annual number of workplace deaths.”

India: Cement plant safety workshops on 28 April – #iwmd23

The Indian National Cement Workers Federation convened health and safety workshop at selected cement plants. Also, KSCWCU conducted health and safety meeting to mark the day.

Bulgaria: 28 April report from CITUB

CITUB  National secretary for Health and safety at work and Ecology, Aleksandar Shopov, has sent the following report and photographs describing their 28 April activities.

As every year, on April 28th, CITUB and social partners paid tribute to the memory of those who died by submit flowers and wreaths in front of the memorial plaque placed next to the headquarters of CITUB in Sofia, and a minute of silence.

In memory of the workers who died in accidents, lighted candles in the shape of the sad number 84 were arranged next to the plaque, which is the number of workers who died in Bulgaria in 2022.

The Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Prof. Dr. Emil Mingov and the Director of the IA “Main Labor Inspection” Ekaterina Asenova, representatives of the National Institute of Social Sciences, participated in the honour of the day.

CITUB President Plamen Dimitrov recalled that last year the International Labor Conference accepted that safe and healthy working conditions are a basic human right for every worker. This is the first expansion of basic human rights in a quarter of a century.

In Bulgaria, there is a lack of systematic data for monitoring workers exposed to asbestos, the president of CITUB pointed out. The majority of workers at risk carry out activities of demolition, reconstruction or rehabilitation, maintenance of buildings in which there may be asbestos. In 2020, only one occupational disease related to exposure to this substance was recognized in Bulgaria.

To help in the fight against asbestos and other hazardous chemical substances, the CITUB has launched a campaign “Stop Cancer in the Workplace”, which aims to encourage employers and workers to implement more effective measures to prevent cancer in the workplace.

According to the National Center for Public Health and Analysis, more than 30,000 new cases of cancer are registered every year. A number of studies show that between 5 and 8% of these are workplace-related. If we assume that only 5% of the total cancer cases are related to the profession, this means that at least 1,500 Bulgarian workers have contracted cancer related to the workplace.

After the submitting of flowers, CITUB also presented its annual awards for 2022, with which it distinguishes employers who have achieved good results in ensuring healthy and safe working conditions.

Peru: Meetings and forums on work safety to mark 28 April

FTCCP  will hold an International Workers’ Memorial Day Forum on musculoskeletal disorders affecting construction workers, demand to reduce the weight of cement sacks to 25 kg, decree Nº 011- 2019-TR Safety and Health at Work Regulations for the Construction Sector. The 2 hour forum will have as speakers lawyers, ILO experts and trade unionists. The target audience is composed of workers and trade unionists.

FENATIMAP will hold a 28 April safety awareness meeting.  They will hold a discussion on work safety and health for 20 forestry workers and technicians of the Export Wood Trading Company Tahuantinsuyoin in the locality of Manantay, La Chacrita, in Pucalpa, Amazonian region of Ucayali in Peru.


Indonesia: Marking 28 April with online campaigning, safety meetings and joint mass action

SERBUK/FKUI is planning a 28 April online campaign with photos, videos and other tools developed by members in 5 regions. The union will also provide a seminar with safety training  at PT Bukit Muria Jaya (Karawang, West Java) as the company is a signatory to the occupational health and safety declaration. Finally there will be a mass action in Jakarta with various GUF affiliates and various NGOs including INA-BAN to raise the issue of the Amendment to the Rotterdam Convention.

Peru: CATP reaffirms commitment to safety and training for 28 April

CATP says: “April 28 marks the International Day for Safety and Health at Work, therefore our commitment to training and monitoring compliance in favor of workers in the country.”

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Global: IWMD 2022 – 105 BWI affiliates in 50 countries call to recognise OHS as a fundamental right

To commemorate this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day, BWI-affiliated trade unions once again raised their voices to persuade the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to recognise health and safety as a fundamental right.

Through meetings with workers, nationwide tours on occupational health and safety (OHS), press conferences, OHS training workshops and social media use for campaigning, 105 BWI-affiliated unions from 50 countries took part in the global union’s month-long IWMD campaign.

Some of the highlights of BWI affiliates’ various IWMD actions worldwide were:

  • The action by the Belgian affiliate ACV where more than 1,000 ACV activists and staff members visited nearly 15,000 industry workers in the spread of more than 2,000 sites. The trade union took advantage of the opportunity to give workers good advice on health and safety.
  • In South Korea, KFCITU opened a union hotline for the reporting of dangerous work, and held various rallies to support disclosure of serious accidents and occupational diseases. It also held a memorial ceremony on the second anniversary of the Han Express Accident (29 April)
  • In Montenegro, the Association of Occupational Safety and Health of Montenegro awarded Nenad Markovic, President of the Trade Union of Construction and Industry of Building Materials of Montenegro (SGIGMCG), for his union’s exemplary contribution to the promotion of occupational health and safety.
  • In Zimbabwe, the affiliates CLAWUZ, ZCATWU and GAPWUZ organised an Occupational Safety and Health Workshop on IWMD. During the workshop, participants shared their OHS experiences, discussed the key principles and aims of OHS, and highlighted the various types of occupational hazards.
  • In Brazil, BWI affiliates, together with other trade unions and government organizations, launched a book titled “Rosca sem Fim: Basta de mortes, acidentes e doenças do trabalho.”
  • BWI’s youth affiliates celebrated IWMD 2022 by once again carrying the theme “life before profit.” This was led by young trade unionists from FILCA CSIL (Italy), SERBUK (Indonesia), CMWEU (Mauritius), FOCRA (Argentina), STICC POA (Brasil) and INTERGREMIAL (Colombia), among many others. The youth section of BYGGNADS released a video commemorating the 44 workers who lost their lives in 2021 to work-related accidents. Meanwhile, an OHS exhibit was mounted by CMWEU young unionists in Mauritius near a monument in Rose Hill to honour of workers.

Labour inspections and workplace sensitisation activities were also held at construction projects in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Turkey, Tajikistan, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina to ensure safety, hygiene and health measures are taken at worksites.

The big presence of BWI affiliates on conventional and social media is also worth mentioning. Such presence ensured BWI’s messages were conveyed far and wide and further stressed the importance of this year’s International Labour Conference (ILC) to declare OSH as a fundamental right.

To cap the campaign, BWI recognised the achievement of its affiliates in gathering signed joint OHS declarations with different construction, building materials and wood companies and employers’ associations. In total, over 450 OHS declarations have now been signed covering over 483,000 employers, and 18 million workers.

Source: BWI 

Fiji: Minister Launches National OHS Plan

Fiji Commerce and Employees Federation IR consultant Noel Tofiga, MP Alvick Maharaj, Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Parveen Bala, Director ILO for the Pacific Island countries Martin Karimli, and FTUC rep Rouhit Karan Singh during the launch at the Sugar Cane Growers Council Building in Lautoka on April 28, 2022. Photo: Waisea Nasokia/Fiji Sun

Fiji’s Ministry of Employment in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has implemented a five-year Occupational Health Service Strategic Plan.

The partners include employers’ and unions’ representatives, international partners, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and World Health Organisation (WHO).

“My Ministry in collaboration with the tripartite National OHS Advisory Board has already endorsed the process to ratify ILO Convention 161 on Occupational Health Services, ILO Convention 187 on the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health, and ILO Convention 162 on the elimination of asbestos,” said Parveen Kumar Bala, the Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations.

Source: Fiji Sun

Europe: Workers’ Memorial Day – 30,000 more preventable workplace deaths expected by 2030


Almost 30,000 people may lose their lives at work in the EU over this decade without action to make workplaces safer, trade unions are warning on International Workers’ Memorial Day.

The number of fatal workplace accidents fell slowly over of the last decade, although progress was far from steady with deaths rising again in 2019, according to Eurostat data.

Another 27,041 workplace deaths should be expected between 2020 and 2029 if change continues at the same pace as during the last decade, an analysis by the European Trade Union Institute has found (see Notes below).

Workplace deaths are not expected to fall at all in Spain, are set to get even worse in France and wouldn’t end in Europe for more than 30 years.  They could though be ended by 2030 if the political will existed.

Number of workplace deaths expected this decade and year in which fatal workplace accidents will be eliminated in selected member states if 2010-2019 trends continue:

Poland: 563 deaths – 2027
Portugal: 481 deaths – 2030
Romania 1,451 deaths – 2036
Austria: 694 deaths – 2037
Italy: 3,434 deaths – 2042
Germany: 3,143 deaths – 2044
Czechia: 851 deaths – 2052
France: 7,803 deaths – Never
Spain: 3,191 deaths – Never

EU27: 27,041 – 2055

The findings come as the European Trade Union Confederation launches a manifesto for zero death at work which calls on European leaders to “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk” on saving the lives of working people.

The manifesto – which has been signed by Ministers, MEPs, trade union leaders and top occupational health and safety experts – called for an increase in workplace health and safety training, inspections and penalties to end workplace fatalities by 2030.

Half a million fewer workplace safety inspections are taking place across Europe now than at the start of the last decade, the ETUC’s analysis of International Labour Organisation data has found.

As well as workplace accidents, the ETUC are also calling on EU leaders to do more to end the scandal of cancer, which still takes the lives of over 100,000 people every year, as well as protecting workers from increasing extreme weather events caused by climate change.

ETUC Deputy General Secretary Claes-Mikael Stahl said:

“Nobody should leave home worried about whether or not they will make it back to see their family after work. But that’s the daily reality for many workers, often because of irresponsible employers cutting corners to increase profits and politicians who attack common sense safety rules and inspections for ideological reasons.

“Thousands of people are still losing their lives every year in brutal – and avoidable – accidents on construction sites, in factories and at other workplaces. Millions of people have also died after being exposed daily to cancer-causing substances at work.

“While workplace deaths might seem like something from another century, these tragedies are set to keep happening in Europe for at least another 30 years. That isn’t inevitable though.

“On International Workers’ Memorial Day, we remember the dead and vow to fight for the living. If politicians are willing to act, we could achieve zero deaths at work by 2030. It’s high time the lives of working people were made a priority.”


Projection based on the European statistics on accidents at work database (ESAW), linear regression was used to predict the number of fatal accidents at work in the years to come. The number of fatal accidents at work were predicted separately for a selection of Member States, and for EU27 as a whole. For EU27, time predicted yearly fatal accidents with R² = .63, F(1, 7) = 11.7, p = .01.

Source: ETUC