Category Archives: 2022 Europe

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

Montenegro: Construction union SGIGMCG receives award for outstanding safety work

On the occasion of the International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April, 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.
On receiving the award, Markovic thanked the award-giving association, saying the it is an added incentive and inspiration for trade unionists to further their work on workplace health and safety. He expressed optimism that OHS will soon become a fundamental labor right at the next International Labour Conference. He concluded his speech with the resounding message: “jobs should not kill!”

Austria: GBH 28 April message – Heute heißt es: Den Toten gedenken, für die Lebenden kämpfen!

Heute heißt es: Den Toten gedenken, für die Lebenden kämpfen! Continue reading Austria: GBH 28 April message – Heute heißt es: Den Toten gedenken, für die Lebenden kämpfen!

Moldova: SINDICONS 28 April workplace inspection, flash mob and vigil

? On the International Day of Safety and Health in Work, marked today, April 28, the leadership of the Federation of Construction and Construction Materials “SINDICONS”, together with the leadership of the State Inspectorate of Labor i and the Federation of the Patronage of Construction and Production of Construction Materials in the Republic of Moldova have paid a visit at the mine in Chisinau
✅The working conditions were analyzed from the mine, how the requirements in the field of safety and health in work are respected, which are the benefits of mining. Social partners in the construction branch organized a flashmob in which they called for the respect of standards in the SSM field, emphasizing that the right to safety and health in work is a primordial right. At the same time, those present commemorated the victims of the work accidents.
!! According to official statistics, in the Republic of Moldova during the year 2021, 627 incidents of injuries were reported to the State Inspectorate of Labor in the field of labor, due to which 664 people suffered, 78 of which have died.

Moldova: Declarația Confederației Naționale a Sindicatelor din Moldova cu ocazia Zilei internaționale a securității și sănătății în muncă – 28 aprilie


‼️Declarația Confederației Naționale a Sindicatelor din Moldova cu ocazia Zilei internaționale a securității și sănătății în muncă – 28 aprilie

?Anul acesta suntem chemați de Confederația Internațională a Sindicatelor de a susține promovarea dreptului la securitate și sănătate în muncă ca drept fundamental în cadrul Conferinței anuale a Organizației Internaționale a Muncii.

✅Toate acestea sunt promovate, fiind fundamentate la nivel mondial pe o statistică foarte tragică: aproximativ 2,9 milioane de lucrători mor în fiecare an din cauza accidentelor și bolilor profesionale și cel puțin 402 milioane de persoane, anual, sunt vătămate la locul de muncă.

?În Republica Moldova, statistica, la fel, nu este îmbucurătoare: pe parcursul anului 2021, la Inspectoratul de Stat al Muncii au fost comunicate 627 de evenimente de accidentare a lucrătorilor în câmpul muncii, în urma cărora au avut de suferit 664 de persoane, dintre care – 78 au decedat.

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Germany: Am heutigen Workers‘ Memorial Day erinnern wir an alle Arbeitnehmer innen, die aufgrund ihrer Arbeit erkrankt


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2021 wurden alleine zwischen Januar und September 77.115 Arbeitsunfälle auf deutschen Baustellen gemeldet. 69 Bauarbeiter*innen sind tödlich verunglückt. Am heutigen Workers‘ Memorial Day erinnern wir an alle Arbeitnehmer*innen, die aufgrund ihrer Arbeit erkrankt oder gestorben sind.

Der Europäische Gewerkschaftsbund @etucces ruft heute dazu auf, bis 2030 das Ziel von 0 Todesfällen durch Arbeitsunfälle oder arbeitsbedingte Erkrankungen zu erreichen. Obwohl die tödlichen Arbeitsunfälle in der EU abnehmen, steigt die Zahl der Arbeitnehmer*innen, die ihre Arbeit krank macht.

Im Beschäftigungs- und Sozialausschuss (EMPL) haben wir uns dafür eingesetzt, Arbeitnehmer*innen besser vor krebserregenden Stoffen zu schützen. Es bleibt trotzdem viel Handlungsbedarf, da beispielsweise die Gesundheitsbelastung bei der Arbeit unter freiem Himmel durch extreme Wettererscheinungen (Hitze, Unwetter) steigt. Aber auch die mentale Belastung für Arbeitnehmer*innen in den klassischen Bürojobs steigt durch die zunehmende Entgrenzung von Arbeit und das Gefühl, ständig erreichbar sein zu müssen.

Ich unterstütze die Forderung nach #ZeroDeathAtWork und werde daran arbeiten, dass wir den europäischen Rahmen für Arbeits- und Gesundheitsschutz verbessern. #iwmd22

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Unions declare businesses should not be killing!

28. April is the International Day of Remembrance and Action for the workers killed, disabled, and injured at work
Syndicates around the world are taking action and organizing rallies and protest marches to make the right to healthy and safe work places recognized as a fundamental right of workers. Activities are held throughout the week featuring this day.
Nowadays we know all about occupational hazards and all the measures and laws aimed at preventing workplace-related deaths, injuries and illness. Despite this, more than a hundred thousand workers in construction, forestry and timber processing lose their lives annually in completely preventable “accidents”
Unions of the world, including BWI members, are determined to take something about this. Independent Syndicate of Forestry, wood processing and paper BiH will also join this campaign.
Adequate results will be achieved when unions and administrations work together on joint issues of health and safety at work in order to have fatalities-free workplaces and areas of work where there are risks of professional b illnesses and accidents subject to intensive warning and prevention activities.
In memory of our members and other workers who have passed away, we are committed to our goal, which is that the International Labor Organization (MOR) recognizes the right to healthy and safe workplaces as a fundamental right of workers. The global concentration for such a change will encourage those responsible for the implementation of appropriate standards of health and safety at work and discourage those states and companies that want to achieve market competitiveness based on poor conditions and practices.
We will achieve this with collective actions and other initiatives on this day, as well as on the days before and after World Day of Safety at Work.
What can we do?
1. Collect signatures for the Declaration of Healthy and Safe Workplaces. Signatures are being collected from employers, employer organizations and government institutions.
2. To hold joint activities at the workplace where the employer has already signed the declaration.
3. Distributing BWI posters and pamphlets on Work Safety and Health (BZR) as a fundamental right.
4. Conduct trainings on safety equipment, trainings and seminars at workplaces
5. To visit workplaces and conduct inspections regarding safety and health at work.
6. Coordinate mass rallies and demonstrations in front of companies in order to protest dangerous working conditions and poor safety statistics.
7. Holding memorial rallies for those who lost their lives or were injured on the job.
During this week, the activity activism will be documented with photos, videos, press releases and social media posts using hashtags: #IWMD2022#imwd22 Twitter

Poland: 28 April event report from OPZZ

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to share with you the OPZZ’s activities to memorialise Workers’ Memorial Day.

Today two hundred eighteen candles were lit under the OPZZ headquarters building in Warsaw. It is a tribute to the 218 victims of accidents at work in 2021.

In front of the OPZZ building, 218 candles were lit to symbolise the victims of last year’s accidents at work, emphasise the importance of worker participation and stress the role of social dialogue in creating a safety culture at work.

A press conference on safety and health at work was also held.

Andrzej Radzikowski, President of the OPZZ, said:  These burning candles symbolise those who died at work. In 2021, it was 218 people. Today, we particularly remember the miners who died in recent days in the Pniówek and Zofiówka coal mines. He said: we honour their memory and express our sincere condolences to their families.

Practice and statistics show that in workplaces where trade unions and the social labour inspectorate actively operate – safety at work has higher standards, and employees are better protected. The time has come for a systemic debate on working conditions in Poland, especially given new threats and challenges resulting from technological progress – continued Andrzej Radzikowski. – Digitalisation of work processes and technological changes have increased the risk of psychosocial problems at work.

Previously unseen phenomena have appeared, such as blurring traditional boundaries between work and private life, limiting the employee’s right to disconnect from the phone and the Internet, or the lack of social interaction. Workplace stress is an ongoing challenge. The number of cases of mental disorders is increasing.

Andrzej Radzikowski drew attention to the fact that the number of victims of accidents at work in Poland is increasing. In 2021, almost 70,000 workers suffered accidents at work – 10% more than the year before, and 218 people died at work.

As a society, we still bear the enormous social costs of accidents resulting from more than 2.5 million days of incapacity to work and the high medical and social costs of post-accident disability.

We trade unionists are hurt by pathologies in the labour market, which have a terrible impact on work safety. Without their elimination, there will be no improvement in safety – stressed Andrzej Radzikowski.

Best regards,

Magdalena Chojnowska

International department of the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions (OPZZ)