Category Archives: 2024 Global

Global: BWI launches series of comprehensive hazard briefers to ensure workplace safety

As part of its commemoration of this year’s International Workers’ Memorial Day, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) has launched a comprehensive series of Hazards briefers to raise awareness among workers on how to protect themselves while on the job and to advocate for healthy and safe workplaces across the globe. This is part of BWI’s continuing proactive initiative to prioritise the health and safety of workers worldwide.

This is part of BWI’s continuing proactive initiative to prioritise the health and safety of workers worldwide.

First in its series of hazard briefers is on Biological Hazards such as infections, allergies, or poisoning caused by biological agents like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins.


BWI stresses that the construction and woodworking industries carry significant risks and hazards, spanning from falls and exposure to hazardous substances to incidents involving heavy machinery. Consequently, BWI aims for its hazard briefings to be utilised by trade unionists and workers at large to disseminate critical safety information, empower them to advocate for their own safety, and advocate for improved working conditions. These briefings, directed at both workers and employers, underscore the substantial responsibility employers bear in maintaining safe workplaces. They serve to facilitate more constructive dialogues between trade unions, worker representatives, employers, government entities, and policymakers to establish more robust safety regulations.

BWI’s hazard briefers cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Fall Prevention: Providing guidelines and best practices to minimise the risk of falls from heights, a common hazard in construction sites.
  • Safety Equipment Usage: Educating workers on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, gloves, and harnesses to ensure maximum protection on the job.
  • Chemical Safety: Informing workers about the potential hazards of exposure to harmful chemicals commonly used in construction and woodworking, along with measures to safely handle and store these substances.
  • Machinery Safety: Offering guidance on the safe operation of heavy machinery and power tools to prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Equipping workers with the knowledge and skills to respond effectively to emergencies such as fires, collapses, or medical incidents on construction sites.

As the construction and woodworking industries continue to evolve and expand, it is imperative that safety remains a top priority.

Through initiatives like the hazard briefers launched by BWI and the commitment of employers to implement in internationally-sanctioned safety measures, trade unions can strive towards a future where every worker returns home safely at the end of each working day.

Global: Health and safety is our right | IndustriALL

Health and safety is our right

In the lead up to International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April, IndustriALL is putting the spotlight on health and safety in the workplace. A staggering more than 3 million workers die every year because of their work, and tens of millions are injured. Health and safety at work is neither a perk to be bargained for nor a favour to be asked. It is our right.

In a huge win for the world’s workers, in 2022, the International Labour Conference made health and safety a fundamental principle and right at work. That means that all ILO member states commit to respect and promote the fundamental right to a safe and healthy working environment, whether or not they have ratified the relevant ILO Conventions.

While fatal accidents have fallen, the fatal frequency rate — the number of fatalities per million hours worked, is not evenly distributed across sectors and regions, with mining, metals, ship building and ship breaking, textiles, electronics, chemicals, showing disproportionate impacts. Women workers face disproportionate risks of occupational health and safety exposure  due to their reproductive and productive role in society.

“As IndustriALL we support our unions in their quest to stem the tide of deaths in the world of work. We will continue to fight for a better tomorrow with a focus on risk assessments and a rights based human centred approach to occupational health and safety,” says IndustriALL health and safety director Glen Mpufane.

IndustriALL Global Union is campaigning for and promoting a right- based approach to occupational health and safety that includes:

  • The ratification and implementation of ILO Conventions on safety and health across all the sectors in which it organises
  • Rally behind the adoption, ideally a convention on the safety and health protection against biological hazards
  • Implementation of the Hong Kong Convention

28 April resources: Climate risks for workers

28 April resources: Climate risks for workers


ITUC climate change webpages.

ITUC global shifts – just transition webpages.

Biological hazards and the work environment: Trade union position and priorities ahead of the International Labour Conference 2024 first discussion on occupational safety and health protection against biological hazards, ITUC, December 2023.

Peligros biológicos y entorno laboral: Postura y prioridades de los sindicatos de cara al primer debate de la Conferencia Internacional del Trabajo 2024 sobre protección de la salud y la seguridad en el trabajo contra los peligros biológicos, CSI, Diciembre 2023.

Risques biologiques et environnements professionnels: Position et priorités des syndicats en prévision de la première discussion de la Conférence internationale du Travail 2024 sur la protection de la sécurité et de la santé contre les risques biologiques sur les lieux de travail, CSI, Decembre 2023.


Climate and workers’ health webpages.


ILO social protection, climate change and just transition webpages.

ILO ACTRAV (workers’ bureau) environment and climate change webpages.Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity and decent work, ILO, July 2019.


Adaptation to Climate Change and the world of work webpages.

Adaptation to Climate Change and the world of work: A guide for trade unions, ETUC, 2020.

Related toolkits in other languages.

EN • DE • FR • ES • IT • PT • NL • HR • PL • GR • FI_videoCZ_Guide


HesaMag special edition, Workers and the climate challenge | etui Winter 2023

The Right to Refuse Unsafe Work in an Era of Climate Change, NELP, 27 March 2023.

Environmental heat stress on maternal physiology and fetal blood flow in pregnant subsistence farmers in The Gambia, west Africa: an observational cohort study, The Lancet Planetary Health, volume 6, issue 12, e968-e976, 1 December 2022.

Muhammad Hidayat Greenfield. An urgent need to reassess climate change and child labour in agriculture, The Lancet Planetary Health, first published online 18 May 2022.

MCN Position Statement: Climate-Integrated Disaster Preparedness Needed to Protect Most Vulnerable Workers, Migrant Clinicians Network, December 2021.

Xiuwen Sue Dong and others. Heat‐related deaths among construction workers in the United States, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, First published online 22 July 2019.

ETUC Resolution on the Need for EU Action to Protect Workers from High Temperatures, adopted December 2018.

Climate crisis a major workplace risk, warns ITUC

#iwmd24   |   Climate risks for workers   |    ITUC International Workers’ Memorial Day/Day of Mourning theme announced

The climate crisis is creating new and heightened occupational risks to workers, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is warning.

Extreme weather and changing weather patterns are affected job security and health for workers, the global union body says. In response to the crisis, it says, the theme for International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April 2024 will be ‘Climate risks for workers’.

 Heat-related deaths and diseases in workers in agriculture, construction and other outdoor jobs have soared, ITUC notes. It adds work in extreme weather can cause fatigue and increases in workplace injuries and stress-related disease. Elevated levels of airborne pollution associated with heatwaves can lead to increased hospitalisations and deaths, it warns. And it adds higher UV exposures place workers at risk of chronic health problems, including skin cancer and eye damage (macular degeneration).

The ITUC alert comes in the wake of climate-related health warnings from UN agencies. A World Health Organisation (WHO) December 2023 statement noted the year had witnessed “an alarming surge in climate-related disasters, including wildfires, heatwaves and droughts, leading to the displacement of populations, agricultural losses and heightened air pollution. The ongoing climate crisis has significantly increased the risk of life-threatening diseases such as cholera, malaria and dengue.”

A September 2023 International Labour Organisation (ILO) just transition policy brief, Occupational safety and health in a just transition, noted the climate crisis “without proper controls in place, may increase the risk for injury, disease and death for workers due to heat stress, extreme weather events, exposure to hazardous chemicals, air pollution and infectious disease, among others.”

ILO added: “Numerous health effects on workers have been linked to climate change, including injuries, cancer cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions, and effects on their psychosocial health. There has been an increase in the estimated number of deaths among the global working-age population due to exposure to hot temperatures.”

ITUC notes that climate change is also putting workers at increased risk from infections. “The climate crisis, urbanisation and changing land use are impacting on occupational health and safety and have led to biological hazards posing new risk or risks in new places,” a December 2024 ITUC briefing on biological hazards notes.

It is a point reinforced in the ILO just transition policy brief, which warns “risks from vector-borne diseases, such as malaria or dengue fever, will increase with warming temperatures, including potential shifts in geographic range of these vectors as a result of climate change.

“This development affects all workers, especially outdoor workers who are at higher risk of contracting vector-borne diseases, from vectors such as mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Moreover, infectious diseases may also affect workers via waterborne and foodborne pathogens, such as Salmonella spp. when they have direct contact with contaminated water or food.”

ILO has said it will commemorate World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, and will follow the theme adopted by ITUC and unions worldwide, focusing on “the impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health”. ILO added it will produce supporting promotional materials including a poster and report and will organise a global event with experts and guest speakers from governments, employers and workers “to discuss how to protect workers and respond to this global challenge.”

ITUC will produce its own guides and social media resources which will be available on its dedicated International Workers’ Memorial Day website,


ITUC climate change webpages.

ITUC global shifts – just transition webpages.

Hazards climate and workers’ health webpages.

ILO adopts climate risks theme for 28 April 2024

The impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health

Every 28 April, the International Labour Organization (ILO) commemorates the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, focusing on a timely theme related to occupational safety and health.This year, the theme will mirror the theme adopted by unions worldwide, and will focus on exploring the impacts of climate change on occupational safety and health.Changing weather patterns have notable impacts on the world of work, particularly affecting workers safety and health. Examples of occupational risks exacerbated by climate change include heat stressUV radiationair pollutionmajor industrial accidentsextreme weather events, an increase in vector-born diseases and increased exposure to chemicals.The ILO will produce several materials for the World Day 2024, including a report, promotional materials, as well as a global event with experts and guest speakers from governments, employers and workers to discuss how to protect workers and respond to this global challenge (April 2024 Exact Date To be announced).

Promotional Materials


Contact Information

Safe Day Team

Email :

Manal Azzi, Occupational Safety and Health Team Lead

Email :–en/index.htm