Category Archives: 2016

Un travailleur meurt toutes les 15 secondes à cause de la négligence d’un employeur

Alors que partout autour du globe, des cérémonies ont lieu à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de commémoration des travailleurs morts et blessés au travail, la CSI met en garde les employeurs négligents qui, en mettant en danger la vie de travailleuses et de travailleurs, auront à en subir les conséquences. Dans le monde, un travailleur meurt toutes les 15 secondes d’une blessure ou d’une maladie professionnelle.

PGFTU celebrating world safety and health at work day

On 28th of April  PGFTU held a very special ceremony on the occasion  of the World Day for Safety and Health.

The World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work. It is held on 28 April and has been observed by the International Labor Organization (ILO) since 2003. It has also long been associated with the world’s trade union movement’s commemoration of the victims of occupational accidents and 1 photo 2 الصحة و السلامة المهنية

A national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention.

The PGFTU with the coordination with Department of Health and Safety has organized this ceremony which was attended  by over than 200 persons coming from different regions of Palestine, unionists, workers, workers’ representatives , employers’ representatives …..

And by the representatives of the related concerned parties:

  • PGFTU’s General Secretary Brother Shaher Sae’d .
  • Head of OSH department /PGFTU Brother Mostapha hanne
  • President of chamber of commerce Brother Omar Hashem.
  • Architect union’s representative Brother Sami Hejawe .
  • Contractors union’s representative Brother Rame Khateeb .
  • Stones and quarry union’s representative Brother Hatem Yamak .
  • Nablus municipality’s representative Brother Ramez Dalae .

Through their speeches the speakers insisted on:

  • Expecting at all levels the right to a safe and healthy working environment;
  • Active participation of all stakeholders in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties; and
  • Giving the highest priority to the principle of prevention.

The main purpose of the ceremony was to show that OSH is the only sustainable way to overcome the high percentage of Work accidents and death between workers.

Brother Shaher Sae’d the General Secretary of PGFTU insisted in his speech on the importance of the health of the workers. He pointed out that every single day, 11 workers dies in Qatar from an occupational accident Work-related accidents or diseases can definitely be placed in the high-burden category of all global health problems regardless the procedures of health and safety which are confirmed by many international organization.

But in Palestine working in hazardous conditions is a daily, routine task for many workers. During one year the numbers of those who lost their lives in worksites are not clear because not all the accidents are recorded:  Over 5350 worker accidents are recorded   while 2000 are not. The records talk about 45 workers who are working inside Israel from building sector, 65% from them are from Palestine .

Sae’d focused on the importance of implementing the social security law to stop the violations against the Palestinian workers, and he highlighted the role of the PGFTU’s overall campaign to implement the code of social security with some useful amendments especial in the benefit of work accidents.

He informed the attendance about the intention of the PGFTU to put more efforts in the field of educating the workers about the importance of using procedures of health and safety.

He also demanded the concerned parties especially the chamber of commerce to establish a training center for OSH in the north similar to that found in the south.

In his speech Sae’d, showed his belief that good practices should be shared, promoted and emulated where possible in order to raising awareness and knowledge of occupational hazards and risks and how to prevent and control them is key for this process  as well as increase the awareness, secure greater engagement people and support stakeholders.

At the end Shaher sae’d presented solidarity to the families who lost their beloved while they are working and confirmed efforts to give assistance in finding alternatives of living. And he insisted on the importance of decent life and decent work in the free independent State of PALESTINE.

Unions join international call for protecting workers’ health and safety in Argentina







Argentinean trade unions CGT and ATE/CTA will be running commemoration events today, 28th April.

CGT will be distributing flyers on the international 28th April theme and has recorded a video to support awareness raising actions.

ATE/CTA will be running a commemoration tonight at 9pm along with workers dismissed from the agriculture ministry.

For more information on CGT events for this 28th April, please contact Marta Pujadas . For more information on ATE/CTA events, please contact Marcelo Fiscina

Unions show unity in defending workers’ health in Italy

basta16For this 28th April, Italian trade union confederations CGIL, CISL and UIL will be running unitary actions to commemorate the victims of occupational accidents and diseases. The call for a national plan to free Italy from asbestos will be a key feature of the actions today.

The most important action will be organised tomorrow April 29th in the Italian parliament, where a national conference will be organised with involvement of the Presidents of the occupational health and safety and environment commissions. Asbestos victims, representatives from cities highly impacted by asbestos, professionals and research institutes will also be present.

Italian unions are using #RicordiamoliTutti (let’s remember them all) for their 28th April events.

For more information on Italian unions events for this 28th April please contact

Unions call for making workers’ protection a higher priority in USA

The United States trade union confederation AFL-CIO launched its annual Death on the Job Report, showing the raising toll of occupational deaths, diseases and injuries for US workers. The report is available on the AFL-CIO website, along with infographics of highlights from the report.

In addition, nearly 100 events are being held around the US to remember workers killed and injured on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs.


For more information on AFL-CIO events for this 28th April, please contact Peg Seminario

Global: One worker dies every 15 seconds due to employer negligence

Brussels, 28 April 2016 (ITUC Online): As ceremonies around the world take place on the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers, the ITUC has warned negligent employers of the consequences of putting workers’ lives at risk. Worldwide, one worker dies every 15 seconds due to occupational injury or illness.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “Over 2 million workers die needlessly every year because their workplaces are dusty, dirty and dangerous. The risks are as obvious as they are preventable, whether they are falls from height, crippling workloads or chemical exposure. Every single death represents an employer’s failure to act.”

Occupational cancers alone kill at a rate of one worker every minute worldwide, Burrow says. “Yet pressure from corporate interests means that even asbestos, one of the worst industrial killers, is banned in only a minority of countries. This is not legitimate business activity – it is criminal behaviour.”

Trade unions in more than 70 countries are marking the International Commemoration Day with a demand for ‘Strong laws, Strong enforcement and Strong unions’ as the only way to stop the carnage at work.

According to Burrow, “Many studies show that the presence of a union in any workplace has a strong positive effect on the health of the workforce and the economy. Combined with effective enforcement, active workplace participation delivers safer, healthier workplaces. Responsible businesses know this and benefit as a result – in retention of valued and trained staff, reduced costs and higher productivity. But there are still governments which are intent on removing “regulatory burdens” by weakening labour laws and safety requirements. They are putting lives at risk, and also jeopardising safety-related productivity gains. The best regulated economies are usually the safest and most successful.”

Public scrutiny of corporations, and their top executives, is now at an all-time high and will continue to increase, meaning that companies that seek to hide dirty and dangerous work down their supply chains can expect to suffer reputational damage. Repression of press freedom and curtailment of social media, evident in an increasing number of countries, is not stopping the world at large hearing of the tragic consequences of company negligence and disregard for workers’ lives.

“From the Rana Plaza garment factory disaster to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, the global firms responsible have been subjected to a previously unheard-of level of sustained criticism and public scrutiny,” Burrow said. “The jail term handed this month to former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship for the death of 29 miners in a US coal mine blast is a reminder that for irresponsible bosses, the boardroom may no longer be a safe haven. Unions would rather see safe and healthy workplaces than an irresponsible employer behind bars. But if workers don’t get prevention, they will seek justice. The right to come home safely from work, and live a full life without suffering occupation illness, is a permanent campaign for unions everywhere.”

For more information:

There are over 2.3 million work-related deaths worldwide every year, over 6,000 every day or one every 15 seconds.

An estimated 660,000 workers die each year from occupational cancers, or over 1 every minute.

Academic studies have established a substantial union safety effect.

A 2013 study confirmed union presence has a strong positive effect on the health of the workforce and the economy. Maureen F Dollard and Daniel Y Neser. Worker health is good for the economy: Union density and psychosocial safety climate as determinants of country differences in worker health and productivity in 31 European countries, Social Science & Medicine, volume 92, pages 114–123, September 2013.

On 6 April 2016, a US Federal District Court sentenced Donald L Blankenship, a former chief executive of the Massey Energy Company once known as the “King of Coal,” to one year in jail, with imprisonment to begin regardless of a pending appeal, and payment of a $250,000 fine.

UK: Brexit could put millions at risk at work

Leaving the EU could put millions of people in the UK at increased risk of injury in the workplace, a TUC report has concluded.

‘EU membership and health and safety’, published on 28 April to coincide with International Workers’ Memorial Day, finds that EU legislation has helped stop illnesses and injuries at work, and saved lives. The report notes that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of new British health & safety regulations introduced between 1997-2009 originated in Europe – 41 out of 65 laws.

It says these new safety rules have contributed to a reduction in workplace fatalities in the UK. In 1992 there were 368 worker fatalities in Britain; this dropped to 142 last year. Over this period, the rate of deaths fell from 1.5 to 0.46 per 100,000 workers.

The report notes that EU law has had a ‘significant impact’ on UK workplace safety laws, including requiring the UK to strengthen safety rules in construction – one of the most dangerous industries. It was also the driving force that better rules to protect police officers. And the EU required improvements in the UK’s asbestos regulations – the biggest work-related killer in the UK.

The report notes that if the UK votes to leave the EU, the government would be able to decide whether or not to keep protections derived from EU laws. It says there is no guarantee that they would keep health and safety legislation at its current level, warning that the UK government has indicated it wants to reduce the ‘red tape’ of EU protection.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said “it’s clear that voting to leave the EU is a big risk for people’s safety at work. Brexit could see many of the vital protections that keep workers safe in shops, factories, offices or on building sites stripped away, leaving millions of people at increased risk of accident or injury in the workplace.”

She added: “The government has already hinted its readiness to water down key health & safety rules should Britain vote Leave in June. And we know that some of the biggest cheerleaders for Brexit see protections for ordinary British workers – like health and safety law – as just red tape to be binned.”

TUC news release and report, EU Membership and Health and Safety.

USA: AFL-CIO 2016 Death on the Job report Released

A announcement from Peg Seminario, ,Safety and Health Director, AFL-CIO:


The AFL-CIO released our annual Death on the Job Report today. This is the 25th year we have produced the report. (The first report was in 1992).

The report is available on the AFL-CIO website, along with infographics of highlights from the report.

The major highlights of the report are:

  • An increase in the number and rate of job fatalities in 2014.
  • The biggest increases were in fatalities among older workers. Workers 65 and older now have a fatality rate 3 times the national average.
  • The number and rate of job fatalities among Latino workers declined in 2014; the numbers and rates for all other races increased.
  • The states with the highest fatality rates were Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota and Mississippi.
  • Workplace violence remains a serious and persistent problem. Over the years, while the job injury rate has declined; injuries/injury rate due to workplace violence has increased, particularly for workers in healthcare. Women workers suffer 66% of the lost time injuries due to workplace violence.
  • OSHA’s resources are declining and its  capacity to inspect workplaces is getting worse. For FY 2015, federal OSHA could inspect workplaces on average once every 145 years; in 1992 when the first DOTJ report was issued, OSHA could inspect workplaces once every 84 years.
  • OSHA penalties remain low- the median penalty for killing a worker was $7,000 for federal OSHA; $3,5000 for the state plans.
  • Only 89 worker death cases have been criminally prosecuted under the OSHAct since 1971.
  • Workers won a major victory in 2016- the final OSHA silica standard was issued which will prevent more than 600 deaths and prevent nearly 1,000 cases of silicosis a year.
  • There is still much work to do and major challenges ahead as employers and republicans are trying to roll back protections, including the new silica rule, block new protections and cut funding.
  • The nation needs to renew its commitment to protect workers from injury, disease and death and make protecting workers a higher priority.

Lots more in the report itself. So do take a look.

Tomorrow is Workers Memorial Day. There are nearly 100 events being held around the country to remember workers killed and injured on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs.  Please do what you can to join and highlight these events and actions and raise your voices demanding safe jobs for all.

Thanks to all who are organizing events and producing reports to highlight the toll or injury, death and disease on workers and their families. Through our collective efforts we are making a difference and improving workers lives.

In Solidarity,

Peg Seminario

Peg Seminario
Safety and Health Director
Tel. 202-637-5366

Italy: UMdL supports International Workers’ Memorial Day

Updating Medicina del Lavoro (UMdL) has issued a statement in support of International Workers’ Memorial Day.

In Italy, notably, this day is an opportunity to remember, among the others, asbestos’ victims. Here is  information about the event MAI PIU’ AMIANTO (NO MORE ASBESTOS) in Rome promoted by trade unions Cgil, Cisl, and Uil on April 29th 2016.

More information here

Unions call on multinationals to comply with OHS laws in the Philippines

Kilusan Mayo UnoThe national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) will host the International Solidarity Affair (ISA), gathering workers, trade-union activists, labor rights advocates, friends and supporters of the working class, which will comprise three key activities this year: the commemoration of Workers’ Memorial Day (April 28), with an emphasis on local victims such as workers death in the first anniversary of the Kentex factory fire. The second is an exposure program to take place in workers’ communities and picket lines. The third activity will be an international forum on Occupational Health and Safety.

More information on KMU events for 28th April please contact  • website