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Health and safety is our right

28 March, 2024In 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