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“Work shouldn’t be hell, it shouldn’t hurt and it certainly shouldn’t kill. Work should be fulfilling, safe and worthwhile. Union organisation can make this happen. Working together, we make work healthier and we make work better.”

- Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary -




In an unprecedented move, eight major fashion retailers have said they are prepared to pay more for clothes made in Cambodia. It follows a global day of action by unions in support of garment workers’ demands for a higher wage, in a campaign that gathered momentum after repeated reports of workers collapsing at work as a result of poor working conditions and malnutrition.


A new expert report on a mining disaster that killed 301 miners in the western town of Soma in May has concluded production pressure pushed safety off the agenda at the privately-run, state-owned mine. The report identified 20 instances of gross negligence that led to the disaster.


The ITUC, together with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria, is urging the authorities to end the cycle of violence and the growing state of insecurity occurring in Nigeria.


Many cases of a common lung disease that were assumed to be of no known cause are in fact the result of exposure to asbestos, UK scientists believe. Researchers from Imperial College London found a correlation between death rates in England and Wales from the known asbestos-related conditions asbestosis and mesothelioma and from “idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis” (IPF).


A worldwide campaign for safe pay rates for transport workers has been launched by the sector's global union federation ITF. The 'Safe rates and a safe industry- we’re in, are you?' campaign is modelled on a highly successful initiative by Australian truck drivers' union TWU.


Calling for "a culture of intolerance towards risks at work," International Labour Organisation (ILO) director-general Guy Ryder has said safety and health will be an integral part of all the ILO’s work. He said: "Ebola and the tragedies it is causing are in the daily headlines – which is right. But work-related deaths are not. So, the task ahead is to establish a permanent culture of consciousness."


A world without fatal or serious occupational injuries is possible, the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany has heard. ILO director-general Guy Ryder said: "The right to a safe and healthy workplace is a basic human right – a right to be respected at every level of development and in different economic conditions… Prevention is possible, it is necessary and it pays."


ITUC's health and safety news pages will provide you with the most extensive updates on worldwide union activities, health and safety developments and useful resources you’ll find anywhere. The pages are updated regularly - so make sure you bookmark

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OSHwiki is described as the first multilingual web platform allowing users to create, collaborate and share knowledge on occupational safety and health (OSH). The Bilbao-based European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) says its initiative provides “a new way to network online with the OSH community, aiming to support government, industry and employee organisations in ensuring safe and healthy workplaces.”

The RISCTOX chemicals database, developed by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and the Spanish union safety institute ISTAS, gives workers access to health and safety information on over 100,000 chemicals. According to ETUI, each chemical data ‘card’ specifies the chemical’s classification and labelling, its main work uses (solvent, cleaner, paint stripper, etc), how it affects health, and the occupational diseases it causes. The resource is available in English and Spanish versions.


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28 April 2015 * Worldwide


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