UITBB Statement on the occasion of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work
Every year, there are unfortunately 6,000 deaths worldwide from work-related accidents and work-related illnesses while the number for injuries and illnesses rises up to 1 million people fall victims of injuries or illnesses the workplace every single day. Every 15 seconds, a worker dies somewhere around the world. These are the statistics that should be on everyone’s mind every day, especially on April 28, which marks the World Day for Safety and Health at Work.
This year especially, with the upcoming World Cup in Qatar in 2022, UITBB notes that at the building sites for the Soccer Cup tens of thousands of immigrant workers are victims of savage practices of violations of basic human rights. The conditions of migrant workers at construction sites are inhumane, as they work 12 hours a day, without safety and health measures, under unbelievably high temperatures in the Qatari desert, dying from the lack of health and safety measures.
It is for this reason, that our international trade union, the Trades Union International of Workers of the Building, Wood and Building Materials Industries, representing dozens of trade unions and tens of millions of workers in the construction industry around the world, would like to underline that the intensification of work, the reduction of wages, the attacks against collective agreements, the extension of flexible forms of employment, the increase in retirement limits and the threat of unemployment, are the main factors that leave workers exposed in their worksites, endangering their lives. It is clear that the vast majority of accidents are due to the negligence or failure of employers to apply precautionary or protective measures, all in the name of maximizing their profits, all with the support of neoliberal governments.
UITBB calls upon all its members around the world to promote this day in any way possible, by organising seminars, talks and other activities, so that the proper health and safety measures can be taken, which will raise awareness for the implementation of the best safety and health practices in the workplace, for the promotion of pro-labour policies, for higher penalties fines for employers who do not implement these measures, for mor informative campaigns and of course for the support of workers and their families in every possible way in the event of accidents, especially fatal ones.