UITBB Statement – World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2023
April 28 marks the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This year, we remember the millions of colleagues who have died, or were seriously injured at worksites, trying to make ends meet for their families. We remember the workers in the sectors we represent, but also all working people around the world, who left to go to work and did not return whole, or did not return at all.
The Trades Union International of Workers of the Building, Wood, and Building Materials UITBB, stands in solidarity with workers around the globe, who are fighting for their right to safe and healthy working conditions. As a class-oriented organization, we firmly believe that the health and safety of workers should always take priority over the profit margins of capitalists. Unfortunately, this is not the case. No employer will provide proper health and safety measures unless he is made. So, it is imperative that we all, in an organised manner, true to our ideology, demand that we work in safe working environments.
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the world, with workers facing a multitude of risks and hazards on a daily basis. The data is staggering: The ILO estimates that some 2.3 million women and men around the world succumb to work-related accidents or diseases every year; this corresponds to over 6000 deaths every single day. Worldwide, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually.
The lack of proper health and safety measures on building worksites is a reflection of the employers’ disregard for workers’ lives, as they value profit more than the wellbeing of those who work for them.
We call for a fundamental shift in the priorities of the construction industry. Employers must be held accountable for providing safe and healthy working conditions, and workers must be empowered to speak up when their health and safety are being compromised. The implementation of strong health and safety regulations and the provision of training and education for workers on how to identify and mitigate risks is crucial.
UITBB stands in solidarity with all workers who are fighting for their right to safe and healthy working conditions, and we will continue to support their struggles until health and safety in the workplace is a reality for all workers. The lives and wellbeing of workers should never be sacrificed for the sake of profit, and we will not rest until this message is heard loud and clear by everyone around the world.