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    Demand to Asian Governments for the Immediate Ratifications of ILO Convention 155

    April 28, 2018 in Latest News, Top News

    ANROEV Statement for International Workers’ Memorial Day 2018

    On April 28, a day of remembrance for workers who are killed, injured or disabled due to work, we the members of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) a coalition of victims’ groups, trade unions and other labour groups across Asia raise our voices collectively for the ratification of the ILO convention 155 on Occupational Safety and Health and the working Environment. The ANROEV network is a grassroots network that is committed to the rights of victims and for overall improvement of health and safety at the workplace.

    Work-related disease and accidents are increasing due to OSH Rights violation at the workplace in Asia and poor working conditions kill a worker every 15 seconds across the globe.[i]   According to the ILO[ii] in 2017, OSH-related deaths totaled to 2.78 million workers per year and 317 million workers suffer from work-related injuries annually[iii] . The total cost of accidents, death and illnesses is conservatively estimated at four percent (4%) of the world GDP[iv].

    Asia is the highest contributor to these figures and constituted about two-thirds of the global work-related mortality in 2017. The overall development approach in the field of OSH in Asia is mainly focused on workplace accident, addressing occupational diseases is still not a priority. Occupational diseases (silicosis, asbestosis and occupational cancers and many more) are an invisible and imminent threat for workers in Asia. The absence of OSH Rights, social protection and just compensation for industrial accidents, injuries and diseases are pushing affected families deeper into poverty and making them vulnerable.

    Recent tragic workplace accidents in Asia such as Ali Enterprises [2012] in Pakistan, Tazreen Fire [2012] and Rana Plaza Tragedy [2013] in Bangladesh, Kentex factory fire [2015], HTI fire [2017] in the Philippines and the Fireworks factory explosion [2017] in Indonesia show consistently that health and safety of workers is not prioritised by employers or the enforcement authorities.  Victims specially women and young people are even further marginalised as they find it even harder to find long term unemployment or are forced to take precarious work that is low paid, unprotected and hazardous.

    Despite of the fact that large numbers of workers in different industries and workplaces are being exposed to deadly hazards and carcinogens, diagnosis of these occupational related illnesses and diseases takes a long time because of multitude reasons in the Asian region like lax laws, poor enforcement mechanisms, lack of skilled doctors to name a few. There is a dire need for medical practitioners who are adept and skilled in diagnosing occupational diseases and doctors on the ground who have access to workers and communities to make a timely diagnosis to ensure that workers receive swift treatment and compensation.

    OSH legislations are outdated (regressive) as these generally fail to keep in step with emerging workplace issues and non-standard forms of employment. In many cases, workers in the informal economy, domestic workers, migrant workers are not covered under the legislations. Enforcement of OSH legislations are equally a serious concern in Asia and require joint responses at national and regional level. Updated OSH legislation in the Asian region reflecting the nature of work in Asia is crucial to prevent workplace accidents and diseases and to ensure just compensation for victims.  The formulation of harmonisation of compensation systems and ratify ILO Convention 155 is an urgent need in Asia.

    On the International Workers’ Memorial Day 2018, ANROEV demands the governments in Asia ratify ILO Convention 155 to ensure workers’ rights for a safe and healthy workplace.

    Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims

    28.4.2018


    [i]https://www.ituc-csi.org/one-worker-dies-every-15-seconds

    [ii] http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/lang–en/index.htm

    [iii] ILO, WSC-2017

    [iv] ITUC/AP Report

    Unions are organising for safer, healthier, decent work

    April 12, 2018 in Top News

    Worldwide, poor working conditions kill a worker every 11 seconds. All these deaths are avoidable, yet the body count is increasing, warns Sharan Burrow. The ITUC General Secretary says that is why global unions are launching a reinvigorated and urgent organising campaign to demand safety, justice and accountability.
    Every work-related death is avoidable. We have the knowledge. We have the technology. We can live for months in the vacuum of space.
    But back on earth, the number of workers killed by their jobs has risen sharply. That is not because of a lack of know-how. It is because of a lack of will.
    Companies are judged on their annual accounts, not their accident books. Corporate CEOs are richly and legally rewarded for asset stripping, job slashing, outsourcing and profit-taking. It takes nothing short of a major disaster, however, to see workers’ health and safety generate a murmur of concern in most boardrooms.
    And that disinterest or disdain comes at a cost. It is why estimates from the International Labour Organisation, released in September 2017, showed work-related fatal injuries and diseases worldwide have increased to 2.78 million per year. Most – 2.4 million deaths per year – are the result of occupational diseases, not ‘accidents’.
    IIt is a preventable epidemic that sees one work-related death every 11 seconds, every day, round the clock. ILO puts the estimated cost of this haemorrhage of life at 3.94 per cent of global GDP per year, or 2.99 trillion US dollars.
    Make no mistake, these are large under-estimates. Work associations with diseases are missed, either by accident or design, and for whole categories of conditions no-one is counting the bodies.
    In Japan, the authorities may record your fatal heart attack as caused by overwork. In most other places, it’s in the ‘natural causes’ column. In Germany, Italy, Denmark and France, your laryngeal cancer may be linked to asbestos and compensated, but it is likely to go unrecognised, uncounted and uncompensated in most other countries.

    Read more …

    28_April_2018_ITUC_Report

    Workplace deaths hit four-year high in Bangladesh

    April 12, 2018 in Top News

    Dhaka tribune picAt least 1,242 workers were killed and 371 were injured at their workplace in the year 2017 while the number was 1,240 last year. About 92.9% of the deceased workers were male and 7.1% were female, the statistics showed. Although the issue of workplace safety has gained much attention in the recent years, especially after the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013, a rising number of accidents in garments and other factories have once again intensified the need for labour security in the country. According to Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE), a specialized foundation that works for the implementation of labour rights, the number of workplace death in 2016 was higher than the previous three years.

    Read more here…

    http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2017/12/30/workplace-hazards-bangladesh-killed-1242-workers-2017/

    The ANROEV biennial conference 2017

    November 5, 2017 in Top News

    The ANROEV biennial conference was held in Kathmandu, Nepal from September 19 to 21, 2017. ANROEV is providing adequate support to victims and organizations to raise their united voice on OSH rights and to bring necessary changes on OSH situations for the betterment of the victims in the Asian region.

    130 delegates from 18 countries in all over the world participated in the powerful discussion on OSH which envisaged the network activities supporting to ensure the victims rights and promote the OSH Rights in the Asian region. The conference demonstrated plenty of dynamic learnings and thoughtful presentations, discussions on different ongoing and emerging issues on OSH.

    HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures of 2015

    July 17, 2017 in ABAN, Latest News, Top News

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of UK has released on July 5, 2017 its annual figures for work-related fatalities, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2015.

    The provisional annual data for work-related fatal accidents revealed that 137 workers were fatally injured between April 2016 and March 2017 (a rate of 0.43 per 100,000 workers), the second lowest year on record.

    There has been a long-term downward trend in the number of fatal injuries to workers – they have halved over the last 20 years – although in recent years the trend shows signs of leveling.

    HSE Chair Martin Temple said:

    “Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen. While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”

    The new figures show the rate of fatal injuries in several key industrial sectors:

    • 30 fatal injuries to construction workers were recorded. While this accounts for the largest share, this is the lowest number on record for the sector. However, over the last five years the number has fluctuated, The annual average for the past five years is 39. The annual average rate over the last five years in construction is around four times as high as the all industry rate.
    • 27 fatal injuries to agricultural workers were recorded. This sector continues to account for a large share of the annual fatality count. It has the highest rate of fatal injury of all the main industry sectors, around 18 times as high as the all industry rate.
    • 14 fatal injuries to waste and recycling workers were recorded. Despite being a relatively small sector in terms of employment, the annual average fatal injury rate over the last five years is around 15 times as high as the all industry rate.

    The fatalities in the waste and recycling sector in 2016/17 include the single incident at Hawkeswood Metal Recycling Ltd in Birmingham on 7 July 2016 which resulted in five deaths.

    Martin Temple continued:

    “As we approach the one-year anniversary of this incident, our thoughts remain with the families of those who died. We continue to fully support West Midlands Police’s investigation.”

    The new figures also highlight the risks to older workers – around a quarter of fatal injuries in 2016/17 were to workers aged 60 or over, even though such workers made up only around 10% of the workforce.

    There were also 92 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work in 2016/17. Almost half of these occurred on railways with the remainder occurring across a number of sectors including public services, entertainment and recreation.

    Mesothelioma, one of the few work related diseases where deaths can be counted directly, contracted through past exposure to asbestos killed 2,542 in Great Britain in 2015 compared to 2,519 in 2014. The current figures relating to asbestos-related cancer reflect widespread exposures before 1980. Annual deaths are therefore expected to start to reduce after this current decade.

    A fuller assessment of work related ill-health and injuries, drawing on HSE’s full range of data sources, will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release on 1 November 2017.

    The HSE Chair added:

    “We deal daily with the causes and consequences of work-related deaths, injuries and ill health. Today’s updated figures continue to inform our understanding of which areas we need to target.”

    “We concentrate our interventions where we know we can have the biggest impact. We hold dutyholders accountable for managing the risks they create in the workplace. This benefits workers, business performance, the economy and wider society alike.”

    Notes to editors

    1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It helps Great Britain work well by applying a broad range of regulatory interventions and scientific expertise, to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk[1][1 link to external website

    2. The average rate of fatal injury over the last five years has been 0.46 per 100, 000 workers. In each of the last five years, the number of fatal injuries has been:

    • 2015/16 – 147 workers died
    • 2014/15 – 142 workers died
    • 2013/14 – 136 workers died
    • 2012/13 – 150 workers died
    • 2011/12 – 171 workers died

    3. There were 2542 mesothelioma deaths in 2015, a similar number to the 2519 deaths in 2014. The increase in mesothelioma deaths in recent years has been driven mainly by deaths among those aged 75 and above. Of the deaths in 2015, 407 were among women and 2135 were among men – again this ratio is consistent with previous years. The latest projections suggest there will continue to be around 2500 deaths per year for the rest of this current decade before annual numbers begin to decline. The current figures relating to asbestos-related cancer reflect widespread exposures before 1980.

    4. The published fatal injury statistics also include a breakdown by country and region. Recent research suggests that variations in fatal injury rates between the countries and regions of Great Britain are largely explained by differences in the industry composition of the workforce between the countries and regions.

    5. Britain has consistently had one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries to workers. In 2014, Britain had the lowest rate compared to other leading industrial nations in Europe – Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf PDF[2]

    6. The reporting of health and safety incidents at work is a statutory requirement, set out under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). A reportable incident includes: a death or specified injury; any accident which does not result in a specified injury, but the injured person still has to take seven or more days off their normal work to recover; a work related disease; a member of the public being injured as a result of work related activity and taken to hospital for treatment; or a dangerous occurrence, which does not result in a serious injury, but could have done.

    7. The fatal injury figures do not include fatal accidents on non-rail transport systems or work-related deaths from fatal diseases.

    8. Further information on these statistics can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics

     

    Press enquiries: All enquiries from journalists should be directed to the HSE Press Office

     

    Source: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2017/hse-releases-annual-workplace-fatality-figures/

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