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    The ANROEV biennial conference was held in Kathmandu, Nepal from September 19 to 21, 2017.

    November 5, 2017

    HSE releases annual workplace fatality figures of 2015

    July 17, 2017

    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/

    Final support statement by our networks in support of SHARPS and the Minjoo party statement

    June 21, 2017

    Final support statement AMRC ANROEV Good Electronics ICRT IPEN_P-1 Final support statement AMRC ANROEV Good Electronics ICRT IPEN_P-2Date: 19 June, 2017

    To the Minjoo Party of Korea:

    We represent international networks that have been focusing for many years on human rights, occupational health and environmental health in the global electronics industry.  We stand in solidarity with SHARPS during their historic 600+ day sit-in at Samsung.

    The recent framework agreement signed by the Minjoo Party and SHARPS (see below) provides key objectives for worker safety policies including right-to-know, protecting sub-contractor workers, and strengthening enforcement and penalties to increase corporate accountability.

    We encourage the Minjoo Party to begin work to concretize this framework as soon as possible. In particular, point one dealing with the negotiations between SHARPS and Samsung should be addressed immediately to facilitate an appropriate solution to the issue of Samsung’s occupational disease issues which have been documented by SHARPS, in the peer reviewed scientific literature, and in several UN reports submitted to the Human Rights Council. Comprehensive implementation of the Minjoo Party – SHARPs framework agreement could make a significant contribution to worker safety in the electronics industry and help advance global standards.



    Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)

    Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV)

    GoodElectronics Network (GE)

    International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT)


    Minjoo Party – SHARPS Framework Agreement

    1. The Minjoo Party empathizes with SHARPS for taking issue with Samsung’s own compensation scheme and will put efforts into having negotiations resumed between Samsung and SHARPS in order to seek a rightful solution to the issue of Samsung worker’s occupational diseases.

    2. The Minjoo Party will put efforts into improving statutes that strengthen civil and criminal penalties against corporations for serious and/or frequent industrial accidents for employers and for covering up such accidents.

    3. The Minjoo Party will put efforts into preventing the outsourcing of risk by strengthening penalties for safety and public-health violations throughout the supply chain.

    4. The Minjoo Party will put efforts into developing a transparent disclosure process for hazardous chemicals to better hold employers accountable and to ensure employees’ right to know about their exposure to industrial safety risks.

    Khaadi and trade unions working on draft for workers’ rights in Pakistan

    June 5, 2017

    June 5, 2017, Karachi: The management at Pakistan’s leading brand Khaadi has had two meetings with representatives of trade unions in the past two days regarding a draft related to rights, minimum wage and social security of the workers. According to secretary general of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) Nasir Mansoor, the terms and conditions of the draft are being finalised.

    He said that the brand “came forward with the understanding that there were problems which needed to be addressed, which is a good sign”.

    The meeting between Khaadi representatives and trade union members also touched upon issues related to “safety, security and health of workers and old age benefits”, Mansoor added.

    Khaadi representative Imran Shiwani was approached for comment on the meeting, but he switched off his phone soon after agreeing to make a comment. Khaadi’s deputy general manager for administration Irfan Dalia said that “as a brand we don’t encourage unfair labour practices”. However, when he was contacted to speak about the recently held meeting, he was unavailable for comment.

    The meeting comes after social media posts by activists and bloggers pointed out the lack of coverage in the national media about protests by Khaadi employees since May 22.

    The issue itself came to the fore after a number of workers belonging to the leading apparel brand took to the streets in Karachi, Lahore and Multan to protest ill treatment meted out to their colleagues in Karachi. According to a union representative, Usman Ali, 32 workers had filed a form pertaining to unionisation at the National Industrial Relation Commission (NIRC), Karachi bench, which acts as a labour court. The reason the workers had approached the court was to ensure employment security after they apply to form a union.

    According to experts, a registration order has to be acquired from the NIRC which also ensures job security for the workers in case the employer decides to sack them.

    On May 18, the NIRC Karachi bench issued a stay order asking the administration not to harass workers or terminate their employment in case they unionise. According to a copy of the order by NIRC issued on May 18, the company responded in an earlier hearing on April 20, 2017 stating that they had no intention to remove or dismiss anyone illegally and asked for the case to be disposed of. The case was disposed of on May 18. Three days later, however, Usman adds that “the same 32 workers were stopped at the gate of the manufacturing unit without any written statement or legal order. We ended up calling a sit-in outside the unit from morning till evening every day since.”

    Looking at the ensuing statement, Khaadi issued a statement stating that the allegations against the brand were part of a conspiracy. An excerpt from the statement goes: “Khaadi has viewed with concern the discussion on social media in recent days emanating from certain false news that have been spread and which seek to damage our reputation. Initially, our viewpoint was not to respond to what is nothing but malicious and libelous content, but we now feel we owe it to our patrons to clarify the matter. We therefore categorically confirm that Khaadi has NOT terminated 32 of its employees.”

    It was also stated by the brand: “We appeal to all to please do not share or spread news that is pure hearsay, or base your comments on speculative news, no matter shared by who, without fully knowing the facts yourself. We request this not only in the case of Khaadi, but as a general principle of social media engagement, as false rumours tend to escalate and can be quite damaging for others, whether it be brands or innocent people.”

    However, NTUF’s Nasir Mansoor adds that the brand is now using the name of a third-party contractor, Texmark, which is said to be dealing with the hiring and sacking of employees working at Khaadi. “I must add here that 90 per cent of our garment industry deals with their workers in a similar manner. There are no set rules, no benefits and a minimum wage of Rs13,000 or even less is given to the workers,” he said.

    Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1337394/khaadi-and-trade-unions-working-on-draft-for-workers-rights

    Almost 10,000 Koreans suffered environmental diseases in 10 yrs: report

    June 5, 2017

    June 5, 2017: Nearly 10,000 South Koreans have suffered or are suffering from diseases related to environmental factors — many of them lung-related diseases — in the past decade, government data released by a civic group showed Sunday.

    According to the Asian Citizen’s Center for Environment and Health, in one fourth of the 9,853 reported cases, victims died.

    Of the total, 2,467 were recognized by the Environment Ministry to have asbestos-related diseases. About 40 percent or 1,006 of the victims have died mostly due to lung-related diseases.

    Asbestos is defined as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization, as exposure to worn out asbestos materials can cause diseases such as lung cancers and mesothelioma. Asbestos was widely used in the 1970s here to build slate roofs, interior materials, soundproof walls and insulators at low costs.

    Despite the ban on its use for construction material, there are still a large number of buildings that contain asbestos in the country, posing health threats to citizens amid the frequent redevelopment and reconstruction of such buildings, the report said.

    Also, the total number of 5,615 victims, including infants, pregnant women and elderly, have filed damage reports to the government as of May for having suffered from the use of toxic humidifier disinfectant.

    About 21 percent, or 1,195, of them have died since August 2011 when the government officially confirmed the link between the health damages of victims and the toxic substances widely used to sterilize humidifiers here until six years ago, the report said.

    A recent state-led survey estimated that at least 3.5 to 4 million Koreans had been exposed to the toxic humidifier disinfectant.

    The report also mentioned that 1,763 victims who live around 11 cement factories across the nation and reported their lung-related sickness since 2007 were turned out to having suffered either lung cancer, pneumoconiosis or ventilatory failure.

    Eight others who reported their difficulty of breathing to the National Institute of Environmental Research were residents living near a briquette manufacturer in southern city of Daegu, the report said.

    Choi Ye-yong, head of the ACCEH and publisher of the report said that large number of victims from toxic humidifier disinfectant as well as asbestos-related diseases are still suffering other long-term health illnesses and underlying diseases.

    “While the most common environmental diseases were both lung-related and closely linked to inhaling the polluted air, the government should come up with stronger measures to provide practical damage treatment, not only tallying up the damage figures,” Choi told The Korea Herald.

    An independent investigative body to manage the damage reports and provide medical treatment based on law should be established to control the number of victims suffering from disease caused by exposure to toxic chemical products or environmental factors, Choi added.


    Source: http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170604000194&_scpsug=crawled_141341_4f2726c0-491b-11e7-9ce4-f01fafd7b417#_scpsug=crawled_141341_4f2726c0-491b-11e7-9ce4-f01fafd7b417

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