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Trade unions demand good occupational health for all workers
28
Apr '08
Through some 13,000 activities organised for the annual “International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured Workers" that is organised every year on 28 April, over 14 million people throughout the world are this year taking part in actions to highlight the plight of over 2.2 million workers who die every year and 160 million more who become ill due to unsafe work and unsustainable forms production.

"The number and of scope of activities being reported will exceed all previous records and expectations", says Guy Ryder, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). "Unfortunately, this unprecedented mobilisation reflects a wide-scale deterioration of the occupational health and safety realities for millions of the world's workers."

Trade union organisations, governments, employers, and many institutions such as the ILO and World Health Organisation (WHO) as well as a broad spectrum of professional and non-governmental organisations are mobilising large and small activities in 120 countries to deliver a simple message that they want "Good Occupational Health for All Workers".

Many of the activities have focuses on occupational accidents, cancers, chemicals and specific contaminants like asbestos and cadmium or diseases like HIV/AIDS, along with a wide-range of unhealthy working conditions, from damaging noise levels to musculoskeletal disorders and the effects of nanotechnology and stress.

This is evidencethat the pace of globalisation is taking its toll, says Ryder, and with it governments and employers are failing to assume their responsibilities in adopting or implementing protective measures to protect workers and prevent injury.

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