5 August: The Union of Construction Workers (SUNTRACS), a BWI affiliate in Panama, launched the second stage of its Annual Campaign on OHS 2019: “¡Una Muerte, Un Paro!”
Actions of the first stage of this permanent campaign was conducted throughout the month of April 2019, as part of the April 28 International Workers Memorial Day commemoration. Similarly, the second stage of the campaign will last for one month from August 5 to September 5. The campaign will not only to pay tribute to workers killed or injured by accidents at the work place, but, it will also demand better health and safety conditions for workers in the construction industry. Throughout the month, SUNTRACS will conduct seminars and trainings on OSH, mobilizations promoting safety and health, and distribute flyers and promotional posters on safety culture in the construction industry.
“In the past 21 years, there has been 351 deaths due to work accidents in the Panamanian construction industry,” stated Gregorio Guerrel, Secretary of Occupational Health of SUNTRACS. He continued, “Unfortunately this is the reality and so it is necessary that we conduct trainings to reach out to workers directly in the workplace. We cannot do this by just sitting in our union offices, we must be on the worksite. This is the only way we can address the daily problems related to safety and health.”
The objectives of the campaign is to publicly highlight construction companies that fail to ensure OHS national regulations as well as to include construction workers in the campaign. This way, if an accident occurs at site, then workers can stop work as a form of protest to ensure that measures are put in place to ensure safety and health. This is the fifth OHS campaign of its kind organized by SUNTRACS since 2017.
Meeting with construction workers as part of the campaign