BWI participates in ILO experts' meeting to revise construction's health and safety code

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) participated in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Experts’ Meeting organised to revise the 1992 Code of Practice on Safety and Health in Construction Industry. Monica Tepfer of Argentina’s Confederación General del Trabajo(CGT) chaired the Workers’ Experts, Advisers and Observers. 

In her opening remarks, Tepfer strongly emphasised that progress is still needed in strengthening labour inspections, as well as other mechanisms related to the enforcement of labor regulations. She also underscored the need to improve the collection and quality of data on occupational accidents and occupational diseases, and increase efforts to assess the hazards and risks associated with chemicals; as well as assess the impact of changes in work organization on workers' health. 

Tepfer also said that the subcontracting of workers has had a profound and continuing negative effect on occupational safety and health. She said that it also undermined collective bargaining and the provision of training, and has led to a shortage of skilled workers in many countries, with a consequent increase in the movement of migrant workers in the sector. 

 Gender equality in the construction sector was also tackled by Tepfer. She said that it essential to recognise that the construction sector also employs women workers who require particular provisions for occupational safety and health, protection against gender-based violence, and access to apprenticeships, certification and skills upgrading, among other things.  She stressed the relevance of ILO Convention No. 190 and its recommendation on this matter.