BWI Action Alert: Jobs shouldn't kill. Make OHS a fundamental right

28 April is International Workers' Memorial Day 2022. Trade unions all over the world are mobilising, and organising rallies and protest marches to promote the recognition of healthy and safe workplaces as a fundamental right. Activities will take place the whole week covering 20-30 April. 

We know more than ever about hazards at work and all the measures and laws to prevent occupational deaths, injuries and ill-health; yet, more than one hundred thousand building and woodworkers still die each year in entirely preventable “accidents”.  The impact of bad working conditions takes its toll on the health of workers in all sectors BWI represents, from cement and brickmaking to wood processing and site labouring. 

The trade unions, including BWI affiliates, are ready, willing and able to help. However, informal employment, subcontracting, union-busting, and exploitative labour practices are undermining our efforts. Results are achieved when trade unions and management cooperate on common objectives on occupational health and safety towards workplaces with zero fatalities and where risks of occupational diseases and accidents are addressed. 

That is why in memory of our members and other workers who passed away, we are committed to supporting the recognition of healthy and safe workplaces as a fundamental right by the International Labor Organisation (ILO). A global consensus for such a change will encourage the application of good occupational health and safety standards and discourage countries and companies from seeking competitive advantage based on substandard conditions and practices.  

We do this by organising collective action and other initiatives leading to the 28 April, International Workers' Memorial Day. BWI will be developing materials in the coming weeks to support its affiliates.

What can affiliates, partners and allies do?

BWI regional offices will ensure that all affiliates are involved to carry out one or more activities of the following:

  1. Collect signatures of the Declaration on Healthy and Safe Workplaces, from employers, employers’ organisations, or governments.
  2. Conduct a joint activity at a workplace of an employer that has already signed the declaration.
  3. Distribute the BWI posters and pamphlets on OHS as a fundamental right.
  4. Hold tool-box safety and health training or seminars at the worksite. 
  5. Conduct safety and health work-site visits and inspections. 
  6. Coordinate mass rallies and demonstrations in front of companies to protest their unsafe working conditions and poor safety records. 
  7. Hold candlelight or other commemorations for those who lost their lives or were injured in the world work. 

Please share with your regional coordinator your plans, and we will include them to the dedicated where materials, activities and events are shared after being confirmed. 

During the Week of Action, document your activities by:

  1. Taking photos and videos.
  2. Issuing press releases.
  3. Spreading our activities through social media using the hashtag:  #IWMD2022  

Share all your content to the BWI communication team.

Clicik here to download the posters:





Additional translations of the posters can be downloaded here.

Lastly, as part of BWI’s efforts to make OHS a fundamental right, it issued a position paper on the ILO’s core and safety conventions, pointing to ILO Convention 155 on Occupational Safety and Health (1981) and ILO Convention 161 on Occupational Health Services (1985)  as the core to secure the right to a safe and healthy working environment. These core conventions will be aided by ILO Convention 187 on a Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health (2006) as complementary tool. 

Download the paper.