Workers memorial day 2019: Taking control – removing dangerous substances from the workplace
Global union confederation ITUC announced the theme for International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April 2019 as ‘taking control – removing dangerous substances from the workplace’.
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The union-led campaign emphasises a ‘Zero Cancer’ approach, urging worker safety representatives to seek to eliminate or minimise exposure to carcinogens in the workplace.
Too many workers around the world die, are made ill, or otherwise harmed by dangerous substances at work. In some cases, the substances can come back from the workplace to the home to harm other people, such as the partner who washes the work clothes. The worker bears the greatest burden from this harm, but the cost impacts upon society and businesses too. To take one specific type of dangerous substance, each year it in the EU it is estimated that 120 000 people developed cancer because of exposure to carcinogens at work, resulting in almost 80 000 deaths.