BWI holds successful Global Health and Safety Meeting

BWI on 17 September held a Global Health and Safety meeting which was attended by more than 200 participants from different trade union affiliates, global and regional staff and partner social movements. 

The said meeting provided the latest updates on BWI’s Global Alliance Campaign for Healthy and Safe Workplaces.  The ongoing campaign, which gathered 102 BWI-affiliated trade unions in 74 countries, covered 18 million workers in 480,000 workplaces by “joint OHS declarations” inked with 310,000 employers, 15 Associations or Chambers of National Employers and 10 multinational companies in the construction, building materials and wood sectors.

More joint OHS declarations are being forged. In the Latin America and Caribbean region alone, it was reported that the Cementos Argos just signed a joint declaration with SITICEDPA (Panama) covering 150 workers. Another 140 workers were also recently covered by a similar agreement between Argos company and BWI’s Hondurian affiliate, SITRAINCEHSA.

The meeting also formally launched BWI’s Global OHS Brigades and held an orientation on its Open Online Training Course. It is open to all its affiliate trade unionists and worker leaders worldwide to build trade union capacity in addressing health and safety challenges and maximising reform spaces amidst COVID-19. 

It was explained in the meeting that the online course has four modules. The modules will be delivered in two-hour online training sessions via the Zoom platform. The first hour of each module will be the learning component that will be delivered in a webinar format. The second hour will be devoted to inter-active group activities. 

BWI said that it will award certificates to all participants who will finish all four modules.

The meeting ended with a quick reminder to all BWI affiliates to promote leadership and union support and response to COVID-19, particularly by disseminating BWI’s COVID-19 guidelines. 

It was also reported that BWI is developing its "Building Collapse Watch" app that will help in monitoring the OSH situation in various construction projects around the world.

Lastly, important global and regional activities were presented, such as the international initiatives against asbestos and the 2022 International Workers’ Memorial Day. BWI affiliates were also urged to prepare for the global union’s 2022 Congress by addressing the important gender aspects of OHS and OSH in BWI Industries and Sectoral Forums.