BWI calls for swift action following ILO-WHO study on deaths caused by working under the sun

In response to a recently released joint study by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on occupational exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), the Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) called for urgent measures to increase health and safety protection for workers. The study revealed an alarming statistic: nearly one in three deaths from non-melanoma skin cancer is linked to outdoor work under the sun. BWI emphasises the escalating burden of non-melanoma skin cancer on outdoor workers, especially construction and forestry workers, urging immediate intervention to prevent this health hazard and the loss of workers' lives.

Reiterating the workers’ fundamental right to a safe and healthy work environment, BWI, which gearing up for the COP 28 Global Climate Summit in Dubai, is pushing for the practical implementation of this right. The global union urged the enforcement of safety regulations and the establishment of comprehensive health protections in workplaces, particularly for those exposed to the elements during outdoor labour. As part of their pro-active approach, BWI has produced heatwave fact sheets on health and safety within the framework of their "Heat Up" campaign. With the approaching COP 28 meeting, BWI is sounding the alarm against the risks faced by workers under its purview due to extreme heat, flash droughts and other severe weather events.

BWI’s climate campaign extends to calling on governments and employers to commit to a just transition to a more sustainable future where industries are fully committed to environmental stewardship and the creation and preservation of decent jobs.