Europe: Unions and employers unite for workplace health and safety

The European Federation of Building and Wood Workers (EFBWW) signed a declaration with the European Union’s (EU)  four major employers’ associations recognising the importance of occupational health and safety and calling on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to declare it as a fundamental right of workers. 

The following employers’ associations are:


The European Confederation of Woodworking Industries represents 22 European and National organisations from 16 countries. It is the body backing the interests of the whole industrial European wood sector comprised of more than 180,000 companies generating an annual turnover of EUR 152 billion and employing 1 million workers in the EU.


Through its 33 national member federations in 29 European countries (25 EU & Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, Turkey), FIEC represents construction enterprises of all sizes (from one person craftsmen and SMEs through to large international firms), from all building and civil engineering specialties, engaged in all kinds of working methods (whether operating as main or sub-contractors). The construction sector is a fundamental component of Europe’s economic growth and a major source of employment. It generates about 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the EU and provides almost 13 million direct jobs.


It is the voice of the furniture industries in Europe. Founded in 2006 by seven national federations representing furniture producers, EFIC now represents more than the 70% of the total turnover of the industry. EFIC members come from national federations and single companies and employ over1 million workers.


The European Panel Federation has members in EU 25 countries. The EU wood panel industry has a turnover of about 22 billion euro every year, creates over 100,000 jobs directly and counts more than 5,000 enterprises in Europe.

The joint declaration between EFBWW and EU’s key employers’ groups demonstrates that the clamour to recognise workplace health and safety as a right enjoys the support of both trade unions and the business sector.

The initiative is part of EFBWW’s campaign together with BWI coinciding with this year’s International Workers Memorial Day.  

Read the declarations here.