STATEMENT
BY THE GENERAL CONFEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
ON THE OCCASION OF WORLD DAY
FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK 2008
24 April 2008

On behalf of the trade unions in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the General Confederation of Trade Unions expresses its full support for the initiative to mark 28 April 2008 as World Day for Safety and Health at Work under the slogan "My life, my work, my safe work".

The CIS trade union community regards its active involvement in the events related to this World Day as another important opportunity to attract the attention of the authorities and the public to the issue of securing occupational safety and health.

We believe that the joint voice of trade unions, specialists and the public of many countries worldwide will be heard by government bodies, employers, entrepreneurs and workers themselves and will make them assess once again the environment in which people work, the immense material and moral impact incurred by a neglectful attitude towards the problems of securing safety and health at work, observing the legislation in force and the established operational procedures.

While supporting the initiative of the international trade union movement, the CIS trade unions, along with many other countries of the world, also use the activities around World Day for Safety and Health at Work to mark the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers. According to statistics, production takes the lives of over five thousand people each year in the CIS countries. We deeply grieve over all those who have died at work and express our sincere sympathy and condolences to their families.

It is important that this year the World Day for Safety and Health at Work is marked under the theme Managing risk in the work environment. In the CIS countries, nearly a quarter of jobs do not meet the requirements of the occupational safety and health standards. There is no decline in the severity of work-related accidents, and the accident rate remains high.

The CIS trade unions will use their rights provided by law to continue pressing for higher responsibility on the part of the employers in these matters and for implementing effective measures aimed at eliminating hazardous and harmful occupational factors and preventing work-related injuries and diseases.