Red card for EU countries over failure to support for workplace safety as fundamental right

A majority of EU member states are failing to support health and safety at work as a fundamental and international right – despite voting for it to become one. 
In June, the ILO agreed to make two Health and Safety Conventions (155 and 187) into core conventions – making them a fundamental right. European countries, along with those in Africa, were the driving force behind this change and voted in favour of it.
But the majority of EU member states have still NOT ratified both of these conventions themselves.
The ETUC are today giving red and amber warnings to EU countries that have not ratified one or both of the two fundamental health and safety conventions.

  • RED - 7 member states have ratified neither C155 nor C187: Italy, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia and Malta
  • AMBER - 9 member states have ratified one but not the other convention: Germany, France, The Netherlands, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland and Latvia  
  • GREEN - 11 member states have ratified both conventions: Spain, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Czechia, Slovakia, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Cyprus.

The ETUC and ITUC are urging all red and amber countries to ratify the conventions and recognise health and safety as a fundamental right.
ETUC Deputy General Secretary Claes-Mikael Stahl said:

“The ETUC urges those 16 member states – including Germany, France and Italy – to show that they are committed to making the world a better place.”
“It is frankly shameful and embarrassing that a majority of EU states are failing to back the international community’s attempts to make health and safety a fundamental world-wide right.
“Failing to support healthy and safe work in the rest of the world ultimately undermines health and safety in Europe.”
By making health and safety at work fundamental rights the ILO has ensured that companies are accountable for health and safety at work in their supply chain under any ‘due diligence’  or ‘sustainable corporate governance’ laws, such as the one proposed by the EU.
The ETUC red and amber warnings at made today at the start of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work 24-28 October 2022.
Convention 155 is about having a national policy on occupational health and safety drawn up with unions and employer organisations
Convention 187 is about promoting “continuous improvement of occupational safety and health to prevent occupational injuries, diseases and deaths”
Of the 9 ‘amber’ countries that have only ratified 1 of the 2 Conventions: 

  • Convention 155 but has not been ratified by Austria, France, Germany and Greece
  • Convention 187 has not been ratified by The Netherlands, Hungary, Croatia, Ireland and Latvia