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| 1 minute read

Should you expect to die at work ?

I read this article from the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) and thought how scary that statistic was, that every one minute five people die due to work. That is 2.7M people every year! That's similar to the total covid deaths in the last 12 months...but those work-related deaths are every year!  I was shocked as no one expects to die from earning a living. 

In my various roles I have had the opportunity to travel to many countries and seen and met wonderful people working in hundreds of factories making "stuff" that we all use and consume. These workers are humans like you and me, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. They also laugh and cry and have their own dreams and aspirations...just like you and me. In these travels, I have also seen evidence of tragic work accidents and life-changing injuries, many avoidable. I must have reviewed several thousand audit reports in my time and guess what, Health and Safety has and still is the most common risk identified in factories around the world. Be it locked fire doors, lack of PPE or dangerous electrics, this is the reality and risks workers face globally every day and particularly in those countries where our "stuff" is made. 

BUT! It is not all bad news, I have seen many brands, retailers and factories make real and sustainable improvements in supply chains. I am also proud that our industry is helping protect workers by identifying tens of thousands of safety issues each year that may have saved someone's life today.

April 28, 2021 is World Safety Day and an important reminder that every worker in the world be it in an office, shop, factory or any other environment deserves to finish that job alive and well.

The death toll of work – five people every minute of every hour of every day around the world – was so tragic that action was needed.