Occupational Health and Safety in the Cane and Sugar Sector
Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace is a duty of employers. Working in a safe and healthy environment is a right of employees.
Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is a convergence point for several fault-lines in any sector. It is usually regulated by national legislation while, at the international level, there’s a massive work on its different aspects. Compliance with legislation in the workplace demands resources, skills, and the ability of the groups involved in production to talk, agree and implement measures for an ongoing improvement of safety and health conditions; because no place is risk-free. This becomes more important because of the rampant introduction of outsourcing and casualisation practices that greatly undermine the creation of Decent Jobs and tend to erode the safety and health conditions of work.
The IUF Global Sugar Program highlights visits to field and factory operations to observe working conditions, crucial to when build first-hand knowledge of concrete situations, and a strong basis for policy formulation, improvement proposals and building union membership. It is also an effective way to develop solidarity among workers.
This Forum on Occupational Health and Safety in the Cane and Sugar Sectors, we expect, will help improving, through a broad participation, the safety and health conditions in this five-century old dual economic activity: the growing of cane and the manufacturing of sugar.
We will post photos or videos, and a brief description of the circumstances in which they were shot; and invite our readers to post comments on what their OHS eyes see: the positive elements and the challenges to overcome; those “do that again” and “avoid it at all cost”.