Manifesto "Zero Death At Work"


People go to work to make a living – to provide for themselves, their family and their loved ones.

Every working day across the European Union twelve working people do not come home from work - because they have died at work. Far from earning a living, work has killed them, and their families suffer emotionally, financially and in many other ways.

On International Workers Memorial Day and everyday, we remember those killed or injured at work – and we urge the European Union, member state governments and employers to bring an end to deaths at work. We call for zero death at work.

Zero death at work is not a utopian dream. The trend in fatal workplace accidents is down and eradication of fatal accidents is achievable.

But while fatal accidents are declining, occupational diseases are increasing. Some 100,000 workers die every year from occupational cancer due to exposure to hazardous substances. Long working hours and psychological pressure at work cause heart-disease, stroke, depression, and suicide. Bad posture, repetitive movement and heavy lifting cause backpain and other ‘musculoskeletal’ disorders and in turn cause depression and people being unable to work.

New challenges for health and safety are posed by extreme weather and temperatures from climate change, and new forms of work away from the traditional workplace such as rapidly increasing work from home and platform work. COVID has shown that the workplace is a major source of contagion, has led to the death of many thousands of workers, and we must be better prepared in work and elsewhere for future pandemics.

The EU’s current health and safety strategy says “All efforts must be deployed to reduce work-related deaths as much as possible, in line with a Vision Zero approach to work-related deaths”. This is good, but the actions promised in it will not achieve zero deaths.

We call on the European Union, its member state governments, and employers to genuinely commit, and take the actions needed, to achieve zero death at work. Europe needs much more to “walk the walk” than “talk the talk”.

This means a concerted joined-up effort to

  • Prevent workplace accidents and occupational diseases, stopping exposure to hazardous including cancer-causing substances and be ready for pandemic
  • Make physical and mental health of workers the point of departure when organizing work and designing the workplace.

This will require action at EU, national, sectoral and company level, with legislative as well as other initiatives involving trade unions and employers: including increased education, training, monitoring, prevention, protection, reporting, inspection, enforcement and penalties.

We expect and demand such action to be delivered by the next European Commission and European Parliament from 2024, in addition to the legislative action to be taken by the Commission in the current term. Zero deaths by 2030.


Yolanda Díaz Pérez, Vice-President and Minister for Work and Social Economy, Spain

Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Deputy Prime Minister for the Economy and Labour, Belgium

Marius Budai, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Romania

Georges Engel, Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg

Karien van Gennip, Minister on Social Affairs and Employment, The Netherlands

Ana Mendes Godinho, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Portugal

Luka Mesec, Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia

Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Employment, Finland

Claude Haagen, Minister of Social Security, Luxembourg

Milan Krajniak, Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Social Affair and Family, Slovak Republic

Madalin-Cristian Vasilcoiu, State Secretary to the Minister for Labour and Solidarity Protection, Romania

Dimitrios Papadimoulis MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, The Left, Greece

Evelyn Regner MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, S&D, Austria

Iratxe García Pérez MEP, President of the S&D Group, Spain

Philippe Lamberts MEP, Co-President of the Greens/EFA Group, Belgium

Manon Aubry MEP, Co-President of the The Left Group, France

Dennis Radtke MEP, Coordinator EMPL Committee – EPP, Germany

Agnes Jongerius MEP, Coordinator EMPL Committee – S&D, The Netherlands

Lucia Duriš Nicholsonová MEP, Coordinator EMPL Committee – Renew Europe, Slovakia

Sara Matthieu MEP, Coordinator EMPL Committee – Greens/EFA, Belgium

Nikolaj Villumsen MEP, The Left, Denmark

João Albuquerque MEP, S&D, Portugal

Marc Angel, MEP S&D, Luxembourg

Alex Agius Saliba, MEP S&D, Malta

Maria Arena MEP, S&D, Belgium

Konstantinos Arvanitis MEP, The Left, Greece

Erik Bergkvist MEP, S&D, Sweden

Gabriele Bischoff MEP, S&D, Germany

Malin Björk MEP, The Left, Sweden

Marc Botenga MEP, The Left, Belgium

Milan Brglez, MEP, S&D, Slovenia

Sylvie Brunet MEP, Renew Europe, France

Ilan De Basso MEP, S&D, Sweden

Leila Chaibi MEP, The Left, France

Ciarán Cuffe MEP, Greens, Ireland

Rosa D'Amato MEP, Greens, Italy 

Özlem Demirel MEP, The Left, Germany

Klára Dobrev MEP, S&D, Hungary

Estrella Durá Ferrandis MEP, S&D, Spain

Frances Fitzgerald MEP, EPP, Ireland

Loucas Fourlas MEP, EPP, Cyprus

Cindy Franssen MEP, EPP, Belgium

Heléne Fritzon, MEP, S&D, Sweden

Sylvie Guillaume MEP, S&D, France

José Gusmão MEP, The Left, Portugal

Eero Heinäluoma  MEP, S&D, Finland     

Alicia Homs Ginel MEP, S&D, Spain

Evin Incir MEP, S&D, Sweden

Petros Kokkalis MEP, The Left, Greece 

Stelios Kouloglou MEP, The Left, Greece 

Elena Kountoura MEP, The Left, Greece 

Miapetra Kumpula-Natri  MEP, S&D, Finland                      

Aurore Lalucq MEP, S&D, France

Chris MacManus MEP, The Left, Ireland

Marisa Matias MEP, The Left, Portugal

Karen Melchior MEP, Renew Europe, Denmark

Marina Mesure MEP, The Left, France

Silvia Modig  MEP, The Left, Finland                            

Carina Ohlsson MEP, S&D, Sweden

Grace O'Sullivan MEP, Greens, Ireland

Demetris Papadakis MEP, S&D, Cyprus

Anne-Sophie Pelletier MEP, The Left, France

Kira Marie Peter-Hansen MEP, Greens, Denmark

Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, EPP, Finland     

Manu Pineda MEP, The Left, Spain

Giuliano Pisapia MEP, S&D, Italy

Sira Rego MEP, The Left, Spain

René Repasi MEP, S&D, Germany

Eugenia Rodríguez Palop MEP, The Left, Spain

Daniela Rondinelli MEP, Non-attached, Italy

Mounir Satouri MEP, Greens, France

Helmut Scholz MEP, The Left, Germany

Romana Tomc MEP, EPP, Slovenia

Miguel Urbán Crespo MEP, The Left, Spain

Idoia Villanueva Ruiz MEP, The Left, Spain

Marianne Vind MEP, S&D, Denmark

Johan Danielsson, former Minister for Housing and Deputy Minister for Employment, Sweden

Eva Nordmark, former Minister for Employment, Sweden

Andrea Orlando, former Minister of Labour and Social Policies and MP, Italy

Mario Lindner MP, Austria

Beppo Muchitsch MP, Austria

Mag.a Verena Nussbaum MP, Austria

Korinna Schumann MP, Austria

Rainer Wimmer, MP, Austria

Claes-Mikael Stahl, Deputy General Secretary, ETUC

Pepe Álvarez, General Secretary, UGT, Spain

Leonard Sorin Barascu, President, CNSLR FRATIA, Romania

Isabelle Barthes, Deputy General Secretary, IndustriAll Europe

Thierry Bodson, President, ABVV/FGTB, Belgium 

Petra Bolster, International Secretary and General Board member, FNV, Netherlands

PierPaolo Bombardieri, General Secretary, UIL, Italy

Mario Coppens, President, ACLVB/CGSLB, Belgium

Vanessa Correia, International Relations and Greater Region Officer at LCGB and vice-president of the Joint European Secretariat of OGBL and LCGB (SECEC

Csaba Csóti, President, SZEF, Hungary

Tom Deleu, General Secretary, EFBWW

Plamen Dimitrov, President, CITUB, Bulgaria

Véronique Eischen, OGBL, member of the Executive Board and President of the Joint European Secretariat of the OGBL and LCGB (SECEC)

Jarkko Eloranta, President, SAK, The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions    

Susan Flocken, European Director, ETUCE - CSEE

Susanna Gideonsson, President, Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO), Sweden

Nayla Glaise, President, Eurocadres

Jaakko Haikonen, Advisor for International Affairs, STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals     

Matti Harjuniemi, Chairman, The Construction Trade Union, Finland          

Reiner Hoffmann, President, DGB, Germany

Tapio Jääskeläinen, Work Environment Expert, The Construction Trade Union, Finland      

Lidija Jerkič, President, ZSSS, Slovenia

Wolfgang Katzian, President, OEGB, Austria

Srdja Kekovic, Secretary General, Union of Free Trade Unions of Montenegro

Jere Ketola, Expert in Social Affairs, The Construction Trade Union, Finland  

Patricia King, General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Ireland

Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary, IndustriAll Europe

Nina Kreutzman, International Secretary, The Construction Trade Union, Finland

Maurizio Landini, General Secretary, CGIL, Italy

Melinda Mészáros, President of LIGA, Democratic League of Independent Trade Unions, Hungary

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, Trades Union Congress, UK

Marián Magdoško, President, KOZ SR, Slovakia

Andreas Matsas, General Secretary, SEK, Cyprus

Anne Mironen, Adviser for Health, Safety and Equality at Work, SAK, The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions

Mladen Novosel, President, Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia (UATUC)

Ida Nummelin, Advisor, Social and Health Policy, STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals      

Antti Palola, President, STTK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals

Diana Raitelaitienė, President, Lithuanian Federation of Forest and Wood Workers Trade Unions, and member of the Commission on Safety and Health at Work of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuania

Vilim Ribić, President, Matica – Association of Croatian Trade Unions (MHS)

Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary, UNI Europa 

Oliver Röpke, President, EESC Workers' Group

Marie-Hélène Ska, General Secretary, CSC, Belgium

Luigi Sbarra, General Secretary, CISL, Italy

Carol Scheffer, Chair of UNI Europa Women’s Committee

Krešimir Sever, President, Independent Trade Unions of Croatia (NHS)

Morten Skov Christiansen, Vice-president, Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, Denmark

Unai Sordo Calvo, General Secretary, CCOO, Spain

Livia Spera, General Secretary, ETF

Dr. Andreas Stoimenidis, Political OSH Secretary of GSEE Greece

Luc Triangle, General Secretary, IndustriAll Europe

Miranda Ulens, General Secretary, ABVV/FGTB, Belgium

Olivier Valentin, National Secretary, CGSLB/ACLVB

Michael Vassiliadis, President, IndustriAll Europe

Róbert Zlati, President, MASZSZ, Hungarian Trade Union Confederation

Päivi Niemi-Laine, President of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL, Finland

Collegium Ramazzini, Italy

The Society of Occupational Medicine, UK

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, UK

Mireya Rifá Fabregat, President, European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organizations ( ENSHPO)

Professor Dr Alex Burdorf, Editor-in-Chief, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health

François Desriaux, Editor-in-Chief, Santé et Travail, France

Dr. Maja Metelko, Editor-in-Chief, ‘Delo in varnost’, Journal of Occupational Health and Fire Safety, Slovenia 

Herbert Mulligan, Editor, Health & Safety Review, Ireland

Professor Rory O’Neil, Editor, Hazards Magazine, UK

Nikolaos Voulelis, Director of newspaper Efimerida Syntakton, Greece

Raymond Agius, Professor (Emeritus) of Occupational and Environmental Medicine,University of Manchester, UK

Maria Albin, Professor and Senior Consultant, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Alain Bobbio, National Secretary, ANDEVA (Association Nationale de Défense des Victimes de l'Amiante), France

Gábor Borhidi, Executive officer of the Hungarian National Commission for Occupational Health and Safety, Hungary

Bernard Dugué, Enseignant-chercheur en ergonomie, Bordeaux-INP, France

Lode Godderis, Professor of Occupational Medicine, KULeuven and CEO of IDEWE, Belgium

Bengt Järvholm, Senior Professor, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University

Antti Koivula, Director General, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland

Darko Palačić PhD, College of Occupational Safety and Health, Croatia

Nick Pahl, CEO, Society of Occupational Medicine, UK

Dimosthenis A. Sarigiannis, Professor in Environment and Health, University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Simon Schnabl, Head of the Department of Occupational, Process and Fire Safety, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Dr Jukka Takala, Past President, Board member, International Commission of Occupational Health, Finland