6 October 2023
Image shows COTANCE president, Manuel Ríos (far left), addressing the Milan workshop.
The leather industry’s representative body in the European Union, COTANCE, held a workshop in Milan in September on workplace safety in European tanneries, writes Leatherbiz.
It was accompanied by representatives of trade union organisation industriAll Europe, which COTANCE refers to as its social partner.
Employers and other stakeholders attending the Milan workshop, which funding from a European Union project called ‘Green Deal Leather’ made possible.
A key part of the discussion was a review of the results of a study on injuries in the workplace and a sharing of ideas on how to make progress towards zero impact.
Opening the event, current COTANCE president, Manuel Ríos, said: “Our common ambition is to drive positive change in the global leather industry and to lead by example.” He said the study on workplace injuries made it possible to understand better how incidents occur and to draw lessons from what had happened previously to improve safety in tanneries now and in the future.
COTANCE secretary general, Gustavo González-Quijano, explained that the study had shown a total of 1,102 accidents in 2021, including accidents on the way to and from the workplace. Serious accidents are rare, he said, with wounds to the hands and arms, including superficial cuts, accounting for 49% of the total.
He also noted that workplace accidents decreased by 16% between 2019 and 2021. He commented: “Workers’ health and safety has always been at the top of our agenda. We understand that this concern ought to be the first priority when it comes to implementing due diligence in leather supply chains.”