4 May 2023

A steering committee set up for a European Union-funded project called Green Deal Leather met in Valencia at the end of April to discuss workplace safety, writes Leatherbiz.



Members of the steering committee met to take stock of a recent study on injuries and accidents in the workplace and examine health and safety trends in the European tanning sector.

Green Deal Leather is a two-year project with the overall aim of generating data at sector level on workplace safety and the carbon footprint of leather.

Representatives of the industry and of the trade union organisations that constitute its social partners met at the Inpelsa tannery in Valencia, run by current COTANCE president, Manuel Ríos. Leather manufacturers in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, and Spain were represented.

Initial results of the workplace safety study found a 16% decrease in reported accidents in the workplace in 2021 compared to 2019. Most injuries affected the hands. The vast majority of accidents reported were classed as not severe, however, social partners agreed on the need to delve further into the issue at a follow-up meeting in Milan in September.

Deputy general secretary of trade union organisation industrial Europe, Judith Kirton-Darling, said: “We welcome the reduction of accidents and injuries in the workplace. There is still room for improvement. Good occupational health and safety practices in the workplace with ongoing training and checks are essential for keeping workers safe in tanneries.”

In response, secretary general of leather industry representative body COTANCE, Gustavo González-Quijano, said: “The current project analysis is just a starting point. The European leather sector is made up of responsible employers and we want to ensure that the European industry is the safest in the world.”

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