ILO Says Urgent Action Needed to Better Manage E-Waste

"Workers handling e-waste have no voice, no bargaining power, and they are breaking hazardous materials by their hands," said worker vice-chairperson James Towers. "Moreover, these workers are unaware of the many risks associated with handling e-waste."

The International Labour Organization is calling for urgent action to better manage electric and electronic waste (e-waste) produced around the world so it can be turned into a valuable source of decent work. Representatives of governments and workers' and employers' organizations agreed at an April 9-11 meeting at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, that governments should increase and promote investments in waste management infrastructure and systems at all levels to manage the rapidly growing flows of e-waste.

They also agreed on the urgency of protecting people working with e-waste, which is toxic and hazardous to both workers and the environment.

"Workers handling e-waste have no voice, no bargaining power, and they are breaking hazardous materials by their hands," said worker vice-chairperson James Towers. "Moreover, these workers are unaware of the many risks associated with handling e-waste."

Just 20 percent of e-waste is properly recycled, ILO reported.

"There is great business opportunity in the e-waste sector," said employer vice-chairperson Patrick Van den Bossche. "We need to step up our efforts in creating decent and sustainable jobs, fostering an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises, offering new products and new services, and adding value through enhancing the circular economy."

"In my own country, Nigeria, and in several other African countries, e-waste is littering our landscape," said government vice-chairperson Aniefiok Etim Essah. "Our youth possesses the creativity and potential for learning skills to manage e-waste, giving us the opportunity to increase youth employment."

ILO is a member of the UN E-Waste Coalition, which was formed to increase collaboration, build partnerships, and more efficiently provide support to help states address the e-waste challenge.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
TenCate FR Technology

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

    October 2020

    Featuring:

    • FACILITY SECURITY
      EHS Compliance: Make it Personal
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      Choosing the Right Safety Shoe for Your Industry
    • HAND PROTECTION
      A Requirements Checklists for Work Safety Gloves
    • COVID-19 MANAGEMENT
      Contemporary Issues in HSE Management
    View This Issue