Occupational Health and Safety
"Many workers suffer from respiratory illnesses and allergies. They have lung diseases and difficulty breathing. This is caused by the fumes of the toluene."
Electronics Watch monitoring reports show that electronics goods are often produced by workers in unsafe environments working long hours with inadequate protection.
- They may lack access to unions or occupational health and safety committees that could demand a safe work environment.
- They work with chemicals that may be explosive, toxic or corrosive, and affect the skin, respiratory system, reproductive system, and central nervous system.
- Repetitive assembly line work can lead to cumulative trauma disorders, backache and strains of the musculoskeletal system. Prolonged visual inspection work can result in eyestrain.
- Adverse psychosocial factors in electronics work include the fast and unvarying pace of work in assembly lines, the monotonous nature of work, and rotating shifts. In China, research by Electronics Watch and Economic Rights Institute suggests worker suicides are linked to harsh working conditions.
The OHS Advisory Panel is available to support monitoring partners to detect and understand health hazards in factories, and to guide affiliates' engagement with suppliers on health and safety issues.
Read workers' stories: