28 April will see trade unionists across our nation and the world commemorate those who have lost their lives at work. Events will also remind us of the need for Health & Safety legislation in workplaces.
Workers' Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace incidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety. The slogan for the day is Remember the dead – Fight for the living.
Every year more people are killed at work than in wars.
According to the International Labour Organisation across the world every year:
- One worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide.
- 6,000 workers die every day.
- More than two million men and women die as a result of work-related accidents and diseases
- Workers suffer approximately 270 million accidents each year, and fall victim to some 160 million incidents of work-related illnesses
- Hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers annually – asbestos claims 100,000 lives
Most don't die of mystery ailments, or in tragic "accidents". They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn't that important a priority. Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.
Across the nation, events will commemorate this and unions will continue our campaigns to ensure workplaces are safe and healthy. On 28 April Solidarity is asking you to take the time to silently remember those who have died and try to attend a local event if you can. If you can get hold of a purple ribbon (the symbol for the day, pictured) wear one!