International Workers Memorial Day – Friday 28th April

On 28th April each year, International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) is a time to remember those who have died either because of a workplace accident, ill health or diseases as a result of work.

Why we ‘remember the dead and fight for the living’

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) annual statistics show on average that 135 workers are killed in work related accidents each year. They also estimate that there are around 13,000 deaths each year from occupational lung disease and cancer caused by past exposure at work to chemicals and dust (such as asbestos or silica).

However, safety campaigners estimate that the true figure for all work-related deaths is closer to 50,000 each year.

Although it is rare for a UNISON member to die in a workplace incident, unfortunately some do suffer serious injuries and work-related ill health, including musculoskeletal disorders, stress, anxiety and depression. This can significantly affect them, their family, friends and other work colleagues.

UNISON knows that the key to providing safe and healthy workplaces is effective risk management, eliminating or reducing the risk of harm and having safe systems of work, including training and access to protective equipment.

Additionally, UNISON health safety representatives play a vital role in keeping workplaces safe and healthy by working with employers and raising members’ concerns about working condition, as well as undertaking inspections of workplaces to check all steps are being taking to keep workers safe.

A service to mark International Workers’ Memorial Day will be held in Clyde Square, Greenock, on Friday 28 April 2023 at noon led by Reverend Jonathan Fleming of Lyle Kirk.

Wreaths will also be laid at the ‘Men of the Clyde’ sculpture at the square on behalf of Inverclyde Council, trade unions and clergy. Branch Health and Safety Officer George Steele will lay a Wreath on behalf of the Branch.

A lone piper will then play a lament followed by a minute’s silence.

Greenock’s Beacon Arts Centre and the Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow sculpture will also be lit up purple on the day as a mark of respect.

This year’s theme is ‘Remember the dead, fight for the living’. 


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