Blog: International Workers’ Memorial Day

International Workers Memorial Day takes place on 28 April each year, it is a day to remember and honour workers who have lost their lives due to work-related accidents or illnesses. It is a time to reflect on the importance of health and safety in the workplace and to renew our commitment to ensuring that all workers are protected.

The Health and Safety Executive annual statistics show that on average 135 workers are killed in work related accidents each year. They executive 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.

UNISON recognises the significance of this day and encourages all employers to work with our health & safety reps to take the necessary steps to ensure their workplaces are safe and free from harm. As the UK’s largest trade union, UNISON is committed to promoting workplace health and safety and has been a leading advocate for workers’ rights for more than 25 years.

On this day, we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives or suffered injuries or illnesses due to their work. We also recognise the families, friends, and colleagues who have been affected by these tragedies. At the same time, we renew our commitment to fighting for safer workplaces and better protections for all workers.

Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy workplace, and UNISON believes that it is our duty to ensure that these rights are fully recognised and protected by law. We will continue to fight for safer and healthier workplaces for all workers until this goal is achieved.

As we mark International Workers Memorial Day, let us remember the sacrifices made by workers around the world and recommit ourselves to fighting for safer and healthier workplaces for all. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that every worker is able to work in a safe, healthy, and dignified environment.

I would like to personally thank all of the hard work our members and reps do to keep workers safe, especially our health & safety reps. I feel it is important to continue to recognise those we lost during the pandemic they will never be forgotten.

Clare Williams