Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. 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.
Workers' Memorial Day - 28 April 2019

Workers' Memorial Day is held on 28 April every year, all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and a whole host of other activities to mark the day.

What is Workers' Memorial Day 

Workers' Memorial Day has always been to "remember the dead: fight for the living" and unions are asked to focus on both areas, by considering events or memorial to remember all those killed through work but at the same time ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated. That can best be done by building trade union organisation, and campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health & safety laws.

Workers Memorial Day is commemorated throughout the world and is officially recognised by the UK Government.

The theme for 2019

Theme for the day is: “dangerous substances – get them out of the workplace”. The focus will mainly be on carcinogens but you can adapt the theme to whatever is most relevant in your workplace or area, as many substances can also cause illnesses such as asthma or dermatitis.

Two important issues are of course asbestos and diesel exhaust, and the TUC has useful guides on both of them, but other ideas may be cleaning fluids or dust in general - Asbestos - time to get rid of it (pdf), Diesel exhaust in the workplace (pdf), Occupational cancer (pdf)

The TUC has a guide on workplace cancers.

What you can do

  • Find an event near you on 28 April. The TUC coordinates events across the country. Global activities is available from the Hazards website
  • Workers Memorial Day falls on a Sunday this year, many workplaces will be shut so you might want to consider an activity on the Friday or Monday, or an event in a town centre on the Saturday
  • If nothing is happening then get together with some of your workmates or others in the area where you work and organise something. It can be a commemorative rally, a workplace meeting or just a small get-together
  • Organise a minute's silence in your workplace on the day. Remember it does not have to be on the Sunday if your workplace is closed then
  • Ask your local council, or any other public body, to fly official flags at half-mast on the day. Remember that the day is officially recognised by the government
  • Arrange an event such as planting a memorial tree in a public place, putting up a plaque, dedicating a sculpture, a piece of art, or a bench, to remember workers who have been killed at the workplace or in the community
  • If you are planning any events for the day, or you want to raise awareness about Workers' Memorial Day on 28 April, then it is important you consider how you can best use local mediaboth before and on the Day
  • Ask local religious centres to include Workers' Memorial Day in their worship on the day
  • Distribute purple 'forget-me-not' ribbons, the symbol of Workers Memorial Day
  • Let people know about anything that happened in your area on the day. use hashtag #IWMD19

If you are organising an event for Workers Memorial Day and would like it displayed on these pages, then please email through the details to healthandsafety@tuc.org.uk

For resources on Workers Memorial day including ribbons and car stickers please contact the Greater Manchester Hazards centre at: mail@gmhazards.org.uk .

Events

Find out what's happening near you by following the links below. We will update this page as and when we hear about new events so please check back to keep an eye on what's happening on Workers Memorial Day 2019! Unless another date is given, all events are on 28th April.

National events

TBC

London, South and Eastern

Chelmsford - Chelmsford & District TUC will hold its commemoration of IWMD at 12:30 on Monday 29 April at the Memorial Tree in Central Park Chelmsford. There will also be a health and safety exhibition in Chelmsford Library’s Remembrance Square from 29th April to 4th May.

Corby – The annual Workers Memorial Day event will be held on Saturday, 27th April at 11.00 adjacent to the Steelworkers Statue in Corby Town Centre. All welcome.

Eastbourne - The local Trades Council will be leafleting on the day- from 10:00 to 12 noon, at Bankers' Corner, Terminus Road, Eastbourne.

East London (Waltham Forest Redbridge and Newham) – Joint event at Abbot's Park, London E10, from 13:15 until 13:45

East London (Barking, Dagenham and Havering) - A stone memorial will be placed on the green opposite Rainham Library on Saturday 27 April 2019 at 12.00noon. Refreshments available in the library after the commemoration.

Medway – There will be a service at the Memorial Tree within the Rochester Castle Gardens, Castle Hill, Rochester ME1 1SW on Monday, 29th April. Service to start at 11:45 and a minute's silence will be observed at Noon.

Milton Keynes: A short march from Central Milton Keynes at 11:30 will be followed by speeches, minutes silence and wreath laying ceremony at the International Workers Memorial Day plinth at the MK Rose, Campbell Park from around 12:00.

Portsmouth – An event will be held at Victoria Park, Portsmouth on Monday 29 April. Assemble at 11:30 with a minutes silence at noon.

Southampton: 10:45am assembly at the Trade Union Bench, Andrews Park (East Park, nr Jury's Inn hotel and the Peace Fountain, SO14 0TB). There will be a minutes silence at 11am, invited speakers, and ceremony to remember the dead and fight for the living.

Wisbech - Friday 26 April assemble by 13:00 to lay flowers and remember workers killed by their work at the Clarkson Memorial (junction of Bridge Street, South Brink and Nene Quay).

Midlands 

Birmingham – There will be a commemorative event on Friday, 26th April, at 12.30 at the memorial stone in St Phillips Cathedral, Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2QB, with various speakers. Wreaths & TU banners welcome.

Dudley: The annual event will commence at 12.30 at the Memorial Gardens, opposite the Council House. There will be a number of local speakers. All welcome.

East Staffordshire - From 14:00-14:30 National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Rd, DE13 7AR Alrewas, Staffordshire.

Leicester – Town Hall Square, by the International Workers Memorial – assemble from 11.30 for noon start. Speakers and choir. All Welcome.

Nottingham – There will be a non-denominational service on Friday 26th April at 12.30 at St Mary the Virgin in the Lace Market, High Pavement, Nottingham NG1 1HN.

Solihull - 12 noon at the Workers Memorial Stone, Brueton Gardens, near the Barley Mow pub, Solihull town centre.

Telford - There will be a commemorative event at 11:30 at the Wellington peace garden (by Wellington leisure centre), Wellington Telford Shropshire.

Walsall - A remembrance service & wreath laying ceremony will take in the Memorial Gardens adjacent to St. Matthews Church. Walsall. on Saturday 27th. April 2019 at 12.00. Access to the gardens and car-park is via St. Matthews Close . Walsall WS1 3DG.

Wolverhampton - 12.30pm at the Workers' Memorial Day Tree, Cenotaph, St Peters Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1TS. speakers on Mental Health in workplace and dangerous substances. Everyone welcome, wreaths and trade union banners too.

Northern

Ashington - A public health and safety meeting will be held On Saturday 27th April starting at 11:00 in the Elephant, Newbiggin Road , Ashington. Following that, a Northumbrian piper will lead the traditional procession with banners to the Memorial Garden at North Seaton Ceremony where the wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 12.30.

Barrow – There will be a Workers Memorial Day commemoration at the 'Spirit of Barrow' Statue, Dalton Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, at 11:00.

Berwick – There will be a street stall 10:00 to 12:00 on Saturday 27th April in Berwick Town Centre

Gateshead - The annual event to commemorate Workers' Memorial Day takes place at Saltwell Park, Gateshead. Please meet at the Rose Garden, 12.00 noon.

Hartlepool: There will be a Remembrance Service & Wreath Laying Ceremony at 12.30pm, in Christ Church, Church Square, Hartlepool, TS24 7EQ. As part of the Service the new Workers Memorial (6ft diameter stone memorial) inlaid into the new Church Square development will be dedicated. Speakers will Frances O’Grady, General Secretary, TUC and Amy Murphy, President, USDAW. As well as wreath-laying the organisers will be providing individual flowers so anybody attending the service can lay a flower at the Service in memory of a loved one.

Hartlepool: As part of the Workers Memorial Day Events for 2019 Hartlepool Trades Union Council have organised an ‘Evening with Frances O’Grady Event’ on Saturday 27th April 2019, 7.00pm (for 7.30pm start), at Hartlepool Cricket Club, Park Drive, Hartlepool, West Park , TS26 0DA. It will include a Q&A session with Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC. Tickets are £8.00 per person (inc buffet) from ejeffries73@gmail.com

South Shields – A service is to be held on 26th April at 14:00 in the ante room, South Shields Town Hall.

Northern Ireland

TBC

North East

Wigan - The annual event will take place in Mesnes Park on Saturday 27 April starting at 11:45

North West

Chorley - A memorial service will take place at the Unite Memorial Tree in Astley Park , Chorley. Meet at the park gates at 17:45 for a 18:00 start. All welcome , please bring flags and banners.

Manchester - 12 noon to 13.00 in Albert Square. Various speakers, with music reading of names of the dead, laying of wreaths, one minutes silence and a short play ‘Exposed to dangerous substances at work? Use the COSHH- that’s the way to do it’. Afterwards take wreaths lay at ‘Fallen Tears’ stained glass window, and see #IWMD19 Exhibition at People’s History Museum.

Scotland

Aberdeen - Meet at the Persley Walled Garden, Bridge of Don. 12:30 for 13:00.

Alloa - To be held at the Workers Memorial adjacent to Clackmannanshire Council Headquarters on Friday 26th April at 10.30.

Bathgate - Workers Memorial, Bathgate Sports Centre, Torpichen Road at 12:30.

Bonnyrigg – Meet at 12:30 at the Michael McGahey memorial in George V Park, Bonnyrigg

Clydebank – An event will be held at Truth and Justice Square (formerly Solidarity Square), Dumbarton Road (corner of Alexandria St) on Saturday 27 April at 11.00.

Coatbridge - There will be an event at the Summerlee Industrial Museum on Heritage Way at 12 noon.

Dundee - Meet at the Memorial Tree, adjacent to Discovery Point, Riverside Drive, Dundee at 12 noon.

Edinburgh – There will be an event at the memorial and tree in West Princes Street Gardens at 13:00.

Falkirk - To be held at the workers memorial, Callendar Riggs, Falkirk at 11:00.

Greenock - Grand Hall, Inverclyde Council HQ at 11:45 on Friday 27th April followed by a procession to Clyde Square for a wreath laying ceremony at 12 noon.

Glasgow – The annual event will be held at the Workers Memorial at the People's Palace/ Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green at 12 noon.

Hamilton – Meet at the Townhouse, Beckford Street, Hamilton at 11.45.

Inverness – An event will take place at the Workers memorial on Friars Shott/Huntly Street. Meet at 12:45 for a 13:00 start.

Irvine – There will be an event on Thursday 25th April at 18.30 in the Memorial Garden, Kilwinning Road, Irvine.

Kilmarnock - Memorial Tree, Dean Country Park, Kilmarnock, Saturday April 27th, 10.45 for 11.00

Kirkaldy – Meet at the memorial tree in Beveridge Park at 11:00 on Saturday 27th April.

Paisley – Starts at 13:00 at the Workers Memorial , Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley.

Renfrew – Meet at the Workers Memorial Cairn, Robertson Park, Paisley Road Renfrew at 11:00.

Stirling – The event will be held on the 35th April at 13:00 at the Workers Memorial Tree in Viewforth Pitt Terrace.

West Dunbartonshire - The annual event will be held at the Memorial Tree, Christie Park, Alexandria on Saturday 27th April, 13:00.

South West

Bristol – March begins at 12:00 from Tony Benn House, Victoria St, Bristol, followed by a 1230 Rally in Castle Park by the IWMD Plaque for speeches and laying of Wreaths.

Gloucester – There will be an event at the Mariners Church at Gloucester Docks commencing at 15:00

Yorkshire and Humberside

Barnsley - Saturday 27th April 12.30pm on the steps of Barnsley Town Hall. Speeches followed by wreath laying at the IWMD plaque

Bradford – There will be a Workers Memorial Day Event starting with a minutes silence at 12:00, in the Memorial Garden at the rear of City Hall. Please gather between 11.45 and 12:00 Everyone welcome.

Carderdale – There will be a commemoration, wreath laying and reading at 13:00 outside Halifax Central Library. In addition there will be the showing of Complicit + 2 short films, commencing at 13:30 at Square Chapel Arts Centre, £5.

County Durham - There will be a service at St Thomas church Stanley Crook DL15 9QS at 19:00 with a speaker on asbestos and a brass band.

Doncaster – There will be speakers followed by a prayer and wreath laying ceremony at 11:30 on the 27th April at Sir Nigel Gresley Square, Waterdale, Doncaster.

Keighley – There will be a dedicated Service at 18.30 at Keighley Shared Church, Church Green, Keighley.

Leeds - There will be wreath laying and speakers by the Workers' Memorial stone on Victoria Gardens Leeds (outside the Central Library and Art Gallery on The Headrow) starting at 11.45 on Friday 26th April.

Leeds - There will be an event on Monday 29th April 12.50-13.15 at St George's field (by the memorial tree), University of Leeds. Wreath laying, prayer and 1 minute silence at 13:00. Staff, students and members of the public

Leicester – The annual event for Workers Memorial Day will commence at 12:00 at the Town Hall Square in Leicester. There will be various speakers, a single red rose for each fatality from work, one minutes silence and singing.

North East Derbyshire – An event will be held on Friday 26th April at 11:00 at Dronfield Sports Centre, Dronfield S18 1PD. 200 small wooden crosses will be laid on the grass to commemorate those who have died as a result of their work.

North East Lincs - An event will take place on Friday 26th April at 11am in front of the Sports Centre, Civic Centre, Dronfield, S18 1PD. Car parking available near the event. Tea and coffee available in the Leisure Centre afterwards.

Rotherham: Meet at 12 noon outside Rotherham Minster for speeches and wreath-laying. The event is preceded by church service at 10.30 for those wishing to attend.

Saltaire - There will be a tree-planting ceremony and a commemorative plaque unveiled in Roberts Park, Slataire on Saturday 27 April 2019, from 14:00-15:00

Sheffield - Wreath laying ceremony and speeches by The Memorial Tree outside Sheffield Town Hall, Pinstone Street 1230- 1330 Friday 26th April 2018. Followed by a minutes silence.

Wales

TBC