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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 banner

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 2020

The theme chosen for the day is: ‘Tackling psychosocial hazards at work – taking the stress out of the job’. It highlights the harm caused by occupational stress and related conditions, such as work-related depression, anxiety, burnout, work-related alcohol and drug misuse and work-related suicides.

#IWMD20 can shine a spotlight on the harm caused by low pay, insecure work and hours, excessive workloads and inadequate staffing that can lead to workplace stress, The bad and weak management practices that have contribute to the explosion of work-related psychosocial problems such as punitive sickness absence policies, disciplinary procedures, oppressive performance management, targets and appraisal systems.

The TUC has produced useful guidance that reps can use in the workplace:

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 upon a Tuesday so it is a good day for an event in a workplace, but community events, such as those organised by trades councils, might be organised at a weekend.
  • 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 #IWMD20

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

We will update this section as and when we hear about new events, so please check back to keep an eye on what's happening on Workers Memorial Day 2020.

Events to be announced soon 

For more information please contact healthandsafety@tuc.org.uk 

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