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.

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 .


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


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


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

Northern Ireland


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.



South West


Yorkshire and Humberside

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.