How Will You Be Marking International Workers’ Memorial Day 2017?

How Will You Be Marking International Workers’ Memorial Day 2017?

26th April 2017

International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) is due to take place on Friday 28th April and it’s an opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women who have been killed, maimed or injured while carrying out their jobs.  Unions and employers have been asked to remember that old saying “Remember the dead:  Fight for the forgiven” and to keep in mind not just those whose lives have been lost but also the necessity to carry on striving to eliminate the potential for tragedies of this type to be repeated.  It’s the right day for all of us in the construction industry to reflect on just how important an issue health and safety in the workplace is


The theme for IWMD this year is “Good health and safety for all workers whoever they are”, a theme which places focus on the inequality still experienced in terms of workplace health and safety and the vital roles played by both employers and unions in minimising these equalities in the future.  Here in the UK more than 13 million workers suffer from a work related illness and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics for 2015 – 2016 reveal that 144 people died in workplace related accidents here in the UK. 

Employers and workers in the UK are being encouraged to mark the day in some of the following ways:

·         Tweet about IWMD using the hashtag #IWMD17 and describe what you and your colleagues are doing to mark the occasion.

·         Observe a minute’s silence in the workplace on the day.

·         Encourage colleagues to wear a purple ribbon (and wear one yourself, of course).

·         Display posters promoting IWMD.

·         Ask your local council (and other public bodies) to fly official flags at half-mast on the day.

·         Attend a local event commemorating IWMD.

·         Arrange your own workplace event such as planting a memorial tree in a public place or dedicating a bench in a local park to those who have been killed or injured in the workplace.

·         Get in touch with your local media outlets (both print and online) to let them know how you intend to mark the occasion – this is a great way to raise awareness of IWMD 2017 with the general public.

IWMD events are set to take place all across the UK so finding an event in which to participate in your area shouldn’t be too difficult – the subject is in the news right now and a quick Google search should return a list of events so you can see what’s going on in your region.  If you check with the TUC (Trades Unions Congress) official website, you can see that their Workers’ Memorial Day webpages include a list of planned events around the UK so if you have something planned, get in touch and get them to add it.  The TUC want to focus on the hidden and new GIG economies, the risks faced by migrant workers and the issues of both gender and class on IWMD 2017.