the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

25 April 2012

The annual International Workers' Memorial Day commemorates the millions of workers across the globe who die, or are injured, each year while at work.

In addition to the usual memorial events, the TUC is this year sponsoring a health and safety awareness day on Saturday 28 April, with activities across the UK organised by local trades councils, union branches, and regional TUC offices.

Full details of local events on International Workers' Memorial Day can be found at:

Please support this day of action if you can.

Cutbacks despite rise in fatalities

Although the government has started to cut back on health and safety protection for workers, the UK still has a major problem of injury at work. Last year the official death toll in workplaces was 171 direct fatalities, a rise of 24 on 2010.

However, the TUC estimates that if this total included indirect work-related deaths caused by lung and heart disease, cancers, and road deaths, the figure would be more than 20,000 a year.

On top of this, an estimated 1.9 million UK workers are struggling with long-term injuries and diseases contracted in workplaces.

Faced with these statistics, the government's answer has been a 35 per cent cut in funding for the Health and Safety Executive that has already led to a reduction in workplace inspections and prosecutions of irresponsible employers.

Academic research indicates that accidents at work can be reduced by as much as 50 per cent if a network of health and safety representatives is present.

The activities on Saturday 28 April are intended to raise the profile of workplace health and safety, as well as commemorating those who have died at work.

Remember the dead - but fight for the living.