Press Release for International Workers Memorial Day to remember people killed by work
For immediate release
On International Workers Memorial Day, Friday 28th April, workers globally will hold workplace and community events to remember work colleagues, who have died because of their work. Every year the Hazards Campaign produce ‘The Whole Story’ (1) which is an analysis of the occupational injuries, illness and deaths statistics.
In the last 12 months alone, it is estimated by the Hazards Campaign, that more than 53,000 people died because of work and this number doesn’t include the hundreds of workers who have died because of Covid infections they contracted in the workplace, because there is no obligation for employers to report them to the enforcement agency, or for them to be investigated or employers to be prosecuted.(1) and they not recorded.
The Hazards Campaign includes an estimate of the number of workers who have died from work-related suicide, which is estimated to be as high as 10% of all suicides. (2) Again, the employer is under no legal duty to report, or investigate these deaths and this estimate is based on numbers recorded in other countries where suicides are reportable. The Hazards Campaign believes there is a moral obligation to do this, and are campaigning for there to be a legal obligation for work-related suicides to be reportable, investigated and employers prosecuted if they are negligent.(3)
UK Hazards Campaign spokesperson Janet Newsham, said it’s shocking that worldwide, work kills a minimum of 2.9 million people every year.
She said: “Last year safe and healthy work was adopted as a fundamental right by the ILO. This means that occupational health and safety must be central to all work. This should also mean that our Government, employers and enforcement authorities must double their efforts to eradicate unsafe and unhealthy work activities. It should be no longer acceptable that work drives people to take their own life, or that workers are subjected to air pollution and other airborne viruses, toxic chemicals and hazardous substances, that will eventually kill them. It should mean that these are not an optional extra but are fundamental to safe and healthy work.’
‘No-one should lose their life for just going out to work to earn a living. Too many people die because of their work activities. On International Workers Memorial Day we will remember all those who have died because of work, we will wear purple ribbons in their memory, we will tell their stories(2), and try to hold those responsible for their deaths are held to account. We don’t want to hear about lessons learnt, that means that someone else has died. We need all work to be safe and healthy, preventing deaths, diseases and injuries and on April 28th we will ‘Remember the dead and Fight for the Living!’’
Note to editors:
More details on the theme can be found here:
- The whole story: https://sway.office.com/0SEVenHS9yTFFJqs?ref=Link
- Families against corporate killers 2023 statement: https://www.hazardscampaign.org.uk/blog/uk-fack-statement-international-workers-memorial-day-28-april-2023
- Further information:
For more details please contact Janet Newsham on 07734 317158.