WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY
Each year on April 28th, Workers’ Memorial Day encourages national and international remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured, or made unwell by their work. Also known as International Workers’ Memorial Day or International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured or Day of Mourning, the slogan for the day is Remember the dead – Fight for the living.
The day remembers workers killed in incidents at work or by diseases caused by work. Organizations around the world host events honoring workers lost work-related injuries or illnesses. Some organizations may hold campaigns and workplace awareness events. Other activities such as multi-faith religious services, laying wreaths, planting trees, and unveiling monuments, raise public awareness of issues. One of the most moving is the setting out of shoes to symbolize those who have died at work.
Transporation causes more work-place deaths than any other occupation. The next four most common reasons for workplace deaths are workplace violence (human and animal), slips and falls, contact with equipment and objects, and exposure to harmful substances and environments. However, these four cause more workplace deaths combined than transportation alone. The topmost dangerous occupations are agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting.
This day also highlights the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and ill-health. Additionally, it promotes the fight for improvements in workplace safety.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorkersMemorialDay
- Remember employees and coworkers killed due to work-related injury or disease.
- Attend ceremonies or events raising awareness.
- Encourage your organization to support workforce safety.
- Use #WorkersMemorialDay to post on social media.
WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY HISTORY
OSHA was founded on April 28, 1971. Canadian Union of Public Employees first observed Workers’ Memorial Day in 1984 followed by the United States in 1989. The House introduced Joint Resolution 235 to recognize the observance. Across the country, unions and organizations also recognized the day. For years, events have been organized in Canada and the USA and then worldwide.