We shall remember them

27 Apr

Although the key aim of good health and safety management is preventing people from being killed or injured in the first place, it is an inescapable fact that every day across the world scores of people die in workplace accidents and many thousands more are seriously injured or made ill – often as a direct result of their employer’s negligence.

It is vitally important that these people – and the terrible fates that have befallen them – are remembered, not just because we should always commemorate the dead in some way, but also because the very act of commemorating people who have been killed at work provides a sharp reminder to us all to strive to make every workplace – and every job – safer and healthier.

Tomorrow provides a chance for everyone – from employers to shop floor workers – to do just that since Thursday 28th April is International Workers’ Memorial Day. The day, which is marked around the world, commemorates the many thousands of people who have died, been injured or made ill by their work, and will see bereaved families, workers, trade unions and employers in most countries organising events, demonstrations and vigils to “remember the dead – but fight for the living”.

In the UK, there will be rallies and wreath-laying events in many major towns and cities, and for those of us nearby and able to attend, these provide a chance to pay our respects and perhaps reflect on what else can be done to protect both ourselves and others who could find themselves in danger at work. However, the easiest and most common way for people to mark the day is hold a minute’s silence at work – ideally at 12pm, or if not, at an appropriate time.

So if you – or your boss – has forgotten about the significance of 28th April – the date chosen for Workers’ Memorial Day each year – there is still time to pay your respects to the fallen, in the simplest possible way.

For more details on Workers’ Memorial Day, including a full list of planned events, go to:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_196896

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