Workers Memorial Day

28 Apr 2014

Workers Memorial Day is held on 28th April every year and all over the world workers and their representatives conduct events, demonstrations, vigils and other activities to mark the day. The day is intended as a rallying cry to, “Remember The Dead - Fight For The Living!”

First the good news, according to official figures from the Health and Safety Executive, between 1974 (when the Health & Safety At Work Act became law) and 2013, fatal injuries at work fell by 85% and reported non fatal injuries by 77%.

The bad news is what that actually means to workers. HSE figures for 2012/13 recorded 148 people dying at work and a total of 646,000 accidents. Of those 231,000 led to over 3 days absence from work and 175,000 over 7 days. And since the coalition LibCon government came to power, there has been a 40% reduction in funding for the HSE leading to workplace inspections being cut, new regulations blocked, some existing protections removed, reporting requirements undermined and access to compensation being restricted with the burden of proof being removed from employers. The government has also chosen the 40th anniversary of the HASAW Act 74 to remove some 4.3 million self employed workers from the protection of the Act.

A new report shows that contrary to what the press and the government would have you believe, workplace compensation claims have fallen by more than 50% in the last decade with 86% of workers that are hurt or made ill at work receiving no compenstion at all.

Workers Memorial Day - remember the 148 workers that went to work one day but didn’t return home leaving their partners and families devastated, and fight for the living.