An estimated 2.3 million workers, according to ILO statistics, die each year from work-related accidents or disease – one worker every 15 seconds. Untold more suffer from occupational illness or non-fatal accidents. The website 28 April, an initiative of Hazards magazine and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), shares events, resources and images about the 2015 International Workers’ Memorial Day (or in Canada, National Day of Mourning). See the Event Map and blog for how workers in each country will uniquely (and creatively) remember those killed and injured, while raising awareness on much needed improvements to safety and rights in the workplace.
In its Apr. 23 post “11 Things You Need to Know about Safety for Workers’ Memorial Day”, the AFL-CIO highlights issues faced also by workers elsewhere, including non-reporting or underreporting of injury; inadequate safety regulations, coverage and penalties; and an increase in mental health injuries and toxic environments. The need for updated rules on workplace hazards is echoed in the OFL’s call to “embrace the Precautionary Principle” and the European Trade Unions’ outrage at 150,000 deaths in the EU from occupational cancer since the European Commission stopped developing exposure limits on cancer-causing agents in Oct. 2013 to “review red tape”.
On April 28th while remembering those killed, their families and the injured, the International Labour Organization (ILO) reminds us that only 34% of the global workforce are covered by mandatory social protection or workers’ compensation, excluding many of the most vulnerable. On the occasion of the second Bangladesh Rana Plaza anniversary, the Organization renews the call to make national employment injury insurance a reality and right for all. [see video]