The 28th April, also the anniversary of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the USA, will see 19 countries unite with events organised to commemorate those killed, seriously injured or made ill while doing their jobs and reflect on the incidents that caused such tragedies in Workers' Memorial Day.
Since 1989, trade unions across the world have organised events on or near April 28. In 2001 the International Labour Organisation also declared April 28 as International Day of Action for Safety and Health at Work.
Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease. Every 15 seconds, 153 workers have a work-related accident.*
An estimated 2.3 million people die every year from work-related accidents and diseases. More than 160 million people suffer from occupational and work-related diseases, and there are 313 million non-fatal accidents per year. The suffering caused by such accidents and illnesses to workers and their families is incalculable. In economic terms, the ILO has estimated that more than 4% of the world's annual GDP is lost as a consequence of occupational accidents and diseases.**
Brenig Moore, Operations Director at Astutis commented:
"It is at times like these and the shocking figures we see published that reminds me (and I am sure many more of my colleagues and fellow health and safety professionals) why I value my involvement in this industry. You can't put a value on human life or the suffering surrounding the loss of a loved one and this is why we strive to make workplaces safer for everyone. I hope that we'll all take a moment to remember and take stock tomorrow.'
Prevention - better than cure
The International Labour Organisation believes 'a national occupational safety and health culture is one in which the right to a safe and healthy working environment is respected at all levels, where governments, employers and workers actively participate in securing a safe and healthy working environment through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, and where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention.'
2015 sees the creation of the ILO's SafeDay website (available in 3 languages) providing new and useful information including the role of each stakeholder, more detailed information on key aspects and trends on OSH, as well as a campaign kit which includes a PPT presentation with notes, the poster and the brochure.
Visit the SafeDay website.
Click here for an interactive map of world events marking WMD.
* **Source: ILO