International Workers’ Memorial Day

International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April 2015 is our day to remember the dead and fight for the living.

Up to 50,000 people die each year in the UK from work-related ill health and incidents. Although few UNISON members die in workplace incidents, many suffer injuries and work-related ill health, from stress, to back pain and RSI, hazardous substances, or bullying, harassment, and workplace violence.

These affect not only them but also their families.

Health and safety in our workplaces also protects those in the wider community. Whether it is a hospital, school or care home, our elderly and vulnerable relatives, our children and our communities are also protected by measures intended to keep everyone safe from harm.

UNISON knows that the key to providing a good and safe service is well-trained employees who have the time and protective equipment to do their job properly.

How can you mark International Workers’ Memorial Day and support the campaign for safe and healthy work?
•Find out what is happening locally in your region, contact your local TUC, hazards campaign group or UNISON regional organising staff, and support any event.
•If there isn’t one in your workplace, organise an event, perhaps jointly with your employer – UNISON can offer ideas and provide support and advice how to do this.
•Use the day to reinvigorate the campaign for better health and safety or to discuss a workplace health and safety concern with members, non-members and the employer.
•If appropriate focus on the theme for this year which is “removing exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace”. UNISON’s newly revised safety rep guide “Hazardous Substances at Work” will shortly be available and we’ll be producing an accompanying pamphlet to raise awareness amongst members. More information on these shortly!
•Many UNISON branches have successfully organised and recruited around local health and safety concerns using national campaigns such as Safety in Numbers and Cut Stress not Jobs.
•Use our materials, including UNISON’s poster and leaflet for International Workers’ Memorial Day 2015.
•Join the minute’s silence at 12noon on the day itself.
•Wear the purple forget-me-knot IWMD ribbon on the day, and at any events or activities that you take part in.
•And how about a ‘health and selfie’? Just take a picture of yourself holding a card with a message supporting health and safety, and tweet it to @UNISON_HS, your local MP and press using #HealthandSelfie and #IWMD15. Your message could include: ‘Remember the dead and fight for the living’ or ‘health and safety – for workers, clients, patients and children’.

What else can you do?

Let us know what you have planned, email and we’ll post the details on the UNISON website.
•Order your copies of the UNISON IWMD poster (quoting stock no. 2997), leaflet (stock no. 2996) or other health and safety materials via our online catalogue (external link)
•Download a copy of the IWMD poster for printing locally (PDF)
•Download a copy of the IWMD leaflet for printing locally (PDF)
•Visit Get help: health and safety for further UNISON guidance on health and safety topics
•Order the official forget-me-knot purple ribbons from Greater Manchester Hazards Centre (order form – Word doc)
•Visit the TUC International Workers’ Memorial Day webpage for background information and details of events
•Read the news story: Remember the dead, fight for the living

Follow our ongoing campaign for International Workers’ Memorial Day on the UNISON website, on our Facebook page and via Twitter. You can tweet using #IWMD15.
17 Apr 2015 – 12:30 by WDNF

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