Workers Memorial Day across the globe

Workers Memorial Day across the globe

Since its origins in Canada in the 1980s, International Workers Memorial Day on 28 April has become a global occasion of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.

Hazards magazine and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have compiled a global map of national 28 April Workers' Memorial Day activities.

Globally, the International Labour Organisation estimates that 2.34 million people die each year from work-related accidents and diseases. From these fatalities, the majority or 2.02 million are from occupational and work-related diseases. Hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers annually – asbestos claims 100,000 lives.

In addition to the harm and suffering, such injury and illness causes major economic losses. Around 4 per cent of the world GDP (GDP), or about USD $2.8 trillion, is lost due to work-related accidents and diseases in direct and indirect costs. The cost in Australia was estimated to be about $60 billion in 2009.

Events around Australia will mark the day including at the new National Workers’ Memorial in Canberra.

Our Story

Vickery Family

Fiona Vickery (Wayne Vickery, husband, 45)

"My husband died on a construction site. It’s what happened next that saved us."
(image: Jeffrey Chan, Fairfax)

The CFMEU is Australia's main trade union in construction, forestry and furnishing products, mining and energy production.


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