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.